Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Recent Purchases

I've cut back on shopping, which may or may not be related to the fact that my outfit posts have seriously fallen by the wayside.  My wallet is definitely happier!  That said, I have bought some staples lately, hoping for the best.

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

Vitamin A Black EcoLuxe Neutra Bikini Top - When I went through and tried on all my bathing suits this spring, it was an adventure.  I got rid of two bikini tops I had had since high school.  That was a problem.  In need of new tops, I saw this one at Shopbop and decided to go for it when everything was 25% off.  This top is super soft and comfortable material that moves with you, not against you.  It's stylish without being over the top.  And it's black, which means it matches all my bottoms.  Result: Kept.

J.O.A. Openwork Pullover - Fringe is/was everywhere lately, so I jumped on the bandwagon, but in a slightly understated way.  I wasn't going full-up sueded fringe all over the place, but thought a nice white pullover would be enough.  Even this was too much for me.  The sweater itself was really soft, but I juts couldn't do the fringe thing.  Not for me.  Result: Returned (sold out, similar here, here, and here).

London Fog Hooded Double Breasted Trench Coat - How I survived this long without a real, adult trench coat is beyond me.  I finally splurged (when it was on sale) on this London Fog beauty because let's face it, Burberry is not in my budget.  This jacket is ideal because it's waterproof (wtf is up with "raincoats" that aren't?), it had a detachable hood, and the length is ideal.  It's a good thing I bought this when I did because May was one endless rainstorm.  Result: Kept.

Blank Denim Vegan Pull On Leggings - Continuing my hunt for leather or lookalike leggings, this pair had been on my radar for quite awhile.  The review were outstanding, so it was promising.  For me, this pair was really close to perfect, but they weren't quite there.  Getting them on was a bit too much trouble and while the fit was pretty good, it wasn't great.  Back to the start.  Result: Returned.

The Aditi Dress in Modern Houndstooth - Earlier in the spring, I went to a pop-up that MM LaFleur was hosting at the Jefferson Hotel.  Skip over there on a lunch break, drink some prosecco, try on pretty was great.  I bought this dress because I loved it and also would've felt bad if I hadn't bought anything, but was planning on returning it because it's really too expensive.  But when it was delivered, I brought it home and tried it on again and loved it even more.  So, here I am, wallet slightly lighter, but work wardrobe at the top of its game.  Result: Kept. (sold out, but available in solids here.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blush VoxBox

I received some great products in my most recent VoxBox from Influenster.

The Simple Wipes have been great for taking off my make-up and wiping off the sweat from the day.  They smell nice too!

The Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner smell delicious and have left my hair feeling super moisturized.  These are definitely coming with me the next time I travel.

The same goes for the Secret Clinical deodorant.  This stuff is serious.  I use a natural deodorant on a daily basis, but will use this for vacation purposes.

I don't wear false eyelashes because my natural lashes are really long and thick already, but this pair from Ardell feels very soft and looks very natural.  Want 'em?  First one to shoot me and email gets 'em!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King - A short story collection from the master - was there any doubt that I would love this?  My favorite part was how he interspersed the fictions with little tidbits of personal information about where a story idea came from, how many years (even decades!) it took to create in the way he wanted.  The best story was about a people-eating car at a rest stop in Maine.  Terrifying and wonderful, as always.

Gutshot by Amelia Gray - This is another collection of short stories, but unfortunately, it didn't resonate with me.  Each story made me feel uncomfortable (definitely not a bad thing, I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone) in a visceral way.  Very disturbing.

Girl at War by Sara Novic - Looking for a heartbreaker of a novel?  You've got it.  Ana is a child during Yugoslavia's civil war and finds herself torn between childhood and adulthood, war and normalcy.  Ten years later, she is in college in New York, having left her old life behind her, until she decides to return to Croatia and revisit all that she has lost.  Beautiful and haunting.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - This was a good one.  Our narrator is Patroclus, a shy, awkward boy who is sent away from home and ends up living at the home of Achilles.  The two strike up an unlikely friendship and eventual romance.  When Achilles must go to war after Helen of Troy is kidnapped by Paris, Patroclus goes with him.  Hearing such a famous story told from a unique angle was wonderful and new and delightful.  If you have any interest in the ancient Greeks, I highly suggest this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Laced-up Navy

How was your 4th of July?

