Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Mood: My Favorite Seasonal Candles.

I have a head cold* so I can't smell anything right now, so what a perfect time to tell you about my favorite seasonal candles that I can't smell? I am very, very picky about scented candles - I can't handle anything too fake, too sweet or too food-y, so know that if I swear by a candle, it's probably not going to offend. (But it might! Everyone likes what they like.) Anyway, here are my current favorites for the holiday/winter season:



For the past few years this Balsam & Cedarwood candle from Anthro has been a favorite. It smells amazing (woodsy, pine and spice), it's very pretty with the little pierced lid and it comes in three sizes, so you don't have to spend a ton. The little one is $16 and is perfectly giftable paired with it with my favorite arc lighter or some cute-ass matches



Last year Marianne bought me this Thymes Frasier Fir candle and it's wonderful - a perfect Christmas tree scent - clean and fresh. I burned it down to the bottom and immediately bought another one - that's how good it is. It comes in a bunch of sizes and containers, which is nice. 



Every year Diptyque comes out with holiday themed candles and this year my favorite of the three is, of course, Sapin, which a pine and open fire scent. They also have Flocon, a winter floral, and Biscuit which smelled like spice cookies and appears to be sold out. You can get a set of all three, which would be a very nice gift for anyone. 



Y'all know I'm a huge fan of Lafco candles and I recently ordered the Frosted Pine holiday candle, which is described as having notes of white birch, pine needles and cedar. It hasn't arrived yet but I'm pretty sure I'll love it. I also ordered their fireplace candle - Feu de Bois - because we have a fake tree and a gas fireplace so I gotta import the smells for the full cozy experience. 



Finally, for a cheap-and-cheerful option, I really like the Opalhouse Balsam Fir candle from Target. It's a very cheering green Christmas tree scent with a bit of spice and the big one is only $10! For a warm and rich winter scent I also like the Cozy Nights candle from the same line. 


*It's not Covid - I've been tested! 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Weekend Window Shopping: Gifty Ideas from Madewell.

Who is starting to panic about holiday shopping? Just me? Hahahaa *sob* I really need to get on it and had trouble finishing this post because I kept getting sidetracked and adding things to my cart. Madewell has some great gift options right now, including some small business and black-owned brands! I love that they do that. (For the Madewell brand items use code HOLLYJOLLY for 20% off!) Here's what I love for gifting:

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Ireland Trip: What I Bought.

I am working on a "what we did" post but it's going to be long so in the meantime here's a quick rundown of the things I bought/tried on while on my trip. Did you know they have Black Friday in Europe? They do! Any excuse for a sale, I guess. It's kind of hard to find something unique when traveling because the internet makes everything available, but COS is a brand that's always intrigued me and I can't get in person. So, when I found the COS section of Brown Thomas I was pretty excited. (There was also a very weird stand-alone COS store in Dublin where the employees completely ignore you until you literally throw yourself physically in their path and force them to acknowledge you. I did not like it.)

COS is one of those weird boxy European brands (owned by H&M, I believe?) that do really good, fashion-forward basics. They also do the kind of culottes that David Sedaris likes and the quirky Brown Thomas sales assistant likes but I thought they made me look like an Oompa-Loompa:

You're welcome. I also tried on this weird neoprene bomber jacket that I loved in theory but it looked insane on me:

NOW IS TIME ON SPROCKETS WHEN WE DANCE. Ahem. I will try on anything, you guys, because you just never know. Okay, so one thing that COS does really well is basically my favorite thing:


STRIPPPPEEESSSS. Yes. I was very very very enamored with the oversized striped sweater - it was giving me Noel Fielding vibes but the size medium was comically enormous. I tried on the small and it was utterly but had a big pull on the front so I didn't buy it. Then I spent the next few days obsessing over it and couldn't find another small, so I tried on the extra small (seriously) and it fit:


It's not quite as nicely oversized as the small, but I still loved it so I bought it. I also bought the really, good heavy cotton striped breton top hanging in that pic that reminded me of my old favorite Everlane top and also reminded me of the Kule shirt I've wanted forever but don't want to pay Kule prices for. Yay for stripes! You'll see both in upcoming outfits. 

Now, I know my sweater is basically sold out and the striped top is completely sold out, but sizes keep popping back in and for striped sweaters there's also this one which looks really good and this one too! COS just does good stripes. 

