Friday, January 27, 2023

Weekend Window Shopping: Stuff I Want.

Ugh, you guysssssss. Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments. I read every one of them and I'm truly touched. I maybe cried a little? Y'all are just the best and just to be very clear: this is still fun for me and I'm definitely not over it, I just need to be able to give this new job my full attention. Plus, right now even simple things (getting dressed, taking a shower) take way more energy (both mental and physical) because of my non-weight-bearing broken foot. It's all...a lot. So, I'm going to take a little break and then I'll be back with monthly or maybe bi-monthly blog posts. We'll see! I'll also still post on the blog's Instagram (though my refusal to do videos is definitely not in my favor when it comes to the algorithm.) 

Now, how about one more Weekend Window Shopping? Today it's a little of everything with a theme of "stuff I bought, stuff I want" because always. Here you go :

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said.

Nearly thirteen years ago my friend Marianne had the idea that we should start a blog and share our funny email conversations about clothes and shoes and makeup and fashion because if we were cracking ourselves up, surely we could make other people laugh too, right? 

Also, why not post real, affordable outfit photos in which we smile instead of gazing at our toes? 2010 was the heyday of the fashion/style blog and we wanted to be part of it. 

In the thirteen years since a lot has happened: jobs, kids, serious illness, divorce, big moves, big life changes. Marianne, with two kids and a real-ass grown-lady job, relinquished the blog to me quite a while ago (though she still contributes in so many ways) and eventually our conversations moved from email and text to Marco Polo videos, so it stopped being easy to transcribe them and also started feeling a little over-share-y. A lot of what you originally came for is gone - the cute boys, the fashion snark, drinking gin in a ditch, the convo posts. These things all came to a natural end but it was super fun, wasn't it?

So here's what's happening. I just got my own new grown-lady job here in Oregon, which is exciting! I'd been working my old job East Coast job remotely and had worked there for nearly nineteen years(!) so this is a huge life change for me. What does that mean for the State of the Blog? I think it means it's time to re-evaluate. 

Before I tell you my ideas I just want to thank you all for reading, especially those of you who have been here since the beginning. I honestly consider you all my friends (and some real honest-to-god friendships have come from the blog! I feel so fortunate.) It's so nice to have an EXCELLENTLY smart and cool community of people who read what you write. I can't thank you enough. 

Now, time to talk. With the new job I won't have the time to post regularly and I don't want to be the blog that used to be cool but now only posts shopping links. It feels like that's where it's been headed and it bums me out. However, I also don't want to lose this great community! So, I have some ideas. Would you rather:

- Instagram for outfits and a monthly round-up blog post ("Stuff I Like" style with recs and reviews)
- Instagram only, with outfits in the grid and recs linked in stories
- Kill it dead, this blog has run its course

Vote in the comments! I'll also post a poll in an IG story so you can all vote that way if you'd rather. In the meantime, I'm going to take a break from the blog so I can focus on the new job and on getting my foot healed up. See you on Instagram! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Beauty Reviews: Winter Skin Help.

Because of my current situation (recovering from foot surgery and not being able to use my right foot for literal months, etc) I had really let things go. Showering is a WHOLE STUPID PROCESS and deeply un-fun with a cast so I decided to buy some things to make it less stressful and more enjoyable. Also, my skin was so gross and dry and there's no excuse for that. So:

This NĂ©cessaire kit is such a great way to try these products. They're generous travel sizes (not minis) and I've been quite happy with all of them. The serum and lotion are both unscented but feel very nice. The body serum isn't something I felt I was missing in my life but it's really just a nice hyaluronic acid treatment gel. I put it on my neck, chest, and shoulders right out of the shower. It feels nice and dries down well - not sticky at all. Does it "do" anything? That remains to be seen but it's a nice product. 

The body lotion is also great - thick and moisturizing.  I do wish it was scented because it's got that weird "unfragranced" smell, but it certainly feels elegant and does the job. Will it replace my inexpensive Aveeno lotion? Probably not.  

The body wash is delightful - it has an invigorating eucalyptus scent which is probably not for everyone but I love it and it wakes me up. It's just body wash, though. It smells great and will get you clean but it won't change your life. The body exfoliator, though, is special. It's the hero of the kit and my favorite of the four. It's super moisturizing and has little black scrubby bits in it (bamboo charcoal, apparently.) It doesn't feel like it's doing much when you're scrubbing away but my skin felt so soft afterward. It's just a really nice product that smells and feel luxurious. 

