Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: More GAP Picks.

As Marianne and I discussed, Gap has some surprisingly great items in for spring! Today only code ONEDAY will get you 40% off your purchase (cardmembers get an extra 10% off on top of that with code MORE) plus 2% cashback with eBates! Here's what I particularly like:

Deep Thoughts About Shopping.

M: I think I should return the second pair of blush pink suede mules and just get these:

M: I am going to ruin them either way.

A: Those are cute! As long as they're wearable, I approve this strategy.

M: I am also rather inexplicably drawn to these:

A: Hmm, they challenge me but I get it.

M: With cutoffs and a floaty top.

A: Yes!

M: Feeling it.

A: I love the color.

M: Super comfy.

M: Gap has some cute spring dresses too. It's weird.

A: Right?? What is happening.

A: Those little shirt dresses:

A: So short, tho.

M: That's a shorty for sure.

A: Some of the embroidered dresses are cute:

M: I love the denim looking one with the tassel:

A: Love. Why $90 dress, Gap?

M: I know, too much.

A: It'll be near-free soon enough.

M: I can wait.

M: I do like the shoes tho.

A: Get those!

M: We see

A: Shopping is hard.

M: It is.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stuff I Like: Recipes + Reading/Watching/Listening

If you like to cook on a regular basis you probably have a favorite few recipes for easy, foolproof weeknight meals, right? I'm going to share two of mine. First: Mark Bittman’s Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish. This takes no time to make and is utterly delicious. As he claims, it’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or stuffed into tacos. I usually serve the shrimp over rice and pair it with steamed or roasted broccoli. It's great for a quick weeknight or a weekend date night meal. It's one of the few recipes that I pretty much make as written.

For a vegetarian option I give you Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw. I've been making this one for years and don't remember if I just found it online or if someone (Kate?) suggested it to me. It's easy, inexpensive and really delicious. Don't skip the chipotle hot sauce! I even add it in with the mashed beans. This recipe is great as written but I add the feta in on top of the beans while the tacos are cooking, then fold and flip. The feta gets slightly melty and it makes for better all over cheese ratio. I sometimes make this slaw instead of the one in the recipe but either one works.

This is nothing new but my favorite show to watch when I just want to stare at the TV and not have to follow a plot is Esquire network's The Getaway. There are only two seasons and they've been re-running them but they're also OnDemand if you have cable. If not, all the episodes are on the website. My absolutely favorite is Seth and Josh Meyer's in Amsterdam because those boys are charming AF. I think I've watched that one three or four times. Stop judging me. I also really like David Koechner In Dublin, Eve in Kingston, Rashida Jones in London, and Josh Gad in NYC.  There are a few dud episodes (hi, Adam Pally) but on the whole it’s a great show and if you one day hope to travel the world like me you’ll love seeing the insider tips from locals.

I'm not reading anything new since last week so I thought I'd compile a list of the very excellent recommendations you guys gave me for novels set during WWII:

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (I’ve read this! Pilcher is my favorite comfort-read author.)
The Night Watch and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (I've read The Little Stranger so I'm excited about The Night Watch. Ooh, gothic.)

So appreciated! And, despite my negative review of Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, I can highly recommend a few of her earlier books, specifically To Say Nothing of the Dog and Doomsday Book. Both are about time travel...sort of. (They involve time traveling Oxford historians, so it's sci-fi but in the most bookish way.) She's an excellent writer and her early stuff is definitely worth checking out.

S-Town!! I was absolutely going to talk about something that wasn't a podcast this week but then I started into S-Town and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. Are you listening to this? It's from the creators of Serial and it's bonkers. I'm only a few episodes in so please, no spoilers. It's incredibly compelling and disturbing and completely fascinating. Definitely give it a listen!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BUY THIS (Real Quick): TJ Maxx MBMJ Finds!

Pretty much every week I check out the TJ Maxx website to see if I can find any good bargains and holy shit, you guys, THE MARC JACOBS SO MUCH MBMJ IT IS KILLING MEEEEE.


