Friday, December 24, 2021

'Tis the season where I recycle holiday fun.

So listen, one of these days Marianne and I will document a new holiday movie  for the blog (if you're new, check out The Spirit of Christmas part one and two) but I have to say one of my favorite things we've ever posted was the convo about the Last Christmas video. It's truly my favorite holiday music video though the incredibly tone-deaf Do They Know It's Christmas is a close second. (RIP George Michael! We miss you!) Enjoy:



Thursday, December 23, 2021

Stuff We Like: End of Year Edition.

There's no real theme here but this is probably the last Stuff We Like for 2021. It's a bit all over the place but that's the charm, right? Here we go: 


This Fancy Nail Creme I Can't Stop Using.
My hands are always a disaster but in the winter months things get super sad. My nails crack and break and my cuticles are beyond dry. So, when Marianne gifted me this insanely fancy Dior Creme Abricot nail cream I was like, I WILL USE THIS. And I have been! I slather it on every night before bed (it's sticky but stays put and sinks in) and already my finger tips look better and healthier. It is scented in that rich lady Dior way but the scent fades quickly. ALSO, the packing is very luxe and looks pretty on my bedside table. And, if you order directly from Dior it'll come with very nice samples and a beautiful bag. (And free shipping!) 

These Phone Accessories I Truly Love.
Okay, this is kind of a repeat entry but y'all, I've been using my Burga case paired with a Phone Loop for over a year and both are still 100% the best. In fairness, I'm on my second Loop because they do get kind of grungy but I love that it doesn't budge, I can place it exactly where I want and it lies completely flat. It's a really simple thing but it works. They're on Amazon now but there are a ton more options on the Loops website. As for my Burga case, it wasn't cheap but it's been going strong for a year and still looks great! I used to only buy Speck cases but they always broke and aren't that cute. Burga cases are cute! So much cute! And they hold up. 

These Joggers That Are An Excellent Vuori Dupe.
Okay, listen, I have a Vuori crewneck sweatshirt (see pic above) that I wear A LOT and I love it and it was worth every penny, etc. I very much want a pair of Performance Joggers to go with it but then I discovered Quince made a dupe and I ordered a pair ($34 instead of $84!) and y'all, they are so good. I can't say they're Vuori good but I will say that I'm mad when I can't wear them because they're in the wash. Super soft and comfy and very cute! The perfect at-home lounge pants. (Now, if only they came in dark camo...) 
 

This Documentary That Lives Up To The Hype.
Okay, so I love the Beatles a lot and spent most of the summer re-acquainting myself with various later albums so I was very excited about the new documentary, Get Back. It's directed by Peter Jackson (who's not known for, um, editing) and is made from 80 hours of footage leftover from the from the Let It Be documentary. It's three episodes, nearly eight hours long in total (I know) and most of that time is just watching them noodle around in the studio. If you've ever dated a musician this might make you want to die on the spot, BUT, if you keep watching, you literally get to see the birth of some of the best songs ever written. Also, it clears up a lot of the rumors and makes clearer some of the tensions that led to their breakup. 

Also! One of the best parts about it is the fashion. YOU GUYS. There are so many wild outfits (purple suits! green fringe jackets! Ringo in floral! George Martin being suave as hell!) and they just keep coming. It's all so good. Some of the greatest outfits were documented here, but really, you should see it for yourself. 


This Savory Cookie Recipe of Marianne's I Can't Believe I Never Shared.
These cheddar shortbread cookies are a tiny legend among Marianne's friends and I make them this time every year. You will need a stand mixer for this but they are SO FREAKING GOOD and perfect paired with a glass of wine. Marianne has a "cookies!" highlight on her IG with directions and tips (and some great substitutions - she exclusively uses dried cherries now but I always do cranberries. You do you!) so check that out. Now, here's the recipe:

Have a great holiday, everyone! Go make some cookies and watch that Beatles documentary. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Outfit of the Day: Happy Midwinter Solstice!

It's the shortest day of the year and to celebrate I have an outfit post that I'm going to pretend I didn't photograph last week. What is time anyway, right? But here you go:


I thrifted this Maeve blouse and it's weird but I really like it. It's got a bit of floof and a little bit of metallic flair, but not too much. It's old but can still be found secondhand (search: Maeve Jacquin). For something similar, this Loft blouse has a matchy vibe and this one at Anthro is really cute. This Vince Camuto blouse also has potential! I like an animal print/peasant combo, no surprise. And check out these sleeves:


Just the right amount of crazy. I'm wearing the blouse with my Madewell Perfect Vintage cropped jeans (this pair is the most similar currently) and my Madewell Perfect Belt that is a good basic but I don't know that I'd call it perfect. (Madewell really likes to throw that word around. Can a belt be perfect? Wait, yes it can.) 