I also got my Allure Beauty Box (I subscribed through Amazon because it's easier to cancel) which included a few products that I am so happy with! The EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner has been a happy surprise. I use it after washing my face in the morning and my skin just drinks it up. It's full of peptides and calming ingredients and it's not super expensive! I'm currently using Tretinoin which is drying the hell out of my face, so I'm hoping this stuff will help keep my skin barrier healthy. It might eventually replace my Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel which I love but is expensive. 

The other thing I got in my box that was a lovely surprise - a full size tube First Aid Beauty KP Smoothing Body Lotion with 10% AHA. Now, this lotion is neither fancy nor elegant but it will smooth out the bumpy skin on the back of your arms and legs (or wherever you're lizard skin lives) and you will feel like whipped cream. It's seriously kind of amazing. Now, I should warn you that it's unscented and smells...not great. I have been applying a thin layer, waiting a few minutes and then putting my usual lotion over it and that seems to work well for me. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Weekend Window Shopping: 20% Off At Athleta

Hey! Sorry to be MIA all week - I've got some fairly big (in a good way) life change stuff going on that I'll tell you about next week. In the meantime, how about we check out the Athleta sale? 20% off your purchase! This is good for nearly everything on the site including the new stuff. Athleta rarely does sales like this, so it's a good time to get a discount on things  that never go on sale (like the black Brooklyn Ankle pants.) So much of my comfy WFH/workout wardrobe is Athleta that I am having a hard time not ordering a bunch of stuff. Here's what I like:

Friday, January 13, 2023

Weekend Window Shopping: Anthro On Sale.

Anthropologie is only really fun when it's on sale and right now there's a bunch of good stuff on sale! (Hint: put your finds in your cart to see the extra markdown!) Here's what I love:

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Stuff I Like: What's Keeping Me Sane.

Ugh, you guys. This has been the longest amount of time doing nothing except healing. I could write an incredibly depressing post of all the stupid stuff I've had to buy that I didn't even know existed (foot elevation pillow! Cast toe cover!) but who even wants that stuff? Literally nobody. Be so glad if you don't need that stuff. Anyway, I am back to work soon but wanted to tell you what I've been doing to pass the time.

Fun Watching:

I had two friends recommend Wednesday to me on the same day and y'all, it is SO GOOD. It's technically a YA show but I feel like we've all grown up with the Addams Family, right? This spin-off is perfectly cast and very Tim Burton-y without being too over-the-top crazy. Some of the dialogue/story is pretty standard stuff but it's just so visually beautiful and Jenna Ortega's Wednesday is perfectly deadpan and weird and I can't get enough. Highly recommend.

We stumbled onto Letterkenny recently and OH MY GOD where has this show been my whole life? Why did nobody tell me? It's absurd, silly, quietly smart, and so f'ing funny we have to pause it because we're laughing so hard. It's probably not for everyone but I can't get enough. Figure it out

Hate Watching: 

Emily In Paris, season three is so dumb I can barely stand it but I'm mostly in it for the ridiculous outfits. I'm also in it for Sylvie who is fantastic and seems to be the only one that hasn't fallen under the Mary Sue spell that is Emily. WHY DOES EVERYONE LOVE EMILY. I DON'T GET IT. I also like Mindy, Luc and Julian, just FYI. But mostly I can't stand this show and still watch every episode. Ugh. 

Game Playing: 

I am not much of a video game person but we got a free subscription to Apple Arcade and have been completely obsessed with Sneaky Sasquatch. I like it because it's nerdy, non-violent and completely low-stakes. The graphics are really clever and it's just a fun long-form game. My Sasquatch has built an island campground, collects mushrooms for profit, and has a pet dog named Pirko. It's a total time waster but I'm enjoying it. 

Currently Reading: 

The Villa
by Rachel Hawkins. This is the Bad on Paper Podcast book club pick this month and Marianne has already read (and loved) it so I decided to actually read the book club book in a timely manner for once. It's great so far. It has two timelines - one modern day with two writer friends vacationing at a villa in Italy, and the other in the 1970s, with a shady rockstar and his entourage staying at the same villa. Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, murder, intrigue, etc. So far, so good. 