The Too Hot To Handle Hobo! They have it in two colors! It's under $200! It's the best bag! I have two! I can't stop with the exclamation points! PLEASE BUY THIS.  [Edit: I looked closer at all the pictures and they're showing pics of two different versions of this bag - the open version pictured above, which is what I have, and the update that is slightly bigger and has a top zipper. This is SUPER annoying because I have no idea which version they're selling. If anyone bought it, please report back!]

Also! They have the big satchel version AND the small satchel version in the same pale grey. Eep. They also have the large Natasha in a gorgeous dark blue:

Marc Jacobs does the most beautiful blues, I swear. AND there is this beautiful black MBMJ Revolution crossbody bag that I can't stop looking at:

This is just a really good bag, right? Basically the perfect size for all your stuff but still very sleek. SIGH.  

Those are my big finds! There is a bunch of other MBMJ - the mini Natasha, a metallic coin pouch, a nylon tote, wallet, another wallet, a watchtiny crossbodycosmetic bags, etc. I already talked about some of this recently but that Too Hot To Handle hobo basically killed me dead. (My ghost is writing this.)

PS. For makeup freaks there are a few bits of Nars cosmetics: lipstick, powder, blush, eyeshadow, and a single Lipstick Queen pencil

I am going to take a nap now. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Adrien: So Frenchy.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to dress like a French stereotype so put on my best striped shirt and my Frenchiest bag and...a scarf:

We'll talk about the scarf in a minute. My shirt is the Everlane heavyweight tee which I bought a few years ago and have worn pretty consistently. It's quietly become quite a staple in my wardrobe just by being the right amount of oversized and easy to wear. It's not hard to find a great breton striped top - this one at Boden looks perfect and this color block version at the Gap is interesting. Or, if you want to be fancy you could go for an amazing KULE shirt. But, I'll just say that the Everlane heavyweight is really solid and at $45 it's not terribly expensive. Now, the scarf:

It's super cute, right? My friend Crystal made it and I've had it for years. I'm not sure I'm a neckerchief kind of person (though I like it better in the pics) so instead I put it on my bag

Much better! I switched it out for a giant Ann Taylor tassel necklace because that's how I do. My cropped pants are Banana Republic and they have moto detailing that never shows up in the photos. I believe they're the Sloan fit? Pretty basic stuff but I wear them a lot. In searching for a similar pair I found these ponte moto pants at Athleta and now I'm like, well, I need those. Dammit. Details:

Ann Taylor has a lot of tassel jewelry right now including this pearlized pendant (which I like even though I'm not a fan of pearls), this really cute seed bead tassel that comes in several colors and this tassel/charm combo which I totally want. There's also this rope tassel thing but it confuses me. My ring is Alexis Bittar and my bracelet is the modern screw cuff from Bijouone.

My bag is my trusty old LV epi leather Speedy. It's such a classic and always fun to carry. You need a red satchel, right? I'm not generally a Kors fan but this one is just damn nice and the price on this Ralph Lauren satchel is also quite nice. My bargain pick is this cute red turnlock satchel at TJ Maxx!

Finally, my flats. They're the Sidewalk Skimmer which Madewell has stopped carrying because everything is terrible. They do currently have some ballet flats but they're not my skimmers. If you want purpley-blue suede flats, maybe this pair by Ralph Lauren or these by Sam Edelman? Alas, the skimmers were the best. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

(BUY THIS) Because I Can't: LOFT Spring Sale.

LOFT is having a really good sale right now and I'm taking it personally. Like, they have some nerve putting all this cute stuff on sale when I'm not shopping. Currently they're taking an automatic 40% off select spring items and all sale styles, plus use eBates for 4% cash back! My favorite filigree mixed media top is included in the sale, as is the awesome leopard utility blouse.  Thanks for nothing, LOFT.  Here are some other items that I'm mad about not owning:

This blouse. On-trend blush color? Check. Utility blouse style I love? Check. Cute as hell print? CHECK. Ugh.

Do I need a flippy shirtdress with a bee print? Probably not. Do I want a flippy shirtdress with a bee print? Most definitely.

This Blossom Flutter Dress is not quite my style but I'm crazy about the vintage floral print soooo maybe? 

