Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday Mood: Beach Weekend.

It's January. Still. I know. But, if the stars align I'll be joining Marianne on a beach in a few weeks and I cannot WAIT. Here's my little outfit mood board to keep me motivated:

Friday, January 28, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Let's Take A Walk.

Marianne and I both have embraced the pandemic winter walk. This is not a casual stroll, this is an existential need for movement-based endorphins. Go outside, get some sunlight in your eyeballs, break a sweat. I promise it makes everything feel less bleak. If you need inspiration, here's my ultimate urban hike collection:

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Review: That Perfect Striped COS Tee.

This wasn't really meant to be an official outfit post but I got a few questions about this COS tee I bought recently and I wanted to show you how it fits. I have a lot of striped t-shirts and I'm always looking for the next one. I want a comfortable-but-not-unflattering fit and a cool detail doesn't hurt either. COS is a European company with a minimalist, androgynous look that appeals but doesn't always work on me. Anyway, this tee is a winner and I am delighted with it:

I'm wearing a size medium and it's perfect. It's a pretty long tee so harder to do a French tuck but I still managed. Oh, I also bought a short sleeved version in black, but I'll save that for another post. I'm wearing my striped tee with my old Madewell skinny jeans which unfortunately aren't available anymore but this pair looks really similar and this pair is on sale. 

I think I like it best untucked and might try it with leggings and a heeled boot or sneakers next time. I I love that the sleeves aren't very fitted so it has just the right hang. But my favorite thing is the contrast color neckline: 

Such a great detail! I'm wearing it with my Gorjana Parker necklace and my little bird skull pendant from Paxton Gate. It's still freaking January, so I can't just go out like this. I threw on a very old Athleta long hoodie:

Sadly, they don't sell this style anymore (whhhyyy) but this Cozy Karma style looks appropriately butt-covering and cozy. I'm carrying my Clare V Midi Sac (so many on sale at NR!) and wearing my beloved Blunstones that I reviewed here

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Mood: Weekend Shopping Report.

I shopped this weekend! In a store! Okay, it was REI which barely counts but I had a gift card and a Vuori obsession and I wanted to try things on. I tried on every single style of Vuori leggings and jogger they had in store:

Daily Legging:  I love the drawstring and they were really comfy but I like a bit more compression in my leggings. They were soft and comfortable though. I would wear these for lounging purposes but probably not for the gym. 

Clean Elevation legging:  These felt more like gym leggings and were very nice, with a bit of compression but felt too similar to my Beyond Yoga leggings. Also, they run small (at least they did on me.) 

Daily Jogger:  I was excited to try these - a jogger that fits like a legging. However, these were not good on me. Tight at the top and looser at the bottom might look cute on some people but on me they were tight in all the wrong places. I kind of wanted them to be leggings with jogger details, I guess.

Performance Jogger: This is what I came for and this is what I bought! They are SO comfy and soft and definitely cute enough to wear out of the house. I got the dark camo because they were the best. I wore them for the rest of the weekend. 

I also tried on this Energy Top which was cute and made of that nice Vuori material and it had the higher neck that I like for working out, but I don't know that I loved it enough to pay full price.  

Now, because the Athleta rack was right there, I tried on these Salutation camo joggers for comparisons. Y'all. I was straight horrified. They are SO unflattering! The pockets do weird things to your hips and they don't even look good on the model. Nope. It's a shame because I super-love the Salutation Stash Pocket leggings. I also found this Uptempo tank which is on sale and it was lovely:

Silky and light and hangs perfectly. The amount of restraint I had in putting this tank back on the rack should be commended. But, I did not need it so back it went. Boo. Honestly, I was more tempted by this Athleta tank than the Vuori version and not just because of the price difference. It just seemed more flattering. 

That's it for my weekend shopping! Not super exciting but I'm very pleased with my softy-soft new Vuori joggers. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Stuff I Want, Stuff I Bought.

How are short weeks somehow the longest weeks? Anyway, it's Friday now and here are some things I'd love to buy and also a few things I already bought:

I bought this striped COS tee in Santa Barbara and wore it immediately. It's basically perfect.

Speaking of striped things, Marianne told me about this Target swimsuit that's $35! 
You might ask: Why do we need swimsuits in January? Stay tuned.

I need another bag like a hole in the head but this Clare V is on sale and it's hurting my feelings. 

