Friday, October 28, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Old Navy Fall Picks

 Hello! Lots of mentions of Old Navy in the comments this week so I thought I'd see what they have for fall. Turns out, it's looking pretty good:

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Outfit of the Day: Welcome Back, Old Friend.

A few weeks ago I wandered into a store that was not Madewell and tried on a bunch of jeans that were flared and y'all. Y'ALL. THEY ARE SO FLATTERING AND GOOD. HELLO FLARED JEANS. HELLO HELLO WELCOME BACK.

YES. These are Mother The Weekender Mid Rise Flared Jeans and they are so stupidly expensive that I feel like I should apologize. I ended up buying them on sale during the Bloomingdales F&F because I had to have them. They were the kind of jeans you put on and they perfectly. They are technically meant to be a cropped style but only if you're a model, I guess? They are definitely not cropped on me. For something similar, Madewell has some flared styles and J.Crew has some nice options on sale right now but I'm telling you, these Mother jeans are making me really happy. 

I'm wearing my new jeans with my new Quince cashmere fisherman sweater (reviewed here) and it's so soft and good that I want another one in a different color. I'm going to give this one a few more wears first though because I'm waffling between ordering another large or going for a more fitted medium. I also want to buy the Quince cashmere batwing sweater but I'm waffling between sizes on that one too.

Apparently, I needed to try on all my new things together, so I threw on my new Quince leather jacket (reviewed here) and was happy to discover it fits nicely over a sweater! I was initally worried about sizing up but really wanted to be able to wear it over more than a t-shirt. I'm really still so impressed with this jacket. It's such a freaking steal. Quince has several different leather jacket styles and they sell out quickly. I'm hoping they'll restock the washed leather jacket so I can try that one too. 

And yay! I got my Hammitt VIP bag back from being repaired (in record time!) I immediately started carrying it again because it's my best everyday bag and I missed it. On to details:

I'm wearing my sick new leather jacket with an old Dean Davidson tassel necklace you can't even see. Sorry! It's an old favorite that I've worn a million times before. Here's the down-below:

Woof! I love the flare. My boots are my new Blundstone heeled boots that are breaking in nicely! They're perfect with these jeans, right?  I'm just so happy flares are back because I find them so flattering. How're you feeling about bootcut/flared styles? Not ready or born ready? 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Monday Mood: A Mystery Solved.

Just a note: there are no affiliate links in this post!

Let me just start by saying this: I am an idiot. No seriously, I am AN IDIOT. I have solved a mystery I should've figured out ages ago. I mean, the "duh" here is so obvious to me now that it's really ridiculous. 

I'm pretty sure I've talked about this before but I've had issues with my face getting red, bumpy and swollen and for a while I thought it was rosacea, which was rather flippantly confirmed by my dermatologist at the time. It was not rosacea. (Yep, I mentioned it here and OMG, you guys TOLD ME WHAT IT WAS in the comments!)

It started in 2017, mostly in the summer and then stopped for a few years. When I moved to Oregon, I got a new dermatologist, and she confirmed what I'd suspected -  it was an allergic reaction. To what, I wasn't sure (I know, I know) but I knew that whatever my face was reacting to, exposure to the sun made it much worse.

Last summer it happened again in Austin, the worst occurrence yet:

Ouch. My face was super swollen and hot to the touch. The day before we'd sat out by the pool for a while, and before we went out I touched up my sunscreen with this spray formula that I'd recently purchased. I woke up the next morning looking like a horror show. WHAT COULD IT BE? Something I ate? I know, y'all have probably already figured it out but it took me another year.

So, remember last week when I bought a bunch of fun new sunscreen products? Yeah, guess what happened? I slapped them on and the next day I woke up with a red, swollen face. I am, as it turns out, wildly allergic to chemical sunscreen. Specifically to octocrylene and oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) from what I can tell. These in particular are well-known to cause allergic reactions. I wasn't paying attention. At all. 