Although the weekend overall was good, the 4th itself was dreary, gray, overcast, rainy, and sticky.  Not the ideal weather situation.

But of course, I still busted out my red, white, and blue for the occasion.

I wish I could've been home in New England, where the weather was seasonally appropriate.

I'll be back soon enough!

Sweater: Halogen (sold out, similar); Denim: J. Crew Factory; Sandals: Jack Rogers; Tote: Old Navy (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

Friday, July 1, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Rabbit rabbit!

Happy Friday, happy long weekend, happy birthday America!

This is a fascinating read about Hope Hicks, Donald Trumps near-silent, 27-year-old press secretary.

If you watched the last two episodes of Game of Thrones (and I know you did), you know the Battle of the Bastards was pretty epic as far as cinematography goes.  This video shows you the behind the scenes of how it all came together.

I really loved HBO's Looking and was bummed when it was cancelled after only two seasons.  To wrap things up, they made a feature-length final episode!  Watch the trailer.  As long as I get some Scott Bakula, I'll be happy.

Can The Devil Wears Prada really be ten years old?  Variety has a fabulous look at the making of the film told by it's three woman leads - Meryl, Anne, and Emily.

New to Netflix in July - I'm very excited for Stranger Things, starring Winona Ryder!

George R.R. Martin and Stephen King sat down and talked about writing.  It's great.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Recent Purchases

Old Navy - killin' it lately.

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

Linen Blend Shift Dress - I love a good linen shift in the summertime.  Which is why I have no many in my closet.  As a result, I'm pickier about what makes the cut now.  This dress was cute and the material was good, but it just didn't have that zing.  Definitely a good buy, but not something I need right now.  Result: Returned.

Distressed Boyfriend Denim Shorts - My denim cutoffs are probably too short for me now that I'm 30.  I joke, but only a little bit.  A longer length would get more wear from me, so I grabbed this pair.  Unfortunately, they were too big.  Next time, I'll go down a size.  Otherwise, they were quality denim and really comfortable.  Result: Returned.

Maxi Tank Dress - It took me quite awhile, but now I'm firmly on the maxi bandwagon.  I love their versatility.  Fancy or casual, just switch up your accessories.  When I saw this simple gray one, I knew it had to be mine.  The racerback is cute and sporty and the material is soft without totally losing its shape.  Result: Kept.

Classic Tall Faux-Leather Tote - That tan tote of mine gets a ridiculous amount of use (examples here, here, and here).  I needed a black version to mix it up and I knew it would also be a workhorse.  Again, the faux leather is super soft and supple, looking for more expensive than it truly is.  My only complaint is that this current version doesn't have a top zip, so the bag is always open.  Not a total dealbreaker, but a zipper would've been nice.  Old Navy, please take note.  Result: Kept.

Relaxed Racerback Tank - Somehow, I was lacking a gray tank top.  When I need a basic, I need a basic.  This tank is a great price, cotton, and a simple, classic shape.  It works for layering or on its own.  Simplicity is best.  Result: Kept.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Packing in Stripes

I was headed north for a quick trip in early June and thought I'd share my packing tips with you!

1.  Pick a color scheme and stick to it.  I obviously went with white and navy, with some other blues thrown in.  This way, everything matches and can be mixed together, which drastically increases the number of outfits you have with you.

2.  Think in layers.  I pack in outfits, but I'm sure to have layering options for each one.  I start with a base, like jeans and a tank, but add either a long-sleeve tee or a sweater as an option to wear on top if it's chilly.

3.  I just mentioned this, but pack in outfits.  It has been the biggest gamechanger in packing for me.  I plan my outfits around a) how many days I'll  be away and b) what the activities are.  For this trip, I needed casual clothes, beach clothes, and wedding attire.  As I said, everything can mix and match, so even though I only had two bottoms (white denim and a pair of navy shorts), I was able to make plenty of outfits from them.

4.  Use a duffel (if it's comfortable for you to carry).  I love this weekender I snagged at Target last year and use it for all my summer travel.  I find that it fits more than my suitcase, is easy to carry, and always has just a little extra room if you end up shopping.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Whites

Oh, hello there!

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

Let's get down to business!  What's been happening in my little corner of the world?

Well, a thousand weddings.  I'm going to six this year, in addition to throwing my own.

Yep, DT and I have decided to get married.

