Friday, June 30, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: We Are All Made of Stars.

I was going to do an Independence Day stars-and-stripes theme thingy for today's post but I push stripes on you guys a lot and thought maybe I'd give them the weekend off. Instead, I'm going to get really into stars for a minute. I love stars. I have one tattooed on my body. But, when it comes to apparel star prints can go either way and placement is super important. Here are a few star-related things that I think get it exactly right:

This is basically my perfect comfy pre-lounge/lounge/apres lounge star print top.

This adorable summer tote is on sale at Gilt! Please remove the ugly charm and you're good to go.

Oh, Gap. You are doing the star print bikini just right. (There's also a tank version.)

I'm confident you won't regret buying these Rebecca Minkoff star earrings (which are on sale, duh.)

If you've always wanted a pair of star-print jeans, this is absolutely the way to do it. 

These Loeffler Randall sandals are way too expensive for what they are but uhhhhhnnnhhhh. Want. 

This adorable gauzy star print scarf at Barney's is marked down to $35! Wear it year round. I would.

Would I buy this overrated highlighter again because of the "collector's edition" star print? Probably. 

A fun casual dress that you could wear to a 4th party without feeling like you're wearing a flag.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stuff I Like: Charley Harper plus Reading/Watching

Oh, Charley Harper. I know it's very MCM hipster to love Charley Harper but I DO. I really do. This is a man who loves cardinals as much as I do! And otters and raccoons. I have a big Charley Harper calendar in my office and the June pic is a bunch of black bears eating blackberriesEep! The calendar also came with three sheets of CH stickers that I use for decorating wrapped gifts because who doesn't want a flat otter on their gift? Nobody, that's who. Also! If you have a large section of wall in need of decoration, I highly recommend a Charley Harper National Park Service poster. They are huge and really beautiful! I have the Sierra Range poster in my dining room. 

The Land of Nod has a whole Charley Harper collection meant for children I guess but tbh I would LOVE this little stuffed cardinal like a LOT. A LOT LOT. AND RACCOON BOWLING AND A RACCOON SHELF ARE YOU KIDDING ME. YOU GUYS I AM ALL-CAPS INTO THIS. PS. TIGER THROW PILLOW.

I might need a nap.

I'm still into my summer of easy reading and just started re-reading A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. It's informative and funny and also just a good story. Reading it always makes me want to hike the AT but does not make me want to go camping because I am just not a camper. Please do not attempt to convert me I am not camping. Anyway, Bill Bryson is generally a solid bet if you want a fun, informative read. Or, if you went to art school like me and missed out on certain segments of education I recommend his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything which is quietly mind-blowing.

You guys, Orlando Soria is a goddamn nation Instagram treasure. His website and IG posts are beautiful and also hilarious but his Instagram stories (reporting from his parent's basement!) are truly giving me life. His recent stories about cauliflower pizza crust (DON'T DO IT) made me cry-laugh tbh as well as his new musical idea, Jeans for Teenz. And, if you watch enough of his stories you will start ending all your sentences with tbh. It's unavoidable tbh.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Adrien: No Wait, THIS One Is My Favorite.

Does it irritate anyone else when bloggers are like, "This whatever is my favorite!" in every post? Because how many favorites can you have? And also, how can I be guilty of this and still be irritated when other people do it? I blame Paul Ryan. 

Anyway, this little $15 dress I bought at TJ Maxx last month has gotten worn every single week since I bought it so I think it's safe to say it's my favorite. It's just so skimming and simple and is probably designed to self-destruct after the 20th wash so I'm very careful with it. 

The dress is Chelsea and Theodore and is still available in black (size S) and an odd oatmeal color (S, M,L). There's also this very similar dress by Cable & Gauge and this one which has some fun strappy detailing in the back. All under $20! As I've mentioned, the trick to wearing the cheap dress is a good slip. Commando slips are great (this one is on sale at Gilt) but I've also had good luck with this Calvin Klein version. It's a worthy investment and will solve a world of clothing problems. 