These crop denim leggings in a light wash are just the thing to wear with your cute print blouse (sadly, her blouse is not on sale):

This fine knit open cardigan is the perfect summer layer and comes in five colors. LE SIGH

Oh, what a surprise, another slouchy striped shirt with drop shoulders. SHUT UP I JUST WANT IT OKAY.

And, here's the shell version of my Tiled Henley top (also on sale) which always gets me compliments. 

There's also some really cute jewelry included in the sale so I'll leave you to it. Don't mind me! Just off to cry quietly in a corner now. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: Sandals at Zappos!

Zappos is one of my favorite places to order shoes because they're shipping is super fast, they have a great return policy and the customer reviews have helped me pick a size more than once. I've definitely been window shopping for sandals this week and apparently I really want metallic sandals. And pom poms. I mean, really, who doesn't. Here's what I've been checking out:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stuff I Like: Fancy Candles + Reading/Watching/Listening

I think I mentioned recently that I had an Anthro gift card burning a hole in my pocket. I should have saved it for spring or used it to re-purchase my favorite Sunday Riley moisturizer but instead I used it to buy something that's a definitely a non-essential luxury: fancy candles.

I am really picky about scented things, so candle shopping for me is a ridiculous process of sniffing and over-thinking and sniffing and walking away and sniffing and wincing and sniffing and ugh. It's just a damn candle, Adrien.

Mostly, I like Anthropologie candles because they're SO PRETTY. They're not just candles, they're nice objects as well. I ended up buy this one by Candlefish because it brought me joy. It smells really good but it's very subtle when lit and doesn't make your whole room smell like Anthro. I also bought this one for the kitchen because it smells just exactly like basil:

I do sometimes like a candle that will make your entire room smell nice and for that I have this one by Voluspa:

it's got three wicks so you can go full candle or just a little bit candle as needed. Mostly I just really like the hygge aspect of lighting a few candles when I settle down in the evening. If I don't feel like dealing with the real thing this LED pillar from Target is comfortingly candle-like without the risk of burning down the building. Yay.

You GUYS. So much excitement because the third season of Grace & Frankie comes out this Friday on Netflix! I am a huge fan of this show (which I'm pretty sure I've talked about before) and I've rewatched the first two seasons to prepare. I love the dynamic between Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and Tomlin's wardrobe is amazing and deserves it's own credit. My favorite character, however, is Brianna because she's so unapologetically mean and it makes me laugh and laugh. (YES.)

This is probably really lame but I've finally gotten around to reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. So far I'm really enjoying it! I have a weakness for books set in WWII England and I like a story told via correspondence so this has been a fun read. It does have a lot of characters to keep track of but mostly that doesn’t matter because it's easy to follow and the main character is a likeable smartass.

If books set in WWII England/London is your thing too, I can also recommend: The Land Girls by Angela Huth, Life After Life and A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson, and Shake Down the Stars by Frances Donnelly.

(I know someone is going to pipe up about Connie Willis and her two volume insanity Blackout/All Clear but I beg of you, please don't. I used to love Connie Willis but this book stressed me out so badly and I’m still mad about it. Can someone please get her an editor? Because she is a good writer but two full volumes of people running around trying to get back to modern day was unnecessary. I love time travel and I love WWII England but damn. EDIT.)

Another podcast recommendation for you guys! The Penguin Podcast is so great, you guys. They're interviews with writers and in the earlier ones the interviewer is Richard E. Grant who I adore. I highly recommend the Kate Atkinson episode and Neil Gaiman is always a good time. Oh! And definitely listen to the Emma Kennedy episode too. Hilarious.

That's it for this week! Please let me know if you have a recommendation to add. I love hearing from you guys.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Return of Tiny Monk Hands

M: I need you to find me some good eye cream options because I keep looking at this and need to be stopped:

A: If you buy that Goop crap I will be really mad at you. You read the interview about luring out parasites with milk, right? You definitely have a parasite and they love milk!



M: I wonder what eye cream Blythe Danner uses...

A: OMG. I mean, I use some crap from Target because I get all overwhelmed by choice.

M: ...

A: Fine. This one has peat in it and the word "miracle." Miracle dirt! For your eyes!

