Tuesday, January 22, 2019

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): J.Crew Is Hurting My Feelings.

Hi! I am back from a visit to Marianne and we are cooking up all kinds of good things for the blog. In the meantime, J.Crew is aggressively on sale and offering a bunch of discounts with code GOFOR IT including 70% off select sale items and I’ve been trying VERY HARD to ignore this. Very, very hard. I don’t neeeeeed anything. But ugh, y’all. My velour lined hoodie is now 60% off and costs less than $25. I HAVE ONE ALREADY. I DON’T NEED ANOTHER ONE. I also don’t need all this good stuff that’s 70% off. (Caveat: a lot of it is final sale, but this is the time when you weirdoes who wisely buy gifts all year long will clean up.)


Are you cold? I am freezing and wish I had this cape/scarf combo draped over my office chair.


These are so fun! And so cheap! A good way to try out denim trends. 


This little gold Italian Leather dopp kit is $20. Come on, y'all. 


A nice crepe shift dress that also comes in black (but I like the red a lot.) 


These sparkly nuggets come in four colors and are under $10. Guess what you're getting for Xmas? 


If you don't want to spring for Lo&Sons, this is not a bad option. Also in camo! 


This scarf is big and crazy, but for the price? WHY NOT, I SAY. (Lenny would be proud.) 


Hi, I have been wanting this dumb thing for EVERRRRR. Now it's $12 and taunting me.



You will thank me next summer for enabling the purchase of this adorable star-print top.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Weekend Window Shopping: I Am Still Obsessed With Ankle Boots. Sorry.

I like ankle boots and I cannot lie. It took me about zero seconds to find EIGHT PAIRS that I would gladly have in my closet. This is a problem and now it's your problem:

       

     

Cute Boy Friday: Royal Adjacent Edition

M: Uh Kate Middleton’s brother just made his insta public and he’s like a hotter bearded Jude Law in the holiday but with dogs instead of kids:

A: HOLD PLS

A: OH COME ON

M: I am deceased

A: πŸ‘»

A: 


M: I was literally just liking that one

A: It’s unholy

M: 

A: I WAS JUST OOGLING THAT ONE

M: Good grief

M: This is not okay

A: I AM NOT OKAY MARIANNE

M: There’s your cute boy Friday

A: Oh, heck yes

M: Royal adjacent edition

A: Sigh:


M: OKAY I ACCEPT

A: I can’t stop:


A: I want to go to there.

M: Same

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Marianne: Because Saving the Planet is Just As Fun Shopping for Clothes?

Hey guys! This is maybe not the sexiest post (although hell, y'all got pretty excited about Adrien's laundry detergent), but I wanted to write a bit about something we've done in the past year that has made me feel really good--cutting down the amount of single-use plastics we consume. See? SEXAY. But seriously, we recycle and use reusable grocery bags, but I've been feeling for a while that we could do more. Interested in what I've bought and how it works for us? Giddyup.




How we gave up paper towels (maybe for good?)

As the owners of pets and small children (yes, I own them until they are 18), we used to go through a lot of paper towels. And while they are totally biodegradable, they are still made from trees and the process to make them is not great, Bob. But man, they are so CONVENIENT and sometimes you really, really want to throw whatever disgusting thing you've wiped up AWAY. Enter: the shop towel. A 50 pack of these runs you $15 and they are the exact size of a paper towel. I keep the clean ones in an attractive wire basket on the counter, and the dirty ones get tossed in a bin (you know the ones) under the sink. I figured it needed to be as easy to grab and dispose of these as it is to grab and throw away a paper towel, and guess what? It's working! The biggest key to success, and I realize this sounds like a no-brainer, is to not have paper towels on the counter. 50 shop towels lasts longer than you'd think, we wash them about once a week. So easy!



Eff Tupperware, y'all.