Look how happy I am! I meant to put a cardigan over this but totally forgot. I'm still wearing my cotton cardigans from two summers ago which is kind of sad, so when Banana sent me a email about how they're giving away clothes I immediately checked out the cardigan options.  This sheer snakeskin cardigan looks pretty freaking cute and hahahaaaa raffia fringe. I'm not mad at it? I don't know. This metallic cardigan is actually very cute in real life but then it literally comes apart at the seam the first time you wear it, which is not embarrassing at all. Why do I have Banana Republic Stockholm Syndrome? I never learn. Details:

My necklace is from J.Crew and, while they do have similar necklaces, I think the jewelry at Factory is way, way cuter. This Crystal Bubbles necklace is extra sparkly but I think the best bang for your statement necklace buck is this Crystal Collage necklace. So pretty! My bracelets are Giles & Brother skinny railroad spike cuffs

I'm carrying my old blue MBMJ Globetrotter hobo but there's an equally lovely blue MJ hobo on TJ Maxx right now, which I linked in my entry yesterday. There's also this bright blue MJ hobo over at Nordstrom Rack! Just saying. For my more budget-conscious readers, this blue Liz Claiborne hobo is a dead ringer for my bag and under $40! 

Finally, my clog sandals are Lotta from Stockholm peep toes and they come in a million fun colors. Yay for that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): TJ Maxx Part Two

I AM SORRY. This was supposed to be an outfit post but Nina emailed me to let me know a bunch of great bags hit the clearance section of TJ Maxx and you guys. YOU GUYS. It's really good. The bulk are, of course, MBMJ bags and it's making me feel faint:

Too Hot To Handle Leather Hobo in “storm” (God, I love this bag so much.)

Serpentine Leather Satchel

New Q Natasha Leather Crossbody

New Q Zippers Mini Natasha Leather Crossbody

New Q Huge Hillier Leather Hobo

New Q Hillier Leather Hobo in blue(!) and papyrus

Julie Crosby Leather Crossbody

Abbott & Blaze Shine Leather Crossbody

Leather Canteen Crossbody in blue, black and moss

New Too Hot To Handle Leather Hobo

Ligero Ninja Leather Tote

Ligero Leather Bucket

New Q Small Legend Leather Satchel

New Q Fran Satchel
$176.00 (This one is still cheaper on NR but going fast) 

New Q Natasha Leather Crossbody

This is by no means a complete list - I'm sure I missed a few and there are a bunch of wallets that I didn't have time to link up.

In other brands: 

KOOBA Everette Leather Small Crossbody

FOLEY + CORINNA Mid City Leather Tote

COMME DES GARCONS Mini Half Zip Patent Leather Wallet

Happy shopping! I hope y'all score some bargains.

Monday, June 26, 2017

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): TJ Maxx New Arrivals.

Every week I creep on the new arrivals at TJ Maxx so I can make sure the good bargains don't escape my grabby paws. Then, so I don't buy all of it and end up living in a van down by the river, I pass my bargain finds over to you like the enabler I am. Heh.

First, there are two VERY cute flirty summer dresses by Parker that I think are worth a look. This
Flutter Sleeve Smocked Waist dress retailed for nearly $300:

And now it's a much more reasonable $79.99 unless you want to buy it from Off 5th where it's $99.99. I can only roll my eyes. I also liked this Parker Nathan dress:

It's also $79.99. (This one is the same price at Off 5th, btw.) There wasn't a ton of good new stuff in the jewelry section but I do really like this Rachel Zoe hinge Kate bracelet:

That's pretty, right? I think so. I also freaking LOVE this Dolce Vita Lucy Satchel in plum:

It's $59.99! I think it retailed for close to $200, so that's a really good price for a very expensive-looking leather satchel. Okay, brace yourselves:

Look, I know. I KNOW. That photo is literally the worst thing on the Internet. I promise this is a really cute pair of 7 For All Mankind ivory brushed jeans for $49 that will look great on you if you wear your actual size instead of squeezing into a pair two sizes too small like the model did. (Seriously. I think it’s the same as these which are so cute!)  Also, those Mother Denim “The Charmer” ivory frayed jeans are now down to $36. Get em!