A: Also! Your monk creme has an eye version but it's so stupidly expensive that I'm mad at it.

M: I finished the monk creme and my skin hates me and I hate everything including monks maybe most of all.

A: Now I'm afraid to recommend anything because I don't want your skin to hate me.

M: My eyessssssssss heeeeeellllllllllppppppp meeeeeeee Gooooooooooppppppp

A: Shit, the bossy British lady loves it.


A: BUT, I question lemon juice as the second ingredient. What even.

M: Now I'm looking at this.

M: But now this oh help.

A: I would always try the less expensive option first, but the Tata Harper stuff looks really nice.

M: What I will do is continue to just smear my non-monk inferior face moisturizer under my eyes and lament how they look like a crone's.

A: Hey, that's what I do. I think a better use of your funds would be to hire a tiny-handed monk to pat-pat-pat it under your eyes.

M: Pat pat go the monk hands.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Adrien: In-Between Weather.

It's neither cold nor hot. Damp but not really raining. It's spring but only sort of and I can't even tell you how much I hate all my winter clothes right now. This little Aritzia dress is kind of perfect for in-between, though. It's a dress...ish, but requires the coverage of leggings:

And let's be clear - what I'm wearing might be called a dress, but it's a tunic. It's the Aritzia Babaton Bennett which was recommended to me by long time reader Ally. I got mine on eBay (there are quite a few right now) and I'm always keeping an eye out for another. A silk shirtdress is a nice thing to have! Equipment has one (love the snakeskin version) and Everlane has a striped version which looks kind of...something. For a non-silk option I love this one at Lou & Grey and this sleeveless version from Gap has the prettiest print and it comes in a solid coral color too.

It's not at all apparent in the photos but I'm wearing my Spanx faux leather leggings. I like that they have a bit of shine to them but I'm limited on how to wear them. Definitely not pants. Apparently they now come in an antique rose color which I don't hate? I can't even begin to imagine what I'd wear those with. What is wrong with me? Moving on: 

OH YEAH. Threw on a giant cardigan and ruined everything immediately. This isn't just any shapeless cardigan, it's my Eileen Fisher open cardigan in midnight. I love it despite how sack-like it appears. It's basically this one which is a really great price! (It runs big, so that XS is really a S/M.) There are more similar EF cardigans on sale here and also here. It's just a nice thing to have and mine often lives on my desk chair just in case. Details:

I'm wearing my big chunky DylanLex necklace I got in my winter Box of Style which is super fun and so different from my usual thing. This DylanLex choker is pretty similar but you don't have to spend all that! This gorgeous chunker over at Banana Republic is so similar! I dig it. My bracelet is ancient and I would recommend something much more current - like this Minkoff version. Ooh.

My bag is a Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot To Hold Hobo and Gilt has it in very pretty peach right now! It's a great bag. My boots are, of course, the Madewell Lucien and they're on clearance. My review is here if you need more info. (Hint: just buy them already.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

BUY THIS (Because I Can't): Spring Is Killing Me.

It is basically my life that I decided not to buy things at almost exactly the same time I discovered Spring. I think it shows enormous restraint that I have NOT BOUGHT ANYTHING from this website yet, despite a million reasons to do so: free shipping/returns, 6% cashback with eBates, and code SPRING10 for 10% off first time orders. Also, if you go through my referral link you'll get $20 off your first Spring purchase of $75 or more!

It took a bit of research to figure it out but Spring works as a middleman, so all orders ship directly from the retailer. This is great if you want a single item from Everlane but don't want to pay shipping. Just buy it through Spring! I KNOW. (I promise they're not paying me to write this stuff- I just really like a good deal with my online shopping. I'm still mad I missed the triple eBates weekend. I can't even talk about it.) Anyway, I created a Spring wishlist for that day when I can shop again and here's what I really like:

I've been talking about replacing my leopard flats for ages and this pair by Shoes of Prey fulfill my leopard flat checklist in nearly every way. HEART EYE EMOJI.

This crazy Alice + Olivia dress is deeply on sale and rull crazy. I can't stop looking at it. 