I looked up the ingredients of every sunscreen I've used since 2017 and it all makes sense. My face stopped reacting when I switched to Skin Aqua Super Moisture Sunscreen (which is a combo mineral/chemical sunscreen but doesn't have the ingredients I'm reactive to.) 

Every product I recently bought has octocrylene in it, including that stupid eye cream. Honestly, I mostly think the "clean beauty" thing is marketing bullshit but the more I read about chemical sunscreens, the more pissed off I get. So, I cannot recommend:

- Supergoop Daily Dose Hydra-Ceramide Boost + SPF 40 Oil

- Supergoop (Re)Setting Refreshing Mist SPF 40

- Coola Full Spectrum 360° Day SPF 30 & Night Organic Eye Cream Duo

- COOLA Dew Good Illuminating Serum Probiotic Sunscreen, SPF 30

If you aren't reactive and these products work for you, that's great! Keep using them. However, if you've been dealing with weird allergic reactions and aren't sure why, take a look at your products that include sunscreen. One of them even got the "allergen of the year" award for it, which made me bark-laugh.

Honestly, I am so relieved to have finally figured this out and now I'm on the hunt for a really excellent mineral sunscreen. Even though the one I've been using works fine for me, I'm really not feeling great about it. I currently have It Cosmetics CC cream and MD Solar Science tinted mineral sunscreen but I really want an untinted everyday mineral formula that isn't greasy and that plays well with makeup. Any recs? 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: What's New At Quince

I was all excited to link Quince's new washed leather jacket but it's already sold out in most sizes! They'll restock, but in the meantime I looked around to see what else was new and good and found some great stuff:

If you've never shopped Quince before please click on my link to get $20 off your first purchase!
(Full disclosure: for each purchase I get credits to spend.)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Stuff I Like: Decorative Gourd Season.

Ah, fall in Oregon. We've had a really good run of unusually warm, dry weather but the rain starts tomorrow and doesn't look like it's going to stop. I've been preparing for it with the following autumnal favorites:

My SAD Light That Staves Off Despair
I'm pretty sure I posted about my Verilux light last year but it bears repeating, as the mornings have been dark and it's getting on towards winter. I turn mine on first thing when I sit down to work and let it beam happiness directly into my face for 30 minutes or until my retinas burn out. It really does help with the seasonal sads and I feel like they should just issue everyone a Verilux when they arrive in the Pacific Northwest.

This Tana French That's Way Better The Second Time Around
I love Tana French but a few of her books, like The Witch Elmweren't a super favorite the first time around.  Sometimes a re-read is in order and makes me like a story more because I pick up all kinds of things I missed the first time. The Witch Elm is one of those - it's so much better the second time around! Just a little weirder, the atmospheric beauty of French's writing, the off-kilter feeling of it all. The main character in this one is unlikable in such a good, subtle way. Like, he's not a bad guy but he's that guy. Anyway, it's a perfect Halloween read - an old house, a mysterious skull, and an unsolved murder. Good stuff all around. 

These Comfy Pants I Am Wearing Right Now
You guys. I have found a pair of lounge pants I like at least as much as my Vuori pair. Sadly, they are MORE expensive (but on sale at Zappos!) and are so freaking good that I have to tell you about them anyway. They're the Spacedye Midi Jogger from Beyond Yoga and they are a sort of legging/jogger hybrid. Soft and stretchy and somehow kind of flattering? My only complaint is that the pockets are too shallow. 

This Weeknight recipe That's Stupid Easy
Okay, despite disliking the name of this website, I really love Skinnytaste's Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. It's one I add into the rotation the minute acorn squash arrives in the stores. Marianne introduced me to it because she's magic that way and I'm just a copycat. Anyway, I double the spices (seriously, what the hell with 1/4 tsp of chili powder?) and usually add a dollop of sour cream on top as well as the cheese and it's delicious. 

Adrien's Candle Corner
I generally skip the pumpkin spice bullshit that is fall candles and jump right into Christmasy-type scents (this one is excellent) but I will admit the Honeycrisp Apple candle at Trader Joe's is surprisingly nice. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

BUY THIS (Because I already Did): Recent Purchases.