Finally, I thought it worth mentioning that there are now a few Jane Iredale products in the cosmetics section along with some Nars and Anastasia and other good stuff. Have fun!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: It's Graphic.

Current quiet obsession: graphic prints and stuff with words on it. Like so:



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stuff I Like: Fitness and Leisure.

I'm a little bit brain dead on the Stuff I Like front this week. In a nutshell: I'm not listening to/reading/watching anything new. However, a reader recently requested to know what we're liking for workout and lounge wear, so I thought I'd talk about that today. (Marianne is traveling this week for work but I'm hoping when she has time she'll chime in with more of her "stuff I like" suggestions.)

Fitness - Bike
A lot of what I do is cycling-related and I generally wear my team kit, so it's hard to recommend shorts or jerseys though if you're a mountain biker, I am big on Bell helmets and Maloja shorts are hella cute. Oh! Also, Twin Six makes really cute jerseys. I typically wear a base layer under my jersey and nobody makes a better one than Craft. I wear this sleeveless mesh layer in the summer and this short sleeve option in the winter. These tops help regulate body heat and will make your cycling (or hiking or whatever outdoor activity) apparel last longer.

For bike socks I'm crazy about The Athletic because they are just the coolest looking socks out there. You don't have to wear them just for cycling, though I do love pairing them up with my kit and I especially love the mis-matched pairs.

For my undercarriage I am very much a fan of Chamois Butt'r Her' because yes, it really does help, especially in hot weather.

Finally, I promise that I'm not a Stravasshole but I do log most of my rides on Strava (that's my profile if you want to be Strava friends) and I very much enjoy being able to track my own fitness with various segments. Also, Strava works through my Apple Watch which is SO SO NICE.

Fitness - General
I have an old Lululemon tank from, like, six years ago that I still wear ALL THE TIME. This was back when their stuff was really good quality. (I don't buy much Lulu these days but I do still really like the Energy bra.) The tank is very simple - narrow straps, high necked, mesh at the top, flattering fit. I love it and I've been looking for it's equal for quite some time. Then, on a recent trip to Athleta I found the Airy Essence Tank:

It's so good! And it's on sale! In many colors! I have it in navy and I might also buy it in the heather grey. It's a loose-fitting tank (I wear a small and it's generous) but very lightweight and comfortable and I like that it has a high neckline so I can do pushups in it without feeling like my boobs are on display. It's especially good for workouts like OrangeTheory where you're never really sure what's in store for you.

And, since we're talking about Athleta, I bought a pair of the Kata swim shorts last summer and they are worth every penny. Very flattering and great to mix and match with your existing bikini tops. I also recently bought a pair of Athleta's running shorts and they're fine but man, there's this...thing where, if you're used to running in compression leggings and then you run in shorts it feels like your ass is bouncing loose and might fly off on it's own. IT'S TERRIBLE. (Just me? Please tell me it's not just me.)

Err, so here's where I admit that my lounge wear consists of very old Everlane v-neck tees (the softest!) and whatever sad shorts or yoga pants happen to be laying around.

I did buy a couple of pairs of joggers at Gap last winter that I like - something very similar to this pair and a zip pocket version of this pair but that's winter stuff. Athleta also has some cute joggers but I can't even seem to pull the trigger. Mostly I'm wearing Target (specifically Gilligan and O'Malley) sleep shorts from last year. Exciting! I really have nothing much to share except that I clearly dress like a slob at home. You're welcome.

So, your turn! What fitness/lounge stuff do you love?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Adrien: Very Busy. Doing Nothing.

