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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Recent Purchases

Recent Purchases

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

Soludos Braided Ankle Strap Leather Flat Sandal - I needed flat black sandals.  I was being picky.  I hasn't found anything I even wanted to try.  And then these showed up on Amazon for a really good price and I made them mine.  While they are incredibly comfortable now, they definitely took some break-in time, resulting in a worn raw back of my ankle.  That said, these will be ideal for my trip to Austin (I'm there now actually) and for next spring.  Result: Kept.

Halston Heritage Twist-Front Crepe Jumpsuit - More Outnet final sale shopping.  I've been wanting a jumpsuit, and here was a Halston jumpsuit for $70.  The fabric is perfectly flowy and drapes well on my body.  I do need to have it tailored as it is way too long for me, even in my highest heels, but otherwise, this baby is a winner.  Result: Kept. (Sold out, but super similar available in black or navy.)

LL Bean Signature Leather Driving Moc - M. Gemi has a driving moc that I've been lusting after, but I couldn't bring myself to splurge.  When I saw this pair at LL Bean, I ordered them and hoped for the best.  Form my past experience with Bean shoes, I should've known these would be great.  First off, the orange color is bright and super fun.  Perfect for fall.  Secondly, the leather is super soft.  The fit is snug, as it should be, as they'll stretch with wear.  They look far more expensive than they were.  A good buy.  You'll be seeing a lot of these come fall.  Result: Kept.

LL Bean Town-and-Field Waxed Cotton Jacket - This jacket.  So pretty!  So fall!  I love a good waxed cotton or canvas.  It's casual sporty (and weatherproof!) without looking athletic.  The color on this jacket is amazing too.  I ordered a small and well, I should have known better.  I was swimming in it.  Instead of it being a cute, fitted style, I looked like I was going hunting in the woods of Maine.  I would have exchanged it for an extra-small, but or course, it was sold out.  Happy hunting!  Result: Returned.

ViX Capadocia Kate Bandeau Bikini Top - When you find an bikini top that retails for over $100 on sale for $15, you buy it.  As simple as that.  The pattern is cool and funky, the fabric is high quality, and the fit is good.  I needed more strapless bathing suit tops (#notanlines) and this fit the bill.  Result: Kept.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Currently Reading

Now that summer is "over" (not really) and my pool has closed (really), my reading will probably slow down.  Luckily for you, I'm still slugging through the backlog of everything I read this summer, so enjoy :)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit - This is a collection of essays from esteemed writer Rebecca Solnit, beginning with her now famous essay, "Men Explain Things To Me".  In it, she coined the term "mansplaining".  Solnit's writing is sharp, clever, poignant at times.  She's incredibly intelligent and thoughtful.  What I took away from this collection as a whole was that the small things - men ignoring what women are saying, men "explaining" something they know nothing about, the silencing of women's voices - in fact lead to those larger misogynistic issues - domestic violence, rape, partner homicide.  Absolutely worth a read.

Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff - Oh man, did I love this book.  So good!  We start with the Fates half of the book.  About to graduate college, lothario Lotto falls in love with the virginal beauty Mathilde.  Their love for each other is all-encompassing, eclipsing everything else in their lives.  They host potluck dinners in their tiny New York apartment, only to disappear into the hallway to make love.  As the years pass, this hungry love for each other never wanes, but only seems to grow stronger.  As Lotto moves from an out-of-work actor to a successful playwright, Mathilde is always by his side, supporting him.  And yet, when we switch perspectives in the Furies half of the book, was anything what it seemed?  Without giving anything away, just know that the prose is stunning and that Groff beautifully explores what a marriage is and how our own perceptions of a person, of a relationship, can be incredibly far from the truth.

End of Watch by Stephen King - End of Watch is the third and final book in the Bill Hodges trilogy.  After Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, I had a real affinity for these characters and knew I would be sad to see their story come to an end.  Bill and Holly are called to what appears to be a standard murder-suicide, but upon closer inspection, they discover that the victims were tied to the Mercedes massacre and that things may not be as they appear.  More supernatural than its previous books, End of Watch sees Brady Hartsfield somewhat awaken from his vegetative state and find a way to get revenge not just on Bill, but on the entire town.  This was dark, suspenseful, and a great ending for the trilogy.

The Familiar Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Danielewski - Danielewski is an absolute favorite of mine.  He is a weird genius as far as I'm concerned.  The Familiar is (going to be) a 27-volume series.  Presumably, Volume 1 sets the stage.  There are a lot of things going on here, but the focus seems to be on Xanther, a 12-year-old girl who is somewhere on the spectrum.  Xanther's mother has decided to get a service dog for her, but when Xanther and her step-father head out into a rainstorm to pick up the dog, they end up finding another creature instead.  There's also some insanity involving a drug dealer in LA, something going on in Southeast Asia, and a pair of scientist/hippies living in a van in Texas with some kind of magic orb.  If this sounds crazy, that's because it is.  But I cannot wait to read the subsequent volumes.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Blue Stripes

I finally got around to uploading and editing photos from our trip to Westport last month and they are making me seriously unhappy that summer is coming to an end.