Hi hi! I have been kind of shoppy lately and I thought I'd tell you about it even though I haven't actually received any of the items yet. Best blogger/worst blogger! It's a toss-up. First:

I've been eyeing the Calpak Luka duffel and belt bag ever since Marianne bought them for a recent trip (both of us influenced by Olivia Muenter, naturally.) I have a few big trips coming up and my Lo & Sons backpack is looking a little shabby these days, so I wanted something a bit bigger and more easily accessible. Plus Calpak is having a sale that ends today! (Just FYI, these items are final sale which is lame, but what can you do.) I'll do a full review of both items once I receive them. 

I also discovered I can buy all kinds of fancy sunscreen products with HSA/FSA funds! I went through HSAStore but apparently you can buy direct from Supergoop using HSA/FSA funds and Amazon also has an HSA/FSA approved section. Anyway, here's what I ordered:

Supergoop Daily Dose Hydra-Ceramide Boost + SPF 40 Oil. I am really curious to try this! I've been using Tretinoin and my skin is currently really dry and flaky, so I'm hoping this will help. Plus it's got SPF 40! I don't understand how sunscreen works in an oil formula but I guess I will find out.

Coola Full Spectrum 360° Day SPF 30 & Night Organic Eye Cream Duo. I'm nearly out of my Clinique eye cream and this one is a double-sided thingy with a day eye cream (with SPF) and a night cream with some other stuff I've already forgotten. I mostly think eye cream is nonsense but somehow I'm always willing to hope that a new one will prove me wrong. 

COOLA Dew Good Illuminating Serum Probiotic Sunscreen, SPF 30, 1 oz. Do I need a glowy sunscreen primer serum? Probably not but this one gets very good reviews and I am always game to try a new product for blog science. I will report back! 

PS. I also bought a pair of stupidly expensive jeans that aren't Madewell. Shocking! I'm saving those for another post, though, so you'll have to wait. 

Monday, October 17, 2022

Review: Blundstone Women's Heeled Chelsea Boots

 Hello! Nearly two years ago I reviewed a couple of styles of Blundstone boots and kept the Classic 550 Chelsea which I still love and wear. They're great boots - rugged and comfortable and very PNW.  I got them in the rustic finish which is extremely rustic. So, while they're great boots, they're also super casual and I wanted another pair that was a bit dressier but could still take miles of walking in wet weather. 

Blundstone has a women-specific style that really appealed - the #1671 Heeled Chelsea boot. It has the same Blundstone look with a bit of a heel, a more refined toe, and a higher shaft than my classic pair. 

Look at my cute little Blundstone family! I'm a dork. Anyway, here's what they look like on my feet: 

I ordered the heeled boots in two sizes because Blundstone sizing is weird - half sizes are wider but not longer. I wear a 6/9 in my Classic boots but different styles run differently, so I got these in a 5.5/8.5, and a 6/9. The half size felt great overall except that my big toes definitely were hitting the front of the boot and that's the kind of thing that's not a problem until you lose a toenail. Nope. I settled on the 6/9 which has a bit more length and room for thick socks. These are my new Ireland boots! Now I just need to break them in, though so far they feel quite comfortable and my other Blundstones didn't require much break-in time so fingers crossed. 

The heel is pretty low but still enough to give you a bit of lift and dress things up a little bit. They still definitely have that Blundstone look with the pull tabs and whatnot. Some reviewers complained that they struggled to get these on and off, but I haven't had issues. (The pull tabs help, but I also don't have high arches.) Outfit details:

I'm wearing my Varley Cleon pullover (reviewed here) from last year. It's sold out but they have a similar tunic-length version and I also love this one with the big zip collar. I love an athleisure pullover - looks like real clothes, feels like a sweatshirt. I'm also wearing a pair of Madewell Perfect Vintage jeans similar to this current pair

I'm still carrying my Minkoff quilted Love bag every day and I especially love it with a casual look (which is good, because that's generally how I do.) I will probably post some more Blundstone outfits as I feel like this pair could be cute with dresses, leggings, etc. More to come! 