I dusted off my beloved Esska boots and my quilted bag and pretended like I has somewhere to go. Details: 


You might remember this photo from last week's Ilia review post. Aside from a faceful of Ilia products, I'm also wearing my Gorjana Parker wrap necklace. And...


These Esska boots, right? They deserve more wear than I give them but I love that they're mine. I also love my Marc Jacobs Single (blue one for sale here) that I basically robbed someone for on Poshmark. A quilted bag is such a classic and it's a nice thing to have in your closet. You can find one like mine on Posh or eBay or go for this beautiful all-black version from Rebecca Minkoff or this cool as hell version from Kurt Geiger. I also love this cheap and cheerful option from H&M! 

That's it for today. Get outside if you can and enjoy what little sunlight we get today! 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday Mood: A few good Christmasy/Winter books.

 This is by no means a complete list or an accurate list, just some books that take place around Christmas time that I have loved or re-read every year or so. Some of these are books I've written about before but I feel are worth repeating:


This Darkly Weird Modern Fairytale
A Wild Winter Swan It's a coming of age story set in 1960s New York at Christmas time and I do love a bit of modern day fairytale. It's written by Gregory Maguire who wrote Wicked, so you're in good hands. It's not a super happy story (fairy tales rarely are) but it does have a satisfying ending, is dryly funny in parts, and also just beautifully written. Give it a try. 


A Christmasy British Romcom That Doesn't Disappoint
Marianne recommends The Twelve Dates of Christmas which is exactly the kind of cozy and relatable small British town Christmas romance novel we both enjoy. (I read it last year and loved it, especially as I've gone on quite a few internet dates in the past and know that pain all too well.) 


The New Jenny Colgan Which Did Not Disappoint
I just finished The Christmas Bookshop and y'all, it's really, really delightful. Unlike some of her other Christmas books, this one is a stand-alone so you don't have have read the others in the series (though there are some cameo appearances.) It's got everything: Beautiful snow-bound Edinburgh, a relatable protagonist, a cozy but decrepit book shop, a love triangle, and a deliciously hate-able villain. 10/10 - the best cozy Christmas read. 

A YA Favorite I'm Currently Rereading
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is a favorite from when I was a kid and it starts on midwinter's eve (that's today!) which is the day before the main character's birthday, the day he discovers he's an Old One, destined to fight
 in the ancient struggle against The Dark. It's the second book in a series that weaves Arthurian legend in with the struggle of darkest and light but you don't have to have read the first one to follow it - this one is good all by itself. 



Another YA Favorite You Really Should Read
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken isn't a Christmas book but it takes place in the winter and is another one of my favorites from when I was a kid. It has everything: Adventure, orphans, poverty, riches, bad guys and good guys, wolves and geese. Trust. I love that it's little dark, that most of the heroes are women, and the Edward Gorey cover art cannot be beat. 



This One I Can't Believe I Haven't Mentioned
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher isn't my favorite of her books (that would be Coming Home) but it's a really good, engrossing read about a group of people, all with painful pasts, brought together for the holiday. I mean, you can't beat a Christmas book set in the Scottish countryside, right? 

Honorable Mentions: Obviously Little Women is a classic with some good Christmas action and the Little House books (especially The Long Winter) have wonderful Christmas scenes in which we should all be delighted to get a tin cup, a stick of candy and an orange for gifts. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Weekend Window Shopping: Well, Dammit, Madewell.



Ugh, I love a good sale and Madewell just quietly put a bunch of really good stuff 40% off! This includes Marianne's favorite pair of jeans, which are now, like, $53. (Definitely size down!) Should I get a pair? Here's what's in my fantasy shopping cart:

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Quick Review: Ilia The Dusk Set.

