Shout Out Sunday

So, I mentioned last week that I was thinking of changing the title of the feature. I’m still playing around, but we’ll go with “Shout Out Sunday” for now.

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  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two is sensational, but Amy Sherman-Palladino really likes to leave us on unsatisfying cliffhangers, doesn’t she?
  2. Everlane just added some amazing new styles! The button-fly jeans are everything.
  3. The No-Spend Month has been going…okay. I’ve definitely spent way less than I normally would, but I just went to Target and kind of blew it. But there were penguin-shaped catnip toys on clearance for like, $1! How can I not get that for Della? I may need to get her these, because how freaking cute are they? I mean, I also bought a Hearth & Hand wall shelf (I can’t find the link!), because self-control is hard, guys. And it matches my bathroom! When my spending freeze is over, I’m for sure getting this cactus.
  4. I just discovered this kiddo shop on Amazon and my ovaries are practically jumping out of my body.
  5. The Marie Kondo show is out! I KonMari’d years ago, but it’s so nice seeing other people catch on to what is truly the best organizational system you’ll ever try. Nothing else works. Clutter and “organized chaos” are not cute. It’s not “artsy” to be bogged down by possessions. Especially if you have a family, it’s so essential and time-saving to have a clean, organized space. Doing KonMari has literally improved my mental health and sense of peace. Try it!
  6. I’ve probably pimped this before, but this is my all-time favorite “natural” nail polish.

Short one this week. But isn’t that what self-care’s all about? Knowing your limits. See you next week!

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Sunday Kind of Love xxi

Welcome back to another installment of Sunday Kind of Love! This week, I’m going to attempt to be less materialistic, since this list is usually my purchase wet dreams. With one exception everything on here is either free or personal. As I go into 2019, I want to be more mindful and creative—I want a less cluttered home and a less cluttered mind. I know everyone says this nonsense at the beginning of every year, but instead of setting firm resolutions, I want to be kinder to myself and just encourage myself to look within instead of getting external validation from purchases and other people. So, with that said, please enjoy this picture of Sam Weir, a true icon.

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pic via hello giggles
  1. I’m doing a no-buy January! Okay, so I have read Anna Newell Jones’s book already, but I think I’m going to reread it for inspiration. The idea is not to spend any money on anything except essentials and subscriptions that haven’t run their course yet, which for me are gas, groceries, car payment, car insurance, student loans (they kick in in April), Hulu, Netflix, my Oui Fresh box, and paying as much off my credit card balance as possible. I won’t be eating any meals out or buying anything new unless it completely runs out (shampoo, makeup, etc.) Katy Goodman from Vivian Girls and La Sera did a no-buy December which she talked about on her Instagram stories, and it was really inspiring to hear about her success!
  2. I finally watched the Freaks and Geeks A&E documentary and I ugly-cried the whole time. It is so inspiring and heartbreaking. Paul Feig wrote the pilot on spec, which almost never gets picked up, much less goes to series. So many people believed in that show (and also, Paul Feig is a genius). Plus, the mere existence of John Francis Daley fills me will an unimaginable amount of joy.
  3. Michael and I just rewatched the original seasons of Arrested Development and, my god, it is a perfect, perfect show.
  4. I am so excited to watch Dumplin’. I can’t even tell you.
  5. My friend bought me this for Christmas and I almost died.
  6. Okay, okay, I’ll talk about one purchase. I got this little bag for 30% at Madewell when it was first introduced and I absolutely love it.
  7. In the past week, since I’m OFFICIALLY done with school forever and ever amen, I’ve been writing more than I ever have. I’m working on a YA novel about a study abroad trip to Oxford (sound familiar), and a collection of personal essays. I wrote one this morning about the New York Times Crossword and living with bipolar, and I’m thinking of posting it here.
  8. Soup season is officially here! I’ve been making my minestrone non-stop…I have to post the recipe here! It’s a loose take on the minestrone recipe from the Thug Kitchen cookbook and I’ve never had better in my life.
  9. I’m thinking of changing the name of this weekly post. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and it’s starting to feel weird that I just named it after a song instead of coming up with an original title. So if you notice some random new post in your inbox, don’t be alarmed! It’s just me.
  10. I’m goin’ back to Tally the first week of February! I am stoked, dude. We’re seeing Neko Case at the Moon while I’m there! I can’t wait to gorge myself on a SoDough doughnut and tacos from El Cocinero! The best part is that this time I don’t have to fly into Jacksonville and drive over because I actually found a reasonable flight to the TLH airport!

Also, just a quick plug for my DePop and Poshmark shops! I’ll be adding a ton of new stuff in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! I’m @highwaytochel on both accounts, and I always take offers if you leave me a reasonable one in the comments.

In the words of the great philosopher, Phoebe Robinson, #ByeQBye!