Tunic: LOFT (similar here or here); Shades: Ray Ban

We always take a long walk down to the end of the beach.  There's something rejuvenating about bare feet on sand and waves lapping over your ankles.  That quote about water always being what you need - whether sweat, tears, or the ocean - is so incredibly cheesy, but it also may be true.  I always feel my happiest near the beach.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Middle-schoolers taking on the school dress code and winning!

This story of a PTA president and the couple who went after her is absolutely insane.

Gabrielle Union wrote an op-ed about rape, Nate Parker, and Birth of a Nation.  It's thought-provoking.

I am unabashedly obsessed with Carly Rae Jepson's Emotion album, and she just released the B Sides. Yay!

Matt Lauer is a hack.  Debate moderators - do better!

As it is NYFW, check out this Marc Jacobs/Hype Williams collab video.  Cara, killing it.  Missy, killing it.  Susan Sarandon, killing it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Recent Purchases

Recent Purchases

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

JDY V-Neck Lace Trim Top - This top is more boho than I would usually go for, but something about it caught my eye.  The shirt is gauzy, wrinkled fabric and a bit sheer.  The best part is the lace trim neckline.  It's a very pretty detail.  I'll be wearing this often as a transition piece.  Result: Kept.

Asos Ultimate Ankle Grazer Pant - There is a serious lack of black work pants in my closet right now.  That needs to be fixed because I can't go bare-legged in dresses forever.  This pair is simple.  It should have worked.  But the fit was odd and it just didn't.  I'll keep trying.  Result: Returned.

Warehouse Long Sleeve Knot Detail Dress - A dress like this is perfect for so many occasions.  Work, events, the bar, it's good for everything.  That said, this particular one ended up being too sheer (what is up with dresses that aren't lined?) and was unwearable.  Result: Returned.

Asos Sculpt Me Premium Jeans in Optic White - Speaking of sheer, here we are again.  White denim needs to be thick so that your bum isn't visible to the world.  These were not those jeans.  Result: Returned.

J Brand Mid-Rise Skinny Jean - J. Brand works for me.  The fit is great, the quality is high, and when they are on major sale, I grab them.  This pair is a great dark wash and the only thing I need to do is get them tailored a bit so they hit me at the ankle.  Good buy.  Result: Kept.

Friday, September 2, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

With many of my friends dreading going back to school (as teachers), I loved the Finnish take on the first day of school.

An interesting take on Colin Kaepernick's silent protest.

"When policy is not based on science, American women pay the price."

Kevin Smith has a new movie coming out.  And he's going to keep making movies.  Forever.

I love this article about how stopping our obsession with youth would actually make better use of women's talents, both personally and professionally.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Recent Purchases

I know the Nordstrom anniversary sale started way back in July, but it feels good to have this go up on the first day of September.  September will always be back to school month for me, no matter how long I've been out of school.  It makes me start thinking of turning leaves, crisp mornings, and fall fashion.  So bring on the layers and the textures and the neutral colors!  As I plan my Labor Day pool party :)
Recent Purchases

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

Halogen Owen Pointy Toe Ghillie Flats - Nude flats had been on my list forever and I decided to try these ones out.  They're a bit showier than what I would normally grab, but I like the lace-up and the color is perfect - somewhere just in between nude and blush.  And most importantly, they are comfortable and I can walk in them all day.  These will be getting lots of wear this season.  Result: Kept.

BaubleBar Looking Glass Drop Earrings - I'm still in love with statement earrings.  This pair looked sort of art deco, I liked the white combined with metal, and thought they might work for my reception dress.  When they came, they were just as beautiful in person, but the bad news is that they were really, really heavy.  I wore them around my apartment for ten or fifteen minutes and my lobes were already feeling it.  Sad to see them go, but it had to be done.  Result: Returned. (Sold out, similar here.)

BLANKNYC Easy Rider Faux Leather Moto Jacket - My tan leather jacket is one of my favorite pieces and I want it to have a friend!  Seriously, I've been searching for the perfect black leather jacket for what feels like forever.  This one was priced so low and looked so beautiful, I had really high hopes.  Unfortunately, it was less Parisian chic and more Thriller.  The collar was enormous and made me look absurd.  That said, the quality of the faux leather was really good, so if you like to go a little bigger with your look than I do, I would give this jacket a try.  Back to the drawing board.  Result: Returned.

Phase 3 Double Banded Wool Fedora - I love hats and for whatever reason, my head was made for them.  For the past few years, I've had my eye out for a cool, sort of floppy, big brimmed wool hat.  I pictured myself drinking wine surrounded by foliage while wearing this fictional hat.  And finally, that dream will come true.  Yes, it's a little big on my child's size head, but that's ok.  The color if good, the shape is great, the brim is the perfect mix of structure and flop.  I'm ready for that wine now.  Result: Kept. (Sold out, similar.)

SPANX Faux Leather Leggings - Grace over at The Stripe has raved about these leggings many times, so when I saw them during the sale, I added them to my cart immediately.  As soon as they arrived, I knew what she was talking about.  Be warned, they are Spanx, so they took me some shimmying to get on (I bought my regular size), but once they were on, they looked incredible.  They're a little shimmery without being shiny.  They really do compress and suck everything in (this is my first experience with anything Spanx), so your butt will look great,  And the inside is super soft, so they are really comfortable to wear and will be warm!  Result: Kept.