Friday, October 14, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Checking in on EVEREVE.

I hadn't checked the EVEREVE site for a while so I went to see what's new and what's on sale and was pleasantly surprised. This post is half sale, half new stuff, and all pretty freaking good:

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Outfit of the Day: Basically Almost Chanel.

On Tuesday I told you about my inspiration to use a bag I felt might be too fancy (formal? Something?) for my style but now that I'm carrying it I realize that it works to make even my most casual looks (and let's be clear, all my looks are casual these days) a little more refined, a little more elevated. Like so: 

Jeans, graphic tee, clogs, oversized blazer. This is all feeling like a good look for me -  casual but not sloppy. Add my Minkoff Love quilted bag and it feels downright Parisian. Ha. So fancy. So Paris. 

My blazer is thrifted (I wrote about it here) and it's the Oversized Blazer in Glen Plaid by Everlane. It's already feeling like a solid addition to my closet. For something similar, this Madewell blazer looks promising. My jeans are an old pair of Madewell Cali Demi Boot, a favorite of mine. This current version is pretty similar. 

I love that you can't see my Bowie tee at all in these pics, but it's the one I'm wear here. It's a favorite! Lucky does really good graphic tees - this one is currently on my "might need' list.  Details:

I'm wearing my silver wings necklace by My Precious Studio and my favorite stone necklace from Three Flames Silverworks. I love buying jewelry from independent designers - it's always what I end up keeping and wearing the most often. Now:

One secret about this bag - it's easy to convert to a shoulder bag! You unclip the chain and string it through the loop and re-clip at the top. Genius. My clogs are M.Gemi (via Poshmark) and they're great but it's not hard to find something similar and less expensive. This pair at J.Crew is very similar and on sale! Factory also has a cute version

That's it for today! Next week will be Blundstone boot and expensive jeans week, so stay tuned, the fun never stops. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A Tale of Three Bags.

Hello! Here is a tale about three bags, two of which I own and one of which I'll probably never own but it was good inspiration. This is all real dumb. Here we go: 

Bag #1 (The issue) 

Y'all know I love my Hammitt large VIP bag - it's beautiful, and casual and the perfect size for an everyday bag. I probably carry it more than any other bag I own, which is why I was straight horrified when it broke. 

One of the little strap connector loops broke and my bag just fell off me in the middle of a dentist's waiting room. The horror! But, Hammitt offers a lifetime guarantee on their bags, so I reached out to them and they're going to repair my bag for free! I packed it up and sent it off and then was like, what do I use in the meantime? 

Bag #2 (The solution) 

I found this Minkoff medium Love bag at the thrift store back in August and was tempted to keep it for myself rather than listing it on Poshmark but I didn't need it. I had my Hammitt and my smaller quilted MJ bag so it seemed kind of extra to keep this rather fancy-feeling bag when I didn't technically have a need for it. I listed it for sale, though occasionally I'd try it on with an outfit for blog science. Just FYI, my Minkoff is the older quilted version (easily found on eBay and Poshmark) but the current version is a quilted chevron. I do love how similar it is to the Chanel Boy bag:

Bag #3 (the inspiration)

So, my Hammitt broke and is out of commission for at least a month so I started thinking about the Minkoff bag again. It hadn't sold and it was, like, right there in my closet looking all cute. While I was still pondering it, I saw the Chanel Boy bag in action on an episode of The Parisian Agency, and I was struck by how casually the woman who owned it was carrying it. I mean, yes, fine, she was a French model but it's just a bag! A very, very nice expensive bag, but to her it was just her bag. So I took the Minkoff bag out of my Poshmark shop and I've been carrying it ever since. It does feel a bit Chanel-fancy and it just seems to elevate everything I wear it with. (Outfit later this week!)  I might eventually sell it but for now it's mine all mine. 