Now, the last thing I bought is this weird-ass Danish Ilse Jacobsen raincoat:


The true color is a bit more beige than pink and it has a "leather" strap that holds the removable hood on, which is exactly the kind of quirky detail I like. I found it in a boutique in Kinsale and tried it on several colors, but this is the one that was the most interesting. Also, it's nice to have an actual, real rain coat- it's not lined, it's just a rain slicker but it's also kind of fashion? I'll have to do an outfit because it's definitely better IRL. 

That's it for the shopping post! I'll post a bigger entry next week about what we saw and did. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Packing Report: Two Weeks In Ireland in November.

Hi! I am still jet-lagged because an eight-hour time difference will fuck. you. right. up. I don't know that I really realized how much longer it would take from the West Coast but from doorstep to doorstep it was close to 24 hours of travel each way with absolutely no sleep because I just can't ever sleep on a plane. (I tried to catch a nap during our layover in Amsterdam but a bunch of bros sitting on the other side of the bench started having a loud, braggy conversation and let's just say it was touch and go on my ending up in an Amsterdam prison.)

I've never taken a two week trip anywhere (seriously!) so packing was more of a challenge than normal. Two weeks is a long damn time to be away from my closet and I'm definitely not a minimalist but I managed to pack just the right amount of things and I wore everything I brought which has never happened. I took my Calpak 24" suitcase (similar to this one) which I checked and my Lo & Sons Hanover Deluxe backpack was my carry-on item.

Just a note: I bought the Hanover Deluxe backpack right before the pandemic started so I'd never traveled with it before. It's big, but if you take out the insert it's surprisingly lightweight and holds a ton. I also love the little top zip pocket which was great for holding my phone and my passport. Best of all, it has a suitcase sleeve and fits under an airplane seat. It was SUCH a good travel bag. Five stars. 

Another note: Please don't come at me for checking my bag. It was just impossible to pack a carry-on for a two week trip in November, especially knowing I wanted to buy things while I was there. Don't be afraid to check a bag! 

Now, here's what I brought: 

- Three cashmere sweaters (Everlane and Quince)
- Vuori Halo sweatshirt  (a new purchase - super comfy and cute as hell.)
- Five long-sleeve layers for underneath sweaters (these are great and easy to hand-wash!)

- Two pairs of jeans (Madewell grey skinny and blue Perfect Vintage)
- Two pairs of Athleta pants (Lined Chelsea Cargo and Headlands Hybrid legging)

- All my Eby underwear, two bras
- This hideous but comfy wireless bra from Bobbie & Evelyn (the best to wear on a long flight)
- A bunch of socks, mostly Bombas (the Performance calf sock are great with boots!)
- Pajamas (aka Quince joggers, sweatshirt and an old Everlane tee. Sexy.) 

- Cole Haan Chelsea boots
- Blundstone Chelsea boots (reviewed here)
- AllBirds Tree Runner sneakers

- Helly Hansen Long Belfast coat (worn here)
- Uniqlo packable ultra light down jacket
- Mountain Hardwear Hybrid Hoodie (confession: I only wore this once.) 

- Hammitt VIP crossbody bag
- Two scarves and my Quince cashmere beanie (which I lost immediately.)

This was basically perfect for two weeks, though we did do laundry halfway through because I didn't have enough tees, underwear and socks to get me through two weeks. I also hand-wash a few things towards the end of the trip.

A few items that out-performed: 

My Blundstone boots were THE BEST. They kept my feet warm and dry and were super comfortable. I'm already considering another pair, perhaps something a bit dressier like this heeled version

My AirPods Pro. OMG you guys. These are what you need on an airplane when you just need the noise level to be... less. When I wanted to check out, I put these in on the noise-canceling setting and it was like floating on a quiet cloud. Just get them. You won't be sorry.

My Helly Hansen jacket was great. It's warm and mostly waterproof, but not in the way a proper raincoat is. Instead of shedding rain the top layer kind of...dries fast? Hard to explain. It stayed dry on the inside but the outside layer definitely got soaked at one point:

Hi. It's raining sideways. Other than this particular outing, we didn't get a ton of rain and the weather was pretty mild until the last few days, so I wore my Uniqlo down jacket quite a bit. It's also a good one - light but warm and packs down into a little bag. 

Oh, and my Athleta Chelsea Cargo lined pants were great for the long flights - super comfy and warm but not bulky.