I HATE PLASTIC CONTAINERS. Not only do I feel like I'm probably slowly killing myself every time I microwave one for lunch, I hate how they scratch up, how they hold smells and stains, and how they inevitably take different sized lids that you lose. I just Marie Kondo-d my container cabinet and got rid of a whole box of lids and bottoms that didn't go together. My favorite containers for leftovers and lunches are these Pyrex containers, so you know what I did? I got rid of every container I hated and ordered more of these. It's like the tupperware version of when I went nuclear on my underwear drawer. Now every time I open the cabinet, I am happy. Don't you want that happiness for yourselves? Look at those pretty colors! So satisfying.



Deliver me from Ziploc bags.

God, what's more convenient than a dang ziploc bag? Confession: my brother-in-law gives us a case of these amazing Ziploc plastic bags every year and we use them with abandon. DON'T WORRY I FEEL RULL BAD ABOUT IT. So, we're trying these and these out. So far, so good, although we washed the smaller ones on the top rack of the dishwasher as advised and now they are really hard to zip closed. I think we'll hand wash from now on.



It's Not Just Reusable Shopping Bags.

So, we've all been using reusable grocery bags forever, right? RIGHT? (I use ancient Envirosax that I've had for a million years.) But what about produce bags? Some places use biodegradable versions (thank you Trader Joes), but I still want to do better. I ordered these mesh bags off Amazon, and so far so good. It can be tricky to see the label through the bag when you're checking out, but we can all handle that, can't we? I love that there are different sizes because it makes me crazy to put one jalapeno in a huge bag.




BUT THINK OF THE TURTLES!

I am not sure what took us so long to realize that plastic straws are, like, not so great for the planet, but when I watched a poor sweet sea turtle have one pried out of his nose, I was like welp. Not doing that any more. Problem is, I love straws. And my kids love straws. The kids like these silicone straws  but I find they taste a little soapy, probably because we run them through the dishwasher because who has time to HAND WASH STRAWS NOT IT. Anyway! I like the idea of stainless steel straws but don't like how they feel on my teeth. And so, I finally found my super special snowflake straws, these stainless straws that have a little silicone tip. I bought this multipack, but my favorites are the bendy straws so I will probably buy more of those.

I know, these are just drops in the bucket, but if we all tried to cut back on single use products it would eventually make a big impact. It also saves money and you have less trash to take out, which is a win win. I'm not exactly on the reusable toilet paper level of environmental awareness, but I feel good that I've successfully implemented these practices in my home. What are y'all doing? Is ANYONE cutting out toilet paper? That's where I draw the line but tell me everything. Not everything. You know.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Outfit of The Day: Should I Keep It?

Hey! Remember back a few weeks ago when I bought some stuff during the Madewell sale? Everything was 40% off plus I had a $25 birthday reward and I bought these things for very little money:


I'm wearing the Texture & Thread Crepe Wrap Top and the 9" High-Rise Skinny Jeans in York Wash: Rip and Repair Edition. I like both of these items with some reservations. Perhaps y'all can help me?


First, the wrap top. I love the color, the material is nice quality and it's machine washable! But is it flattering? I bought a medium and wonder if it's too big through the shoulders (a common problem for me, the shoulderless wonder.) However, it's RULL short so I wouldn't want to lose any length. What say you all? Here's a detail shot:


Is it a keeper or is it doing weird things to my chest? Just in case you were wondering, I'm wearing my Argento Vivo labradorite necklace (pretty similar here) and my Miansai fish hook necklace. Now, the jeans

I like nearly everything about these jeans. They're good, weighty denim, the distressing is perfect and the color is great. But...I think I should've sized down. They bag a little round my knees and I was already hitching them up minutes after putting them on. So, I think keepers if I can exchange for a size down? Here's a closeup from the side:


What do you think? I haven't figured out how to wear released hem jeans with boots, so I dug out my Sam Edelman flats (a Poshmark purchase) and was really pleased with how they look. I think I'm sick of boots, y'all. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tutorial: How To Buy on Poshmark