Related links: This Minkoff Love bag in pewter is on sale and the version with gold hardware is available 25% off at Bloomingdales. There are some good prices on various colors and sizes here at Yoox. For an option under $100, I really like the look of this quilted leather bag at Marshalls! 

Friday, October 7, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Bloomingdales F&F Sale!

Y'all. Y'ALL. Bloomingdales Friends & Family sale is no joke. 25% off a ton of really good stuff (though they won't let you sort to see just that stuff, which is rude) and $20 off every $150 on select beauty. My fancy Loeffler Randalls shoes are part of the sale, just FYI. Here's what I like:

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Stuff I Like: What I'm Watching

I posted last week about what I was reading which gives the impression I'm not also watching an unhealthy amount of TV. I am, though! I am watching so much TV because there's so much good stuff on. Here's are four shows I'm watching: 

This Show That I'm Completely Obsessed With
Why isn't anyone talking about The Parisian Agency on Netflix? I am OBSESSED. Like, I have one more episode left to watch and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself after that. (I've already watched Call My Agent!) If you're not familiar, The Parisian Agency (or L'Agence) is a reality show about a ridiculously good-looking family of real estate agents. The older brothers are absurdly hot and the grandmother is a freaking legend. Basically just stupid-attractive French people showing incredible properties. I can't get enough and I'm quietly obsessed with the tiny apartment on Ile Saint Louis that's $1.2 million. Help.

This Show That Is Unlike Anything Else
I've been watching Bad Sisters on Apple+ and you guys, this is THE SHOW. It's an Irish dark comedy about four sisters plotting to murder their other sister's truly terrible husband who 100% has it coming. This show has everything: a bad man, a bunch of amazing Irish women (Sharon Horgan! Eve Hewson!), Daryl McCormack, murder plots, intrigue, paintball, all of it. It's funny, dark and slightly weird. I can't recommend it enough. 

This Show That Made Me Cry
Are you watching Reservation Dogs on Hulu? It's so good and clever and heartbreaking and funny as shit. It's about a group of  group of teenagers living on an Oklahoma reservation and I just finished the second season. I don't want to spoil it with too much description but it's got a quiet energy that sneaks up on you, makes you laugh and then breaks your heart. Highly recommend. 

This Show That Is Terrible But...
I watched the trailer for Partner Track on Netflix and was immediately like, "A woman competing against a bunch of obnoxious bros for a law firm partnership? No thank you." Then I watched the first episode and was like, "this is not great" and then watched the entire season and was sad when it was over. The story is ridiculous, the main character and her friends are fine, the outfits are good, and the love interests are TRULY AWFUL. It's not good but it's fun to watch and I recommend it if you want to watch something shiny and binge-able.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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

Athleta is usually a hit for me (especially the pants and tights) but sometimes their color choices are not...quite it. This fall, however, they have some new styles and old favorites in some amazing autumnal colors that are all very much my thing. Here's what I love:

This asymmetrical sweatshirt just looks so cozy and easy to wear! It comes in a bunch of colors but this burgundy is it, right? I also love the green-y blue color. Ugh. 

I swear by the Brooklyn pant and every year they come out with new colors, most of which I hate. Not this year! I am so into this mahogany color and also intrigued by the dusty violet color. 

I bought this top back in the spring in the violet color and now it's available in fall colors! It's exactly the fit I want for a seamless top - body skimming but not clingy. It also has little grippy bits in the waist to keep it from riding up which I appreciate. 

Oooh, I am really intrigued by a Headlands Hybrid jogger. I love the HH tights and suspect the jogger is probably also pretty great. I have, like, four pairs of black Athleta tights/pants so this olive pair would be totally different, right? 

I'm a long-time fan of the Triumph hoodie and this green version is killing me. It also comes in the mahogany color seen above which is also very tempting. I have two Athleta hoodies already and I AM GOOD. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. 

These are the Headland hybrid tights. They're indestructible but also comfortable and they don't get baggy in the knees. I'm not 100% sure about this gold color but I don't not like it. 