Hey there, I have another really super lazy weekend outfit but it makes me happy so why not. I mean, this shirt is giving me life: 

I found it on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx when I was visiting Marianne and I was immediately all, "THIS IS MINE NOW." It's Junk Food brand so it's already super broken in just the way I like it and it sparks crazy damn joy. Sadly, I can't find it for sale online so you might just have to check your local TJ Maxx. Orrrrr you could settle for a different Junk Food tee. I am particularly fond of this "From Yosemite with Love" shirt simply for it's weirdness. Also, this Bowie tee doesn't suck and neither does this Blondie tee. And! They have a Wonder Woman raglan tee! Someone needs that, probably. PS. Nordstrom Rack has a ton of Junk Food tees! That's the way to do it. 

I'm wearing my awesomely stupid graphic t-shirt with a new pair of cuffed jean shorts from Old Navy in the "blue palo" colorway. I'm pretty happy with them but I had to order a whole bunch of crap to find one pair that worked. I really should just go to Old Navy instead of trying to order online but I never learn. ANYWAY, these shorts are good and they're inexpensive right now and they also have a version that's slightly longer if you so desire. I shall continue to pretend like I don't want this pair from Madewell because I totally don't want them. Nope. Also this pair is probably terrible. Shut up. Moving on. Details: 

GUYS I AM BUSY DOING NOTHING. Also! I am wearing a very tiny necklace that came in my Box of Style recently (anyone want the hat?) and my Giles & Brother encrusted skinny cortina bracelet. There are a bunch of well-discounted G&B bracelets at Off Fifth right now! It's basically my life goal to make sure you guys never pay full price for anything. 

I'm carrying my same old very loved MBMJ Too Hot To Handle Hobo which is available in a couple of colors on NR along with quite a few other styles including the classic Hillier. Lord. I'm also wearing my awesome red Lotta From Stockholm peeptoes (they come in silver now!) which, after weeks of wearing Birkenstocks make me walk like a baby deer. That is sad. So is this: 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): LOFT Flash Sale!

Reallllly good sale going on at LOFT right now! 50% off all sale styles (and other selected summer styles) with code FLASH. Plus get 2% cash back with eBates! I've been really happy with the items I've picked up at LOFT lately (especially this dress which is nearly sold out) so I'm definitely tempted by this sale. Here's what I'm particularly liking:

This top is the perfect easy thing to throw on with shorts or white jeans. Easy. Done. Adorable.

I love the detailing on the sleeves of this top! Wear it with anything and look chic as hell.

This cardigan isn't exciting, but it's lightweight and will even look cute balled up in your bag.

These are the jeans you wear if you flat out refuse to wear jorts. 

"Oh, thank you! This old thing? It's just something I found in the back of my closet."

This dress is the remedy for my favorite dress only being available in xxs.

I barely wear skirts anymore but this drawstring skirt is SO tempting. I love a crazy pattern. 

I got yer $15 sarong right here. I mean, damn, that is pretty. And they have more!

This is a very minimal party-in-the-back dress and will definitely get you compliments. 

Pretty, sparkly, effortless summer bangles that come as a set for less than $10.

This gorgeous necklace looks like Alexis Bittar but costs $12.50. You are welcome. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Weekend Window Shopping: Have You Checked Out J.Crew Factory Lately?

I stumbled onto the J.Crew Factory website recently in search of a cute pair of earrings I saw on IG and lo, so much cute summertime joy! Plus, 1.5% cash back with eBates and an extra 25% off when you spend $100 with code code MOREPLZ. You can also get 15% off your order if you sign up for their mailing list. Get to it:



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stuff I Like: Balcony Life + Reading/Watching/Listening

Balcony life! I have a nice balcony that overlooks a wooded lot full of deer and owls and I never freaking use it. My goal this summer is to change that on a budget of almost no dollars. Here's what I'm starting with:

It's cute, but that bistro set is seriously uncomfortable and stupidly small. I can't afford to replace it right now but what I'd really like is to move it over and create a space where I can just comfortably sit and read a book and have a cocktail and just enjoy the evening.