The labradorite version of my little blue Gorjana necklace has been taunting me. Hmm. 

Why don't I have grey boots? WHY DON'T I INDEED.

I have a gift card burning a Vuori camo jogger hole in my pocket. These will be mine. 

I bought this retinol eye cream from Quince a while back and it's quite nice and not expensive. I find the pump to be aggressive so I use the extra on the back of my aged crone hands. Win-win.

Finally, this beautiful AllSaints leather jacket is 30% off. Why. WHY. Why do I do this to myself. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Stuff I Like: Is It STILL Winter. Why.

Winter is not my season at all. I am pretty over it and my recent trip to Southern California reminded me that, oh yeah, the sun is SO GOOD YOU GUYS. I really miss it. Anyway, here are a few things I like that have been getting me through it:

I Am Still Into These Vitamin Packs.
I've written about my love of Care/Of vitamin packs before and I am still at it. Sometimes my "stuff" love is fleeting but not with this. You take a quiz, pick your vitamins/supplements and they package them into nifty little daily packets with your name on them. I mean. I have never been so good at being good at taking my vitamins. They're also great for travel or easy to stick in a lunch box or whatever. I have been very pleased overall. I am about to re-up my choices and might add some fish oil in there because these creaky joints of mine are not cute. Anyway, if you're interested, use my link for 50% off your first order! (full disclosure: I get discount credits when you purchase through my link.) 

This Lip Mask That Actually Does Something.
I got the Ilia Lip Wrap Treatment Mask for Christmas in this little kit and thought it was a lovely lip balm but then read up on it and realized it's actually a treatment! Most lip "masks" are just fancy balm but this is a fancy balm that exfoliates while you sleep. No more cracked, chapped lips for meeeee. It has a very faint lavender-chamomile scent which I find very soothing. I will definitely re-purchase in the full size when the mini is gone. 

This Re-Read That Was Even Better Than I Remembered.
Some folks don't like to re-read books, even if they love them. Not me! I like to wait a while and re-read a book a love because I feel like I get more out of it each time. I first read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield back in 2009 and completely loved it. It has everything! It's a darkish, gothic tale that takes place in Yorkshire. It's a story-within-a story and also a book about the love of books and reading. I'd waited long enough to forget the details so re-reading it was familiar but still had an element of mystery. My review: It's SO GOOD. (Also, I didn't know there was a movie version! With Olivia Coleman! WHAT.) 

These Socks I Do Not Wear For Running.
I know I've talked about my love for Bombas before but these calf-length performance running socks are THE BEST for wearing with boots in the winter. They look cute scrunched, have no poke-y seams and will hug your foot without sliding around. They are worth every penny. For actual fitness, I love these for the gym and these are cute for around the house and very fashion when worn with Birk clogs. Ooh, also, I got a pair of the gripper slippers as a gift and they are so cozy! Perfect for keeping your toes warm while watching TV on the couch. Yay for socks. (Hush, Marianne.) If you've never tried Bombas, my link will get you 25% off your first order! (full disclosure: I get sock credits if you purchase through my link. My feet thank you!) 

That's all I have for today, except I want to thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes on Monday. Thank you so much for reading this dumb blog we've been writing for way too long. We truly have the best readers. *heart eyes emoji*

Monday, January 17, 2022

Outfit of the Day: Age is Just a Number.

So, when I turned 40 I started feeling like I had to start worrying about dressing too young or trendy or or whatever. Is this trend too young for me? Am I too old for that? What does 40-something even look like anymore? Well, I will tell you that yesterday I turned 50 and over the past ten years have realized none of that shit matters AT ALL. Wear what you like. Buy what makes you happy (within reason or we'd all have ponies named Cupcake.) Have the best time mixing your nice stuff with that Stones tee you bought at Target.  Don't worry about dressing for your age! What even is age?  Here's an example:

Pretty typical jeans and a t-shirt and an awesome new pair of Vans Checkerboard slip-ons because I went to the Vans store with my boyfriend and accidentally tried them on. Aren't they GOOD? Such excellent retro Spicoli vibes, right? I regret nothing! I love these shoes so much. My t-shirt is fancy by way of the thrift store. It's this one by ATM and it's a nice t-shirt, but even nicer when it's $4. 

My jeans are an older pair of Madewell Cali Demi Boot, bought on Poshmark. This pair is probably the most similar in cut, but the wash here is better. I also want to try the pair with Tencel! This style is so fun and feels really fresh, especially with my rad new slip-ons. 