I think a lot of us has this first experience on Poshmark: Find item you’ve been searching for. Get excited and create an account. Crab scramble back out of there when 8,000 screeching ponytails welcome you to Poshmark like this:

 πŸŒΈπŸŒΈπŸŒΈπŸ˜˜πŸŒΈπŸŒΈπŸŒΈ Welcome to Poshmark!!! I am here to answer any questions you may have. Let me know! πŸŒΈπŸ˜˜πŸŒΈπŸ˜€πŸŒΈπŸ˜˜πŸŒΈ

TERRIFYING. I actually joined the first time to ask someone to stop stealing my blog images so I already had a bad attitude. Then I was like, maybe I can find something good to buy. The above happened and I was like:




OR, your first experience is something like this:  Find item you’ve been searching for on Poshmark. Get excited and create an account. Buy the thing. Wait for thing to arrive. Realize gradually that thing is never going to arrive. Cancel order two weeks later and get your money back. Boo, you’ve fallen victim to an inactive seller!  Swear off Poshmark forever.

I eventually dove back in to sell and didn’t start buying until much later.  It’s daunting to start but once you get past the initial culture shock, it can be really great.

The culture:

Poshmark isn’t eBay. It’s built on a social media type platform that encourages communication and friendliness. Sellers are encouraged to “follow” new people and to welcome them, which is why when you initially create an account you get overwhelmed with weird comments. Let it ride. Don’t worry about it. Nobody really expects a reply. Follow some people if you like their closet. Move on to the shopping!

Your profile: 

If nothing else, put in your size and brand preferences. This will help your searches and it will set the algorithm to show you brands you’re interested in.

How to shop:

If you’re looking for something specific, say a pair of Madewell coated jeans, search for them using the most specific search options you can because the search engine kinda sucks. Definitely select the brand and color because just typing them in doesn't narrow it down enough.

Yay, you found ten pairs of Madewell coated jeans! The first listings that come up at the top of the page are probably active seller accounts. Consider those first. The further down the page you go, the older the listings. Sellers keep listings active by self-sharing them a few times a day (which is tedious but it bumps up the listing to the top.) So, you can probably count on the top level seller being active.

If you find something that looks like an older listing there are a few ways to see if the seller is still active. First, go to their About page:



And see when they were last active:



If it was October 2017, do not buy this thing. Another way to check is to make an offer or ask a question on the listing. If you get an answer or a response to your offer, you’ve got an active seller. Yay!

Also, read the love notes to get a sense of the seller’s style. Obviously love notes are positive reviews (you don’t get to see the negative ones) but you can find out a lot about the seller that way. If there aren’t any love notes, it may just mean the seller is new.

Look for listings with good, clear pictures of the actual item and some information about the condition. If there isn’t any, ASK. Always ask. If you’re uncertain about a seller, don’t forget to check out their “meet your posher” entry if they have one:


Go to this page and read the comments below - people sometimes like to air their grievances here, so its the best way to see if the person you’re buying from is a straight shooter or a wackadoodle. I also like to check out their stats:


Anyone with a really high average shipping time is generally not taking their closet seriously. You might get your item but it'll probably take a while.

Making an offer: 

Now! Unless the seller says the price is firm, they’re probably open to offers. Always make an offer but don’t lowball - it’s considered rude and you might get yourself blocked. You want to make an offer that gives room for a reasonable counter-offer. You can also just like the item and hope for a private discount offer with a shipping discount but if you really want the item, go ahead and make an offer.

When making an offer please remember that Poshmark takes 20% (or a flat $2.95 from items under $15) and most shipping discounts come out of the seller’s pocket. As a seller, I’m always happy to be flexible on price but I am also trying to make a profit!