My first problem is mosquitoes. I live in Virginia and we grow em big and strong here. However, the last time I visited Marianne she introduced me to this mosquito lantern and it really works! Plus, a cozy light source. Done.

My next problem is that effing astroturf. I haaaaate it. Marianne, who is so good at these things, suggested I check out World Market for inexpensive woven outdoor rugs. This one might be cute and this one is crazy but kind of fun? I'd need different pillows, though.

Finally, I need a comfortable lounge-y chair. What I'd really like is a bright yellow Adirondack chair or a patio club chair but both are way out of my budget. This plastic Adirondack is probably what I'll get. It isn't ideal (I'm sure there's a more attractive/interesting choice) but I love that it's lightweight and the color is fun. Plus, $19.

So, what else do I need? Any suggestions for making my balcony a more useable space?

PS. In trolling TJ Maxx for possibilities I found this cute Fiestaware tablecloth! My dishes are all Fiestaware and I love them. (Except for the mugs which are too small.) I also like this yellow ikat jar and this cute green candle thing. Ugh, I'm sorry. I digress.

I've started and abandoned so many books lately because nothing was quite hooking me in. I decided I needed another comforting re-read so I'm reading Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers. I've read it multiple times but it's been at least ten years, so it feels new! It's your basic awesome British family saga novel and very easy to fall into.

I just bought a Starz pass on Amazon so I could watch American Gods, based on the book by Neil Gaiman. It's very, very dark and very good so far. I'm only three episodes in but it's definitely got my attention. (It's gory, though, just fair warning.) The cast is outstanding - Ian McShane! Gillian Anderson! Pablo Schreiber! Cloris Leachman! If you like modern mythology and don't mind some violence, I highly recommend.

I'm still on a serious podcast kick! My new favorite is Up First, NPR's early morning news podcast. It covers "the biggest stories and ideas - from politics to pop culture - in 10 minutes." I usually listen to it while I'm driving to work and it's just the right length for my commute.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Beauty Sample Boxes: STAHP.

A: Things I don't want in sample boxes: Salt spray, dry shampoo, nude lipcolor, primer, shitty perfume.

A: Things I'm getting in my next Sephora box: Salt spray, dry shampoo, nude lipcolor, primer, shitty perfume.



A: I don't EVER use dry shampoo and salt spray is gross on fine, straight hair. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

M: Agree on salt spray but I'll take your dry shampoo. I'm about to cancel Birchbox after just three months because I don't need any of this shit.

A: Things other people are getting in their Sephora box: Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel, Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil, Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It, Tarte Tarteguard Tinted Moisturizer. Dammit.

M: I really only want mini mascara, sunscreen (nice for purses and travel), fancy lotion that doesn't smell like old lady, and maybe a lip scrub or something.

A: I got full sized mascara in my Birchbox last month! Mostly I want Davines hair products, fancy sunscreen, face oil, anything like that. I don't mind skincare over makeup as long as it's relevant to me.

M: Skincare is just such a crapshoot. But I'd take some fancy face masks. Speaking of I want to try that stupid Hanacure mask that's stalking me on Facebook. LEAVE ME ALONE/gimme.

A: What's the story with that one? I've seen the ads but I haven't investigated. I'm too busy talking myself out of that lace ThirdLove bra.

M: t's like two part epoxy for your face and costs $30.

A: That sounds...kind of awesome.


A: Except for the price, but still.

M: How fast did I one-click the Japanese mascara Kim France linked to?

A: HA. I have it in my cart but haven't bought it yet. I'm trying to use up the other 800 tubes of mascara I currently have.

M: I am somehow critically low on mascara so she got me at a weak moment.