The jacket I'm wearing is my latest good thrift find - an American Giant Moto Full Zip. I've checked out the American Giant website before but never owned anything from them until now. Y'all. This jacket is nice. It has all the comfort and softness of a zip up hoodie but with the structure and construction of a really nice little jacket. It reminds me a bit of the Scuba hoodie from Lululemon - good, heavy quality cotton and such a flattering cut.

Just in case things were getting TOO casual, I pulled out an old friend. This Miu Miu bag is such a favorite but I just haven't been carrying it much in the past few years and I missed it. I can't find anything super similar but I love this cool black hobo from Rebecca Minkoff and this Marc Jacobs bag has a similar feel. I love the mix of something really nice worn with my best thrift finds, you know? 

Quick details! I'm wearing my usual array of jewelry - moonstone earrings from Three Flames Silverworks, and old Madewell horn pendant (similar) and my Gorjana Parker. Nothing super fancy, but it all feels like me. This is 50 and it feels great. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: More Fancy Sweatshirts!

I think the fancy sweatshirt is one of the best things to come out of the pandemic. I LOVE a fancy sweatshirt (as demonstrated earlier this week) and I'm always looking for my next one. Here are a few I wouldn't mind having:

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Review: Dyson Airwrap for Short Hair.

As I mentioned recently, I managed to get my paws on a secondhand Dyson Airwrap styler which I was dying to try even though it's not really meant for my hair. I was pretty sure, in fact, that it would make me cry. My hair is legitimately short*, straight and fine and I don't generally do much to it aside from a quick blow-dry and some flat ironing of the ends. But, I recently got a haircut I didn't like, so I decided the Airwrap couldn't make things worse. I was right! 

The Dyson Airwrap seems advanced, but it's surprisingly easy and fun to use. Trust me, if I can use it without ending up having to cut it out of my hair, you can totally handle it. For hair as short as mine curls/waves aren't yet a thing (I'm growing it out because I'd love to achieve this look) but I can get crazy volume with it, something I was never able to achieve with a regular round brush/hair dryer. 

The set comes in an enormous fancy box with a handle and a bunch of attachments: a pre-styling dryer, a volumizing round brush, firm smoothing brush, soft smoothing brush, and two sets of curl barrels. 

If I'm in a rush I'll just dry it a bit and use the round brush attachment which gives me very good results. But, when I have a bit more time I pull out the barrels to get crazy volume and shine. Here's my process (please note that it's impossible to do mirror selfies without getting crazy eyes):

First, I spray a little B&B Tonic on my wet hair and then some product - lately I've been loving R&Co Rodeo Star mousse. I use the pre-styling dryer to get my hair mostly-but-not-quite dry. The dryer attachment is pretty powerful, though if you have a lot of hair, it probably isn't going to replace a regular hair dryer. (In my case it does because my beloved Super Solano finally died on me last week. RIP, Super Solano.)

Then I hit my bangs with the firm brush because they dry quickly and I want to avoid bang wonkiness.

Then I section off the bottom layer of my hair and and use the large barrel on it, section by section. The styler kind of sucks your hair onto the barrel which is scary at first and then it's fun. Also, hello crazy eyes.

Please note the insane curl action on the bottom! I then use the barrel on the top in sections and then repeat this process on the other side. I use the round brush attachment on the back because it's too short for the barrels. All of this seems complicated but it takes less than 15 minutes. After the barrel action, I'm left with this:

This is...not great. I know. I KNOW. But please take a moment to notice how freaking shiny my hair is:

Still, that bubble bob is not it so I give my hair a few minutes to relax and then as a final step I use my flat iron and straighten the ends. Here's the final style in much more flattering light:

So good! So much more volume than I ever though I could achieve on my own. Here's the other side: 

I still have some growing out to do (all those stupid little layers!) before I can achieve some bouncy waves, but overall I'm really impressed with the Dyson Airwrap. It's fun and not hard to use. I honestly didn't think I'd keep it but now I don't know how I managed without it? This is dangerous. Anyway, if you have really short hair I am not saying you should go out and drop this kind of money on a styler but if you've been thinking about it for a while, maybe treat yo self. It's well-made and fancy af. (Plus, I don't know about you but I could use a little fun these days, even if it's from a weird hair tool.)