Stuff and stuff: 

For my "stuff" I used my trusty old LL Bean hanging toiletry bag and also brought my little travel flat iron but left my mini hair dryer at home. (I missed it - hotel dryers are the worst.) I keep my makeup in this Dagne Dover bag which I've had for years! My new lighted travel mirror was a great purchase - it's a bit clunky but was so great for putting on makeup in under-lit hotel rooms. 

Finally, I know travel cubes are polarizing but I freaking love them. I love them so much I'm thinking about buying a nicer set because I am a mess when it comes to keeping a suitcase tidy and cubes are a game-changer. Does anyone have the Away cubes? I want those. 

That's it for the packing report! Next up I'll post about what we saw and did in Dublin and Cork. (And also what I bought!)

Monday, November 29, 2021

Monday Mood: Jet Lagged.

I'm back! The eight hour time difference is making me feel...not great, so today I'm just going to post about a couple of good Cyber Monday sales and then I'll be back with a full trip/shopping/packing report. (Or, tell me what would be interesting or useful - info about travel in Ireland? A packing rundown? Shopping reports? What do you all want to know?) Now, on to the sales:


ALLSAINTS

30% off everything! Oh damn, you guys. 

My suggestions: I love my Dalby jacket (worn here) and also this Ayra jacket is gorgeous. I also love the Balfern in green suede. Like, a lot. 

PS. If your size isn't available, check Nordstrom! They price match.


ATHLETA

20% off everything and 30% off sweatshirts, joggers and sleepwear.

My suggestions: 100% the Triumph printed hoodie and the Brooklyn joggers


IT COSMETICS

30% off sitewide and an extra 10% off plus 50% off the CC+ Cream and more It Cosmetics faves.

My suggestions: My favorite concealer and this magic eye cream for a thin layer under it!


J.CREW

40% off your purchase plus an extra 60% off sale.

My suggestions: Still eyeing this sweater blazer and basically everything I posted about here


MADEWELL

30% off your purchase plus 40% off sale with code CLICKCLICK.

My suggestions: I desperately want these mid-rise stovepipe jeans and these lugsole boots, please. 


LOFT

Free shipping plus up to 60% off everything plus an extra 15% off your purchase with code CYBER

My suggestion: Love this cozy sherpa-lined denim jacket!


BANANA REPUBLIC FACTORY

60% off everything plus an extra 15% off purchase plus free shipping on all orders. 

My suggestion: Check out this pretty metallic dress (with sleeves!) for holiday gatherings.


Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday: Read a Book/Buy a Book!

Because I'm dropping the ball hard this Black Friday (hi from Ireland!) I though I'd round up all of my book posts and encourage everyone to buy some books for gifts or for yourself. Instead of fighting over shit you don't need at Target, cozy up with a good book! Our book recs can be found in a lot of our "Stuff We Like" posts but also here:

Buy This: Books Make Great Gifts.

Stuff I Like: Thank God For Books.

Gift Guide: It's Book Time Y'all.

Gift Guide: Yay Books.

A Slightly Better Gift Guide: Books Are Awesome.

Holiday Stages of Grief Gift Guide: Bargaining.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Outfit of the Day: Out of Office.

Because I'm a part-time slacker blogger I didn't prepare at all for the two weeks I'd be out so you basically get nothing. No Black Friday list, no Sephora sale suggestions, YOU GET NOTHING. Wait, okay, I did save this one outfit from last week so you can have that. You're welcome: 


Check out my new Quince $50 cashmere sweater! It's soft as baby bunnies and the color is beautiful. I'm wearing a medium which fits perfectly but I kinda wish I'd sized up for extra slouchiness. Next time! I also own and love their crewneck cashmere sweater which I reviewed here


I'm wearing my new sweater with the very excellent Madewell Griff pants (reviewed here) and they're just such a great color and seem to work with everything. They also come in a corduroy version if you want something a bit warmer. I'm carrying my little Clare V Midi Sac because I love the contrast of color. My exact version is sold out but there's one on Poshmark and this more demure cutie is way marked down on Nordstrom Rack and so is this leopard version! This is a great little bag, y'all. 


Okay, fine, it is November so I am also wearing my AllSaints Dalby jacket and my new little cashmere beanie from Quince. It's pretty fucking cute, right?  I am feeling okay about all of this even if it's giving me very slight lumberjack vibes:


Last thing, I'm wearing my Gorjana Parker wrap necklace all tangled up with my little lapis necklace.  Totally meant to do that.