Leaving a rating:

First, please look your item over as soon as possible and if you’re happy, go to the site and click accept. Otherwise the seller has to wait a full three days to get funds released. Also, leave a rating! If the item came promptly, was well-packed and is as described, please leave five stars. Reasons to not leave five stars:

- the seller didn’t ship out within a reasonable time (Posh suggests three days)
- the item was thrown in a box or envelope with no protection
- the item is dirty, damaged or otherwise not as described

These are not good reasons to leave a low rating:

- the item doesn’t fit you
- USPS took a long time to deliver
- you got a package without ribbons, a thank you note or a free gift

Poshmark doesn’t allow returns for fit so PLEASE ask for measurements if you’re not sure. If the seller won’t give you any, just buy from someone else or take your chances. If the item is damaged, stained, dirty or otherwise not as described and you want to return it, you can open a case with Poshmark.

Opening a case:

You’ll get an opportunity to state your case, the seller can respond and Poshmark will decide if a return is allowed. Posh generally seems to side with the buyer, but not always. Just be calm and polite and keep to the facts. Address your issues to Poshmark, not to the buyer. Also, if you email Poshmark about an issue, do not email repeatedly because it’ll send you to the bottom of the queue. One and done and be patient - Posh is staffed by four distracted tween otters so don’t expect too much.

Poshmark can be a weird, frustrating world but it can also be a lot of fun. I have found some really wonderful things and also gotten some ridiculous bargains. Give it a try with some caution and find your holy grail items!


Coming up next week: How to sell on Poshmark!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Our Biggest Sellers from 2018.

Kim France recently posted about her best sellers from 2018, a list of the top items her readers purchased. Marianne and I loved that post for it's transparency so we decided to copy her idea (sorry, Kim) and post our own list.

For a bit of transparency of our own - it's no secret that this blog makes money from the items you click on, though earlier last year it switched from a click-only rate to straight commissions. We strive to always be open about the model and appreciate that you guys are generous enough to click through because you certainly don't have to. And hey, some of the items we link are things we love, like the Lo & Sons backpack, that aren't part of the commission network. We're posting about it because we want to let you know about something good and we want to keep things real and genuine. It's not all about the money but it definitely helps to keep the blog going, so thank you.

ANYWAY, enough chatter, here are our best sellers from 2018:



Le Labo Santal 33. Marianne really enabled you all with this fragrance, me included! Did you love it or decide it wasn't for you? Fragrance is personal so it may not have been a winner for everyone but she loves it so much that we just had to know, eh?



Universal Thread Denim Jacket. Marianne discovered it, I copied her. We both love it and I posted about this one recently because it was one of my favorite purchases from 2018. I sincerely hope y'all dig it as much as we do.



J.Crew for the Wildlife Conservation Society whale T-shirt. Oh man, I love this shirt so much and you all did too! Wear your whales with pride. (I wore it in this post.)



Nike Free RN. Quite a few of you bought my favorite Nikes...and quite a few of you returned them. I totally get it, shoes are tough that way. For me, Nike generally fits very well so it's usually a safe brand for me, but I'm sure it's not a good fit for everyone but I hope they worked for a few of you!



Universal Thread Hardware hoop earrings. These were Marianne's favorite inexpensive earrings and y'all snapped them up! They're still available on the Target website, too.



The Madewell 9" High-Rise Skinny Jeans: Tencel Edition. I have talked about these jeans a lot so I'll just say they're still 100% my favorite pair of jeans and hopefully those of you who bought them are similarly enamored.


Differin Gel. This stuff is just the bomb and it's available at the drugstore now! Magic.



True & Co True Body Lift Bra. I mean, y'all. I know this is the least attractive thing I've ever posted but I freaking love it and a lot of you bought it too!  I hope it worked for you because I've bought several since I wrote that post and I love them a lot. (If you're a new customer you can go through my link for $15 off your first order. Full disclosure: I also get $15 credit.)



J.Crew Sophie open-front sweater blazer. This was a year-end addition and  a very popular suggestion from Marianne. She has been wearing hers a ton and I'm still contemplating it. (I got the velour-lined hoodie instead which quite a few of you have bought during the current clearance sale. Makes me proud.)