I know I just posted about buying Ilia the Dusk Set but it arrived and I slapped it all on my face and y'all, this stuff is SO GOOD. A quick note: being a makeup blogger is not for the weak -of-heart. Nothing breaks your spirit quite like a selfie closeup, amirite? Ugh. Anyway:


This was my first photo attempt (of, like, a million) wearing all of the products in the kit, plus the Super Serum Skin Tint, which is fantastic. I'm wearing the Color Haze Multi-Use Pigment in Before Today on my cheeks and its quite subtle and very pretty. I don't generally wear a ton of cheek color so I like that it looks natural. 

I'm also wearing the Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm in Wanderlust and it's the prettiest berry color! It feels just like a lip balm and is surprisingly pigmented. One layer is sheer but you can layer more on for a stronger color payoff.  But, you can't see my favorite thing, which is the Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint in Dim. I love a purple-grey color for my brown eyes but they're hard to find and this one is so good. Fine, here's a close-up:

I promise I'm not mad at you, I just can't smile and also show you my lids! But y'all, this eye tint is so nice - it dries down quickly and so far hasn't budged. I have oily, hooded eyelids which makes most eyeshadow a challenge. My eyeliner, which pairs great with it, is the delightful Mushroom by Urban Decay

I'm also wearing the Limitless Lash Mascara from the kit, which I've tried before in the mini size but I like the double-sided brush much better full size. It's not life-changing but it is a good lengthening mascara that shouldn't irritate your eyes. 

All in all, I am super happy with all four items in this kit and it's a killer deal. Both kits have well-chosen universal colors (Dawn is warm toned, Dusk is cool toned) and I just don't think you can go wrong. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Travel Report: Cork, Ireland

We spent half the trip in Dublin (which you can read about here) and the other half in Cork. Cork considers itself the true capital of Ireland for reasons... that aren't clear. I think they just like the rivalry. The really nice thing about Cork is that it's not a big International city. It feels more like a place people live and we found it very friendly and approachable. (Dublin is also a friendly place, the Irish are just lovely people, but its bigger and more anonymous.) 

Food: 

Elbow Lane - We came for drinks and immediately made a reservation for dinner later that week. Definitely the best meal we had in Cork and the nicest staff! The Old-Fashioned cocktail was out of this world. 

Son of a Bun - a fun burger place with amazing monthly specials and art posters to go with them. We ate here more than once.

The Spitjack - We had Sunday lunch here and it was delicious start to finish. It was medium-fancy and a bit traditional (think Sunday roast) which was fun. 

Museums and sites: 

Elizabeth Fort - We stumbled across this fort right in the middle of the city and wandered in. They had a museum section that really went into a lot of the women's history, as the fort was used as a convict depot for deportation to the prison colonies in Australia. (Read: a lot of poor women were sent to Australia for incredibly minor offenses. Great.)

Shandon Bells & Tower, Saint Ann's Church - This was something! For a small fee you can climb the incredibly not-to-code bell tower and after 132 steps up multiple narrow stairways and a tiny ladder (!) you pop out into an open balcony right at the top. It's an incredible view and totally worth it. (Usually you can also ring the bells but Covid ruins everything.) 

The Butter Museum - This little museum was basically a propaganda tool for the superiority of Irish butter (I'm already in! You got me, Irish butter!) but we enjoyed it quite a bit. I do think they missed an opportunity by not having a gift shop because I would've bought All The Things at a butter-themed gift shop. Just saying. PS. It made Accidentally Wes Anderson, which pleases me greatly.

Further Afield:

We took the train to Cork, which is my favorite way to travel, and from the minute we arrived we had locals telling us to immediately leave the city and go visit other places in Cork County. Like, this place is fine and all but you MUST go to Kinsale and don't miss Cobh!

So, we did! We took the bus to the historic port town of Kinsale and walked a few miles up to Charles Fort which was fucking magical. I mean. It was free to walk around and we spent and hour or so just exploring and admiring the view. Afterwards we had lunch at the Spaniard and then walked back to town and did some shopping. Kinsale is just a charming little town with rambling, narrow streets and brightly painted houses. I loved it. 

Cobh, another port town full of history, was also an easy day trip by bus and it was a lot of fun (though definitely not quite as charming as Kinsale.) It was the site of the last stop the Titanic made so we did the Titanic Experience which was much better than I was expecting it to be. You're assigned a ticket as a passenger (we were both in 3rd class) and then you do a led tour that explained what the passengers experienced as they boarded, the level of grandeur that even the steerage passengers received and then, boom crash. You find out if your person lived or died. (We survived!) We also visited St. Colman's Cathedral which dominates the town and is pretty spectacular. 