From what I can tell it's backordered (to ship in Feb) or sold out pretty much everywhere but I have seen them pop back up for sale a few times, so keep your eye out! Or, don't give in to this nonsense and keep doing what you're doing. You look great. 

*The Internet needs to understand what short hair is. Please, I beg you, stop calling your hair "short" if it's long enough to put in a ponytail. THAT IS NOT SHORT HAIR. What you have is MEDIUM LENGTH HAIR. I can't tell you how annoying it is to go looking for short hair Dyson Airwrap tutorials and finding folks with hair below their shoulders calling their hair "short." IT IS NOT. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): Madewell Secret Stock Sale.

I don't know how "secret" the stuff really is, but Madewell is giving an extra 40% off a whole lot of it and I feel compelled to tell you about it. Some of it is final sale and sizing is limited but y'all, there are some screaming deals to be had. Here's what I love:

Friday, January 7, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: My Best Stuff, All (Mostly) On Sale.

I always keep an eye on my favorite things in case they go on sale because who doesn't love a bargain! I just found my little blue lapis Gorjana necklace on NR and I posted yesterday that my Varley pullover is on sale. Here's a bunch of other stuff that I own (or want to own) that's on sale right now:

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Outfit of the Day: My WFH Secret. (Spoiler: It's Fancy Sweatshirts.)

I realized not long ago that my work-from-home outfits all had a similar lean: Sweatshirts. Heh. It's more like, let's be comfortable but also be able to answer the front door if someone knocks. It's all fun and games working in your pajamas until you have to sign for a package, you know? I also feel more like a human person if I make a tiny bit of effort every day, so I try to wear a little makeup, do my hair and wear a piece of jewelry. It makes me feel less like a home-bound swamp creature. Anyway, here are three recent work-from-home outfits featuring, um, pretty nice sweatshirts:

Y'all are familiar with my Madewell Boyjeans and my beloved Birkenstock clogs, so let's talk about my sweatshirt. It's the Vuori Halo Crew and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. SO MUCH. SO MUCH. I wear it all the time because it's just perfect - soft, slightly cropped (but not obnoxiously so), loose but not sloppy, comfy as hell and just kind of looks...nice? No matter what? I hate how expensive it is but it was worth every penny. 

My necklace is some dumb Capricorn pendant by Kendra Scott that I found at Nordstrom Rack a while back and felt compelled to buy. It's nicely chunky and came with a couple of jangly charms that I removed. I'm also wearing my Madewell freshwater pearl earrings that are now sold out (but I told you to buy them a while back, so don't yell.) They're surprisingly nice! They do still have this freshwater pearl style still in stock which I think are really cute. 

Hi! I am wearing my favorite basic sweatshirt from Quince (def a more traditional cut, but so cozy) and my Athleta Headlands Hybrid moto tights, both of which I've already talked about a lot. I was mostly excited to tell you about my Rothy's The Chelsea in Wildcat but they've already sold out. Jerks. I will admit that I was a fan of Rothy's flats for a minute but they stopped being comfortable (so sweaty!) so I sold them. 

Meanwhile, I had a bunch of credits just sitting (erm, my link will get you $20 off, I get credits, etc.) and discovered they had some items on sale after Christmas so I bought The Chelsea boots with my credits expecting to hate them. Um, I love them. The secret is, I can wear socks with them so my feet don't get gross. Naturally, that sale section completely vanished but you can definitely find them NIB on eBay or Posh. Or, you can buy this cute version by Ryka or these Dr Scholl's booties or these cuties by Dolce Vita

I'm wearing my Giles & Brother fish hook necklace that I've had for a million years. Still a favorite. 

Okay, this looks positively dressy by comparison! I know I've written about my Varley Cleon sweatshirt before (review here) but y'all, it's on sale! Also here! It's so, so good - really more of a heavy top than a sweatshirt and it looks really refined and dressy. I also love it in the lavender/grey color.  I'm wearing it with my Athleta Chelsea Cargo pants (I'm wearing the unlined version) and my Everlane Day Glove flats

Final necklace roundup: I'm wearing my tiny Gorjana gemstone necklace and my little bird skull pendant from Paxton Gate. That's it! Three outfits, three...sweatshirts. THEY ARE ALL TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND NICE. I mean, right? Humor me. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Marianne Reviews: The Gymwrap