I keep eyeing this little backpack which would be great for hikes or around town. I do not need another backpack AT ALL but maybe? It gets good reviews and is slightly sporty without being over-the-top sporty. 

Oooh, these. If you do any kind of cool weather outdoor activity, you owe it to yourself to get a pair of Rainier tights. I have two (reflective and regular) and they are amazing. They get rave reviews for a reason - warm without being bulky and extremely flattering and comfortable.

I bought this Whisper jacket last winter (review here) in violet and now it's back in some really good colors including this textured version that I can't stop looking at. It's almost animal print? But not quite? Anyway, I love mine and you can't go wrong with this one (but def size down.) 

Which brings me to this parka-length version which comes in a new golden brown color and I am INTO IT SO MUCH. I do not neeeeeed it but you can be sure that when it goes on sale (and it will) I will be paying close attention to this parka I do not need in a color I definitely like very much. Ugh. 

Monday, October 3, 2022

Review: Madewell Oversized Leather Jacket vs. Quince Motorcycle Jacket.

Alternate title: A Tale Of Two Jackets. So! Last week I ordered two leather jackets purely for blog science because how else will we know? I've been extremely curious about Madewell's Oversized Washed Leather Jacket, and since it wasn't excluded from the most recent sale, I ordered the fatigue green version when it was 30% off.  I'd also read the glowing reviews of Quince's $150 Leather Motorcycle Jacket and it was back in stock, so I ordered that in the burgundy color. Let's start with the Madewell jacket:

Okay, right out of the box I was super into the color. The photos of this jacket on the Madewell site are terrible and don't do it justice at all. It's like they don't want you to buy it! The pics of the black version are way better but that dark green with the brass hardware? So good. 

The washed leather is lightweight and already has a broken-in feel and the hardware felt substantial. I ordered a medium based on reviews because I wanted it big enough to wear a light sweater underneath but not so big that it swallowed me up. The sizing was perfect for me - slightly oversized feeling but not too big. The sleeves were surprisingly short for a leather jacket which worked for me but if you're tall this might be an issue.

I do love that this jacket isn't cropped but it also means that it's a lot of jacket just hanging around when unzipped. I wasn't sure if I loved the look on me but that color! So good. Then I tried to zip it up. It's big enough that I could easily zip it...if the freaking zipper worked. Womp.

I spent a lot of time trying to zip that dumb jacket up and the zipper would not budge. I read back through the reviews for the black version and apparently this is a really common issue for this jacket. For something that costs $500+ retail, the zipper should work, right? I ended up returning it. 

Now, let's look at the Quince motorcycle jacket:

I mean, hello baby. This jacket is gorgeous. The color is ridiculously good and I don't even think my photos do it justice. This is a pretty traditional moto style jacket in buttery leather with silver hardware. It comes in three colors but I chose the burgundy because it looked like a color that would work well with my wardrobe and obviously I think it's beautiful. (Plus, I already have a black leather jacket.)

The leather is very soft and pretty thin, so it's not the quality of, say, an AllSaints jacket, but for the price it is a surprisingly nice jacket. I ordered a large because I wanted room for a sweater (my AllSaints Dalby is very fitted) and I wanted to be able to comfortably zip it up:

No problem! I could probably wear a medium if I wanted a more fitted look. The belt is attached but the hardware is lightweight so it's not too annoying to have the buckle end flapping around. The zipper is likewise not super heavy duty but it works just fine and overall I am really pleased with this jacket. 

I mean, for $150, are you kidding me? Of course I'm keeping it. I'm happy to answer questions about either jacket! Please comment below. 

If you're tempted and want $20 off your first purchase, please use my link. (Full disclosure: for each purchase through my link I receive credits to spend which allows me to try and review more stuff. I paid for a portion of this jacket with credits, so thank you to those of you who used my link!) 

PS. My shoes are the Madewell Harper Mule and my jeans are an older pair of Madewell Boyjeans