Just Ordered:

I caved and bought this Necessaire travel kit for blog science. I'm looking forward to finally trying out these products and I'll definitely report back once I've had a chance to use everything. (Also, a reader rec is making me want to try this set from Soft Services too! Stay tuned.) 

I also re-subscribed to the Allure Beauty Box (through Amazon this time) because the January box looks really good. I will most likely immediately cancel it again but while I'm trapped at home I can exfoliate, moisturize, and serum myself into happiness, right? Right.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Weekend Window Shopping: Pretty Things To Make Me Feel Better.

Sometimes when things aren't great you have to self-soothe with beauty products. I'm not saying a fancy lipstick or luxe face oil will fix your problems but it doesn't hurt to try. So, for blog science, I created a list of things from Sephora that I'll probably buy sooner or later:

Thursday, January 5, 2023

BUY THIS (So We Don't Have To): Madewell 40% Off Sale.

I am not made of stone and the continuous sale-on-sale deals that Madewell is running are very tempting! Here are a few of my favorites:

This is the kind of shirt jacket I think looks wearable and cute. Plus, it has side pockets!

My super-dark denim jeans are on sale! I reviewed them here if you want a refresh.

Okay, I'm not made of stone. I bought this because how perfect is it?

Another cute (and warm!) shirt jacket option in a very of-the-moment color. 

I can't resist a baroque pearl; this necklace just looks so appealing! 

I'm not sure why this dress is on sale in January but Spring 2023 You will be glad it was.

I have been in the PNW long enough to find these lace-up rain boots SO FREAKING CUTE.

Tired of blazers all being oversized? This one has a cropped shape that's super flattering.

I am not a jumpsuit person but this one is so dreamy! Like something Phoebe W-B would wear. 

Finally, the Griff pants. I own these. Marianne owns these. They're a good buy. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Review: Travel Stuff Update.

Before my trip to Ireland (which I promise I'm going to write about) I posted this review of the Calpak items I'd bought for the trip and this post about some of the smaller items that (hopefully) make travel better for me. Some of these things were tested out for the first time on that trip, so here's my update! First the hero of the trip: 

The Airfly Bluetooth Wireless Adapter is pretty amazing. If you travel by air and love your wireless earphones/earbuds? You need this gadget. It plugs into the earphone jack and converts your wireless earbuds (I love my Airpods Pro) so you don't have to use the shitty wired earbuds they give you on the plane. This was a game-changer because I could watch movies with noise canceling and it was delightful! Just make sure you fully charge it first so you won't be disappointed when it dies halfway through whatever movie you're watching.  

The Trtl Wrap Pillow might not be for everyone but I've had mine for a few years and it's absolutely worth a try if you hate traditional travel pillows. It definitely takes some practice but if you can get the internal structure in the right place, it gives your head something to lean against. I have actually managed to sleep with the Trtl! Plus, it's cozy and easy to shove in a backpack or duffel bag. (Note: My link is to the Trtl store on Amazon but they're having a sale at the Trtl website.)

The other things I posted about (compression socks and an eye mask) were perfectly fine, but not life-changing and feel too boring to write about more than I already have. Okay, on to the Calpak stuff:

The Calpak Luka duffel bag performed its job admirably, I should say that upfront. It's lightweight, holds a lot of stuff, and has good pockets. It definitely holds way more than a backpack and technically will fit under an airplane seat but it was a tight squeeze and I ended up putting in overhead for both flights and then having to pull it down and scrabble through it looking for one thing or another that I needed. I wish I'd bought the Luka backpack instead (it's big but not quite as big) which has the added benefit of being able to be carried hands-free. Anyway, if you prefer a duffel bag, this is a really good one! I'm just definitely more of a backpack-as-a-carryon kinda person. 

The Calpak Luka Belt Bag was a great travel tool. It held most of what I needed for immediate use, including my Kindle! It initially felt slightly too large to me but I got over that pretty quickly. For everyday use, I prefer my Lululemon belt bag, but for travel this one is a perfect size and I liked the security of having my passport and wallet strapped right to my body where I could see it. 

And finally, I just want to say that my favorite article of clothing I packed ended up being my Quince cashmere batwing sweater (reviewed here.) I didn't really bring any dressy clothing, but this sweater worn with my Athleta Headlands Hybrid pants and Blundstone heeled boots (plus a pretty necklace) made me feel dressed up enough for a nice dinner out. It's just such a pretty sweater but also super soft and comfortable. 10/10 for this one.