This is not exactly cute but I swear that 80% of my bodily sweating happens on my scalp. And yes, this is vain, but I don’t like to wash and dry my hair more than twice a week (my hair is really dry and this is the best thing I can do for it), so for literally years I have not exercised meaningfully because of my hair. If you follow me on instagram then you might already know that I’ve been really working on moving meaningfully every day. And I mean EVERY DAY, I’m now up to a 116 day streak closing all of my rings on my Apple Watch

I was swimming until the weather got too cold (I know people who love cold water swimming, but that’s not for me), and I perfected keeping my hair pretty dry and swimming is one of the least sweat-inducing exercises for me. Since the weather change I’ve been walking 3 miles a day at a brisk pace and steep incline (with my Bala Bands on, I will admit I love them). Great exercise, but ugh, the scalp sweating. 

I was ending up blow drying my hair most days or just wearing it up (and still looking soaking wet). I went on a mission to find a solution, and finally ordered the Gymwrap. The reviews were amazing and I love that it’s a small business owned by a Black woman. I ordered the original Gymwrap and the Bandi, which is lighter weight. 

Here I am in the classic one, at first I didn’t like the tie but now I love that you can truly adjust it to fit you. The Bandi wants to slide back on my head and has to be readjusted, but the classic stays put. Most importantly, IT WORKS. You put it on before your workout and leave it on for 30 minutes afterwards.

When you take it off, your hair looks kind of smushed, but it is pretty much bone sry and not oily at all. Is your hair 100% perfect, like you just styled it? No. But it is totally better than fine. 

I can’t recommend this enough if you are a scalp/hairline sweater. Truly a game changer! If you'd like to try the Gymwrap you can use my referral link for 25% off your first order

Monday, January 3, 2022

Best of...2021.

 Happy New Year, all! I took a break from the blog over the holidays but now I'm back with a few new ideas and hopefully some slightly more inspiring outfits. (Seriously, though, my style has reached new highs (lows?) when it comes to casual. Y'all are just lucky I'm not posting actual pajamas and bedhead, is all I'm saying.) 

2021 was an insane year for me - moving across the country in a pandemic, working remotely on EST, figuring out a whole new life. It was... a lot. I know my blog posting schedule has slowed down quite a bit, but I think we still gave some solid recommendations (and a few clunkers but that is a different post) so today I thought I'd revisit some of the best of 2021:

The Most Popular Fashion Purchase. 
A lot of you bought the J.Crew Lightweight Utility jacket (worn here) which is still a solid favorite of mine. Sadly it's sold out but fingers crossed they bring it back in the spring! I find it interesting that they have a totally different jacket with the same name, so maybe this is what we get. (It's cute, but not the same at all.) 

The Most Popular Gadget Purchase.
The best seller on the blog last year was this USB arc lighter, which was given to me last Christmas by Marianne. It's still one of my favorite gadgets of all time and I hope you love it too! A lot of you also bought my favorite scalp massager tool which I still use daily. It's one of those things you can't imagine being without once you start using it. 

The Most Popular Book Purchase.
The most-purchased book last year was Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane, which is definitely my favorite of hers, and the runner up was In Five Years by Rebecca Searle, which Marianne and I both loved a lot. You can't go wrong with either one! (Original reviews here and here.)

The Best Thing I Read.
Looking back on all the books I talked about last year, I think my favorite, the one that stuck with me the most, is The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley. (Reviewed here.) I also really loved Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which was so much better than I was expecting and I find myself thinking about it even now, months later. (Reviewed here.)

The Outfit You Loved Best. 
This little black dress outfit got more attention on IG than anything I've ever posted. I love it too and can't wait for the weather to be nice enough to wear that dress again! It was a solid purchase. 

The Outfit I Loved Best. 
Of all the outfits I've posted this year, this one is my personal favorite. It just feels like me top to bottom and I love everything I'm wearing individually, which is rare. That AllSaints Dalby jacket, y'all. It's a good one. 

The Best Thing I Bought. 
Okay, this is always kind of tough but I decided my Hammitt VIP bag is absolutely my favorite purchase of 2021. It have carried it a ton and it's just so easy and so cute with the red zipper. The large is the perfect size for everyday and the rear cell phone slip pocket is perfection. (My Clare V bag comes in at a close second for pure cuteness alone.) 

That's it for today! What do you think? Did we do you right or lead you astray? What were your favorites from 2021?