This is just a sample of what we did, saw and ate in Cork. I will say that it would've been hard to fill a week there without the side trips, so if you go, definitely don't miss Kinsale and Cobh. Both are less than an hour away by bus and we got to see a lot more of the county that way. Thanks for reading my travelogue! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

For Me? I Shouldn't Have.

 A few things I accidentally on purpose bought for myself recently:



My Lafco candle order arrived last week and the Frosted Pine holiday candle is SO SO GOOD and the blown glass container is just beautiful. It's a perfect holiday candle.

I posted last week that Marianne bought the Ilia Dawn set and because I'm a dumb copycat I got the Dusk set so we can compare and contrast. (Also, if sign up for emails/texts and you'll get 15% off! That's what I did.) 


I pre-ordered Jenny Colgan's new book, The Christmas Bookshop and immediately forgot about it so when it showed up in my Kindle I was like, HOLIDAY MAGIC. I'm reading it now and so far it's classic, cozy holiday Colgan. 

I was influenced by another blogger and bought this Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color and it's suuuuper sparkly but I kind of love it? It comes in a very pretty glass pot (you know I love good packaging) and it's got a gel consistency that's oddly compelling and fun. 


Through a random series of events I have purchased a very discounted Dyson Airwrap for Blog Science. Please understand that I know I don't have enough hair for this and it will MOST DEFINITELY make me cry, but for you guys, I am doing this for you. 


Finally, Anthro just put all the Christmas stuff on sale and I really want this flute-playing fox ornament or maybe the hare wearing a top hat? I haven't decided but I feel like it needs to happen. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Weekend Window Shopping: 40% Off Sale at Anthro!

I don't know about you, but I always end up buying myself stuff when I'm supposed to be shopping for other people. One for you, one for me. With that in mind, and Anthropologie's extra 40% off sale items, I have made a list for you and for a friend:

For you:
For a friend:

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Outfit of the Day: Not Available.

You know what's fun? Posting up an outfit and realizing no part of it is actually available to buy. I am always happy to suggest substitutions but I really, really like this stuff and only this stuff will do! Ugh. Anyway, I might suggest if you have a good thrift store nearby you go there because I have been finding GREAT clothes lately. Here's the outfit:


This is the striped COS top I bought in Ireland and it's so good! It's a nice heavy-weight cotton and it's quite oversized (I'm wearing a small.) It sells out quickly so Everlane's modern breton is probably the closest but I really love this Kule tee. Ugh. Also, COS has lots of striped options for their angry moddles to wear. 


I'm wearing my top with a pair of Lululemon On the Fly pants in black that I thrifted and they're GREAT. I am truly surprised at how great they and naturally they're sold out. (I know they've had the On the Fly collection for a while, so hopefully they'll restock.) I am wearing a size up in these but I love how the material hangs. They're pretty similar to my Athleta Brooklyn Ankle pants but made of a slightly heavier material and I love the drawstring waistband.  


I'm wearing my Gap Utility jacket (remember this?) which is, of course, sold out but how f'ing good is this olive green chore jacket? I also love this cute J.Crew jacket with the metal clasps. Also, um, have you seen this grey Maeve utility coat with the leopard print lining? I WANT ALL THE JACKETS, PLEASE. On to details: 


I know my striped top reads as black and white, but it's actually a very dark navy blue. Proof! I'm wearing my little bird skull necklace from Paxton Gate and an old fishhook pendant necklace by Giles & Brother.


This Clare V Midi Sac is still such a favorite. It's not available of course (that's the theme!) but this green snakeskin version is gorgeous and this natural snake version is half price! My flats are the Everlane Day Glove which, I have to admit, are very comfortable and very weird and I love them a lot. They don't make them in red anymore because of course they don't. Everlane is the actual worst. The end. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Beauty Stuff Marianne Likes: Ilia Set

 Marianne recently bought a bunch of Ilia products (including the Super Serum Skin Tint which we both love) and I am here to translate. 

She bought this set which includes four full-sized items:

Limitless Lash Mascara
"I love the Ilia Volumizing mascara so I'm excited to try this one." 

Color Haze Multi-Use Pigment in Waking Up
"It's called Waking Up which is exactly what I need on my cheeks but you can also layer it over the Lip Wrap for sheer lip color."

Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm in Runaway
"This is GOOD. I'm going to keep it in my purse."

Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint in Sheen
"A nice wash of color that doesn't crease." 