Hopefully, marriage involves lots of time sitting in rocking chairs on porches.

Don't worry - this isn't turning into a wedding blog.  Our wedding is barely going to be a wedding!  I'm avoiding as much of the traditional as I can.

Although you can't go wrong with an all white summer outfit.

Wedding dress optional.

Button-up: Lands' End; Denim: J. Crew Factory; Heels: Franco Sarto via TJ Maxx (love these); Belt: Banana Republic (similar); Necklace: Forever 21 (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante - Elena and Lila are best friends, growing up together in the same small village just outside of Naples.  My Brilliant Friend is the first in a series of four books exploring their relationship, the people surrounding them, and how they react to the changing world.  Beautiful, smart, and truly a joy to read, pick this up immediately if you haven't already.

Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis - Maren has a bit of a problem.  When people are affectionate with her, she is affectionate back...and then some.  See, Maren is so affectionate that she eats people right up, literally.  After her mother leaves her, exhausted from the constant moving and struggle to keep Maren safe, Maren sets out on her own, in search of her father.  During her travels, she meets other eaters and discovers an entire population of people like her.  While the premise sounds dark, the story is oddly sweet.

Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter - Decades ago, Claire and Lydia's sister went missing.  Her disappearance tore their family apart, which each family member dealing with it in their own way.  When Claire's husband is murdered in an alley right in front of her, it opens the door to brand new horrors for all of them.  Here's the deal - this book is well-written, well-paced, and a hell of a story, but oh my god is it graphic.  Every single horrific abuse you can imagine takes place and all are described down to the smallest detail.  Be warned.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Dietland by Sarai Walker - Plum is fat.  Obese, in fact.  But that life will soon be over.  Once Plum has her stomach-stapling surgery, her whole life will begin.  This time, she'll be Alicia.  That is, until she notices that she is being followed by a strange woman.  One who wears brightly patterned tights.  Plum quickly falls in with a group of women who live life outside of the perimeters society sets up for women.  As this is happening in Plum's personal life, globally, a terrorist group that goes only by the name "Jennifer" is performing acts of vigilante justice against rapists, pornographers, and the media.  Are the two groups connected?  I loved this book.  It was wickedly dark, funny, smart, and a great commentary on how women are expected to behave, look, act, eat, exist.  I had my mom read it, but I don't think she liked it as much as I did.  "Jennifer" was too violent for her taste.

Boo by Neil Smith - Boo, thirteen years old, wakes up in an unfamiliar room and is told that he is dead and he's now in heaven.  Boo, very intelligent and pragmatic, deduces that he must have been killed by his heart defect.  He quickly begins writing down his afterlife experiences to hopefully share them with his parents someday.  Boo discovers that heaven is segregated by age, with all who die at thirteen sharing the same town.  Everyone has a job, a way to contribute to the town, and Zig aka god, sends them the things that they need.  Johnny, a classmate, turns up in heaven after Boo has been there for awhile and claims that he and Boo were both murdered by a school shooter they call Gunboy.  Johnny believes that Gunboy is in heaven too and they need to find him to avenge their deaths.  This is such a smart, imaginative, gorgeous book.  I think it is marketed as YA, but I really enjoyed it and didn't feel that things were toned town in any way for a younger audience.  

The Only Ones by Carol Dibbell - Inez is immune to disease, even when a wave of pandemics have ravaged the globe.  She's a Sylvain Hardy, untouchable.  Poor and alone, she makes her way in the world by working as a guinea pig for various agencies and people.  She finds a new job on a farm, becoming the mother of test tube babies that will belong to a grieving woman who lost her own children.  When the woman backs out, Inez must take the surviving baby and raise it as her own.  This all sounds exciting, but I found this book incredibly boring.  While I like stories that jump into things without much explanation, all of the reproductive science took a really long time to understand.  The Only Ones is a smart novel, but one that I quickly forgot.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi - I'm very into Helen Oyeyemi lately, seeking out everything she's written.  This book was no exception.  Boy flees her abusive father and finds herself in Western Massachusetts, where she quickly becomes the wife of a widower and a step-mother to his daughter, Snow.  Shortly thereafter, Boy finds herself pregnant.  This new child completely upends the household, family, and town dynamic.  Without giving too much away, this is a re-telling of any and all fairytales with an evil step-mother.