A: This is the one I got last month in my Birchbox:

A: It looks fantastic on and then sheds little mascara babies all over my face

M: Why didn't I get that? Birchbox is failing me.

A: You don't want it! It's the bad boyfriend of mascara.

M: Still, who do I have to kill to get mascara to try instead of tiny tubes of BB cream that's not my color?

A: Ha, I pretty much hated everything else in that box, so.

M: I should just quit. I'm not sure why I signed up considering I don't really like random samples. If I could pick my samples I'd be all over it.

A: Yeah, I'm ready to cancel Birchbox. Again. Again again. Maybe I’ll try the Dermstore Beautyfix box which a reader recommended.

M: Well damn now I want that.

A: Sorry/not sorry! I'd use a lot of those products.

M: Yeah, I mean I like a lot of the stuff but I don't need it.

A: Need? Need. Huh.

M: Haha. Right. Need.

M: That's it, I'm cancelling birchbox and maybe I'll try your new one.

A: DEWIT. Coupon code BFADDICT10 should give you $10 off the June box.

M: It worked!

A: Hooray! I'm such an enabler.

M: All of that stuff looks great though.

A: The needle-y thing makes me nervous.

M: Heheheh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review (and an outfit): Old Navy Relaxed Embroidered Swing Top

Sometimes my friends ask, "Is tempting to look at all those shopping sites for stuff to link on your blog?" And I'm like, YES. BY GOD, YES IS IT.

For instance, I recently trolled Old Navy for this entry, despite being disappointed with my recent Old Navy order. Hope spring eternal because ON is hit or miss and the lure of cheap summer clothes is hard to resist. Anyway, I bought this Relaxed Embroidered Swing Top:

And you guys, it's so good! Mostly! I should explain. I liked it immediately out of the package and tried it on and liked it even more. The fit is pretty loose and long, but that's what you want for a flowy summer top. Some of the reviews claim it's boxy and OMG of COURSE it is. It's supposed to be. But it's basically made of cheesecloth so the flowy lightness makes it not matter that it's a big ole sack. It also comes in a white/red colorway, which keeps selling out. 

Now, "mostly" part of the review: The center of the smocked part sticks up a little. Can you see it? It was probably not even that noticeable until I pointed it out but it bothers me so I did what any normal person would do and ordered another one to compare. I also ordered the the white/red version because it was momentarily available. I mean, duh. Of course I did. (I get free shipping and returns, lest you judge.) I also ordered these denim shorts in two sizes because this pair was a bust for me. Decent, but too small despite being a boyfriend cut. Hmph. 

I am wearing the top with my white Fidelity Sola jeans which are still on sale! Nordstrom also has the Sola style in a really good grey that are making me insane. I love these jeans. ANYWAY just for comparison, Madewell also has some very nice white jeans but wait for a coupon code. 

This is what the Embroidered Swing Top looks like tucked in. It's so cute! I'll definitely keep whichever version works best. I paid under $30 for it both times, so keep an eye on the deals. Right now it's $32  an automatic 20% off your order (today only) plus 2% cash back with eBates. Tomorrow it'll probably be even cheaper. Details:

Please note the very obvious price tag. Just a try-on review! I didn't wear this top out of the house, I promise. I'm wearing the top with a cute necklace I got in a Pop Sugar box a few years ago. This one on Etsy is similar and way cooler and this reversible glitter pendant at LOFT is really pretty and practically free. I'm also wearing my Giles & Brother skinny railroad cuff bracelets and I'm cringing a little at my Apple Watch tan. (The Series 1 Apple Watch is on sale at Target, by the way.)

I'm carrying my beloved old red Epi Speedy which always makes me happy. Do you have a red satchel? I love this Deux Lux bag for a bargain and this Kate Spade satchel is a gorgeous grown ass lady bag. I'm wearing my Lotta From Stockholm peep toe clogs, which I've been neglecting lately. They're great and nearly identical to Swedish Hasbeens for a lot less money. 

It's boxy but it's good.