She put most of these products on her face while talking to me in a Marco Polo video and y'all, she looked beautiful. I mean, she always does but these are really lovely, subtle products. Your face, but better type of products. She also bought this Lip Wrap Overnight Treatment:



"I really love the lip wrap hydrating mask. I use it as a heavy duty lip balm and it's the only lip mask that doesn't break me out."

Of course now I want all these products because that's how it works around here. The kit above also comes in The Dusk Set with more intense colors and I want that tooooo. Oof. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Travel Report: Dublin.

 This is long but I thought it would be helpful to tell you all about our trip. We've been to Dublin before (I posted about it here) and with that trip we stayed in Dublin for a week and did two day tours because driving in Ireland scares the crap out of us. This trip we spent half our time in Dublin and the other half in Cork. Today I'll tell you about what we did in Dublin and I'll post about Cork next week. 

Dublin is divided into the Northside and the Southside by the river Liffey, with the Northside considered more working class and the Southside considered more posh. We stayed on both sides of the river this trip and tried to spend time exploring both parts of the city to get a better feel for it. 

I will say, as a visitor, the Southside offers a lot. Grafton Street is the well-know shopping district and it's really festive and bustling, especially at this time of year with the holiday lights and decorations. The Temple Bar area is also a lot of fun but it is super touristy so prices are higher and there are a lot of idiots. (But, the people watching is GREAT.) Here are some of our favorites from Dublin: 

Food: 

Gallagher's Boxty House - We've eaten here a few times and it's great - very welcoming and the food is great. Traditional boxty (potato pancakes and dumplings) served in a variety of ways. They also have good cocktails. 

McDaid's Pub - This is a small pub off Grafton Street with an interesting history. We really liked it because it's such a traditional pub and the best kind of cozy hole-in-the-wall. 

Stage Door Cafe - We had breakfast here a few times and y'all, this is an experience. It's a tiny place and the heart of it is the owner Alan, who is over-the-top and hilarious. You come for breakfast (he keeps the menu "small but sexy") and stay for the Alan show. Highly recommend. 

Museums and Sites:

14 Henrietta Street - By far my favorite museum experience. It's the history of the once-grand Northside Georgian mansion at 14 Henrietta St, which became horrific tenement housing. The tour guide leads you through 300 years of history and the lives of the families who lived in this one house. This is my #1 recommendation for a museum in Dublin. 

Dublin Castle - Only the state apartments were open for viewing but I liked this so much more than I expected. Definitely worth a visit. (Free)

National Museum of Ireland, Archaeology - We went to this museum on our last trip and loved it. (Free)

The Little Museum of Dublin - This one was kind of a tiny oddball of a museum and because we'd already learned quite a bit of the history of Dublin, most of the info was a repeat. I did, however, love the room dedicated to U2. 

The Long Room Library - Breathtaking. And the old book smell! They should figure out how to bottle it. The price of entry also includes an exhibition and viewing of the Book of Kells. This is one for the book lovers and should not be missed. 

Guinness Storehouse - Even if you aren't a fan of Guinness stout (which, why not?), this tour is so fun and really beautifully done. Every visit ends at the gravity bar with one of the best views of Dublin. We've done it twice because it's such a fun experience. (Though I was a little sad that my favorite part is currently shut down due to Covid.) 

Teeling Distillery - This was another fun drinky tour. A really definitive look at Irish whiskey distilling in Dublin with a tasting at the end. 

Further Afield:

The Cliffs of Moher - We hired a private driver for the day and finally got to see the Cliffs! On our first trip they were shrouded in fog and we couldn't see a thing. Definitely worth a visit - the cliffs are beautiful.

Poulnabrone Dolmen - This is a megalithic tomb in the middle of the Burren and we were the only people there, which made for a surreal experience. 10/10. Just amazing. On our last trip we did a day tour where we saw several other ancient tombs, all incredibly cool, but this one is really special. I can't even explain.

We also visited Darkey Kelly's pub for live music, The Brazen Head pub, Phoenix Park, Jameson Distillery, etc! So much to do and see that I can't even list it all. 

Shopping:

Honestly, I don't think I really cracked the code on this one. I am sure there are some really cool independent boutiques that I totally missed, but I enjoyed Brown Thomas quite a bit and there were some cool little shops along Essex St on the Southside that I liked. I didn't do a ton of shopping in Dublin, other than what I posted about.