Hi there boatneck striped shirt from Everlane. You are my kryptonite. Stop haunting me. 

Oh, just my favorite perfume of all time that I'm nearly out of. And other Jo Malone things I might want. 


I keep meaning to try this RMS luminizer but I'm not sure it's worth the price. But it might be?

Bombas is on Spring! I love the Invisibles no-show liners which are magic and actually stay put. 

This skiiiiirrrrrt. I only have two skirts and neither are denim a-line. Is amazing. Sigh.

Tempting,  right? Here's the info again so you don't have to scroll up to the top: Free shipping and (mostly) free returns, 6% cashback with eBates, and code SPRING10 for 10% off first time orders. Also, if you go through my referral link you'll get $20 off your first Spring purchase of $75 or more!

There are also special deals and discounts today on items marked with a tulip emoji as well because it's the first day of spring and... oh. Just got that.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: TJ Maxx Finds!

TJ Maxx has some good new stuff in and is offering free shipping today! Among the good new stuff is a fresh crop of MBMJ bags including the New Q Natasha CrossbodyNew Q Mini Natasha and the New Q Percy, as well as some cosmetic bags and a cute double strap watch. I also have my eye on these things:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Stuff I Like: Bkr Bottle + Reading/Watching/Listening

Okay, look. I know. I am about to sing the praises of an over-priced water bottle, but hear me out. The most recent Box of Style included a 500 ml size Bkr bottle and I was not very excited about it until I started using it. It's a glass bottle covered with a silicone sleeve and has a looped plastic cap. That's it. Only, it's somehow perfect. It feels good to hold, the opening is very small so water doesn't sploosh out when you drink too fast, and you guys? Drinking out of glass is just better. Even though I roll my eyes REAL HARD at the description of this fancy water bottle as a "beauty accessory" that's "made of soda-lime glass" as if that's some kind of fancy artisanal product and not just REGULAR OLD GLASS, still! I love it and I'm definitely drinking more water because of it.

The Bkr that came in the box is a very on-trend fleshy-blush color. Marianne loves the color but I don't know that it's very me. I am already plotting my next bottle and how cute is this one with the little silver stars? I also love the more intense colors like this purple version and oooh, green. Not so sure about the spiked version.

Bkr bottles come in three sizes and I think the "little" (500 ml) is a perfect everyday size though of course I want all three. Shut up. I also just realized my Box of Style came with a $10 off coupon for Bkr that I'm pretty sure I threw away. Womp.

So, remember how I said last week that the SRSLY podcast introduces me to shows I'd never have found otherwise? One of those is a funny little comedy called The Detectorists. Both seasons are available on Netflix and it is very, very easy to binge. It stars Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones as a couple of nerdy friends who metal detect in the English countryside as a hobby. It's just a sweet, funny show full of likeable oddball characters. Highly recommend.

I often read two books at once, especially if one of the books is very heavy. My current fluff read is Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Yep, I am totally one of those people who likes modern books influenced by Jane Austen, but only if it's done well. (I mean, Bridget Jones Diary? That is a great book.)

Eligible is your perfect beach read- it's entertaining but doesn't insult your intelligence. If you enjoyed The Royal We, you will probably enjoy Eligible. If you want something a bit more literary, I highly suggest Longbourn by Jo Baker. Longbourn is the downstairs servants retelling of Pride and Prejudice though really, Longbourn is just the setting for a totally separate story. It's really, really good.

If you don't lean left this one might not be for you, but it's definitely for me. I've been listening to Pod Save America, a political podcast hosted by a bunch of former Obama and Clinton speechwriters and spokesmen who do a great job of explaining what's happening with the Trump presidency and how things are Definitely Not Normal. It's very entertaining and I feel more informed from listening to it. My only complaint is that it's a little... dude-heavy. They do often have women as guests (the episode with Katie Couric was very good) and there's also With Friends Like These, a new podcast under the same umbrella hosted by Ana Marie Cox. It's all about exploring the uncomfortable conversations around politics and I've been enjoying it quite a bit.

That's it for this week! Thanks to everyone who chimed in last week with support for this new feature and also for sharing your dreamy Colson Whitehead stories. Eeeeee.