Brand Crush: Reformation

So, to those in the know about sustainable fashion, Reformation is hardly news. But I don’t like to promote things that I haven’t actually tried, so I waited until now to write about them (their sale section is bananas good right now). They’re transparent, ethical, and oh, did I mention their clothes are sexy AF? They even have a list of sustainable washing practices on their site, though ya girl is way to much of a compulsive germaphobe to not wash after every wear (I’m just now starting to let pieces like my denim pinafore—similar here—have a second life before I toss it in the wash). I’ve heard of the jeans in the freezer thing, but I’m not emotionally ready to go there.

I am trying to do better in all aspects of my life, and one huge goal for 2019 is to significantly reduce my carbon footprint. The holiday season comes with a lot of waste (my husband and I barely fill up a trash bag a week normally and lately it’s been bursting at the seams by trash day). Reformation is on board—not only do they do their best to reduce waste and emissions in production, but they arm the consumer with the knowledge to prolong the life of their clothes and reduce additional waste. Rad.

So here’s the result of my lusty perusal of their site, some cool collabs, and my very few complaints about the label overall.

Goods

I think we all know I stan a jumpsuit. Meet Georgia, Cassidy, Mayer, Carolina, and Molly.

They call me ranch, ’cause I be dressin’. Meet Alma, Nicola, Zelda, and Josephine.

Their denim game is on point.

THEY MAKE WEDDING DRESSES. I’m literally so mad that I wasn’t really hip to Reformation when I got married, because I 100% would have gotten my dress here. Their prices are insanely reasonable and their stock is gorgeous. I’m torn between Rosey and Milan for which one I’d have worn, but heaven knows I’d have had to duct tape my tits into place.

Collabs

Girlfriend Collective. You heard correctly—Girlfriend Collective! Only my favorite activewear brand is available at Reformation, in some colors that aren’t up on the GC site!

La Ligne. La Ligne is a NYC womenswear brand that makes the most gorgeous clothes. These sweaters are goals.

Patagonia. Patagonia isn’t exactly my jam, but as far as I’m aware, they make super high-quality outside clothes. Is outside clothes a term? Clothes that you’d wear if you went hiking. NGL, though, I could eff with this white puffer jacket.

Marissa A. Freakin’ Ross. Marissa A. Ross, author of Wine, All the Time. and Wine Editor at Bon Appétit, collab’d with Reformation to do sustainable wine pairings. This situation is my brand.

Gripes

Price. Everything is so goddamn expensive. Of course I’m willing to pay more for sustainable fashion. Duh! But $218 on a jumpsuit, no matter how gorgeous, is just not my lifestyle right now. If it goes on sale for $35, like this jumpsuit I snagged, then we can talk. Sustainable fashion is kind of a Catch-22—it’s more labor-intensive to make, since the clothes have to be environmentally and ethically produced, so the only thing that would make the price go down is demand #econ101. But the average person is more easily enticed by Fashion Nova* prices (no shade, Cardi) and can’t justify more expensive clothing into their budgets. I’m trying to do what I can (sticking to brands like Everlane and Girlfriend), but rewiring your brain to a minimalist mindset (a smaller wardrobe with much higher quality clothes) is tough—we live in a capitalist hell-state that actively discourages this.

Sizing. Reformation’s sizing inclusivity is…not great. They only go up to a size 12, which, based on actual research, is smaller than what the average American woman wears. To quote the holy book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, which yes, I have read cover-to-cover…well, actually, I can’t find the quotation, but it is from this text that I learned that the average American woman actually wears a 14 petite (which is what my gorgeous grandmother wears and she hates herself for it! Body positivity might be a scam, but we all need to do better.) Just because this brand is great for me (I’m currently an 8 at my heaviest ever) doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge how wack it is that retailers aren’t realistic about women’s bodies.

Busted. This is just a personal one because I have awful boobs reminiscent of the wacky arm-flailing inflatable tube man in front of a car dealership. I love the low-cut look (although Miley’s outfit during her first SNL performance last week made me want to start stress-smoking**), but my breasts are just not amenable to this look without prayer and duct tape (or, constant adjusting that makes me look like I’m fondling myself). This actually falls into the sizing category, to some degree—for a size 0 model with double-As and photo shoot resources, this look is amazing. Also, side note—having worked on several photo shoots, we basically perform witchcraft to get garments to look good; things are taped, tucked, pinned, tied, and clipped. So, even though the clothes are fresh as hell, the mere silhouette implies exclusivity for the (almost every) woman that can’t pull certain looks off.

So, overall, I’d give Reformation a B+. A+ for serving looks, A+ for sustainability, but SEE ME after class for inclusivity. Reformation, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

*Confession—prior to Cardi B announcing her “bollection,” I had never heard of Fashion Nova before. Apparently it’s a huge thing? I’ve been doing my damndest not to shop fast fashion (praying that J.Crew & Madewell don’t count), so I’m actually kind of proud of myself for not knowing. Not gonna lie, though, I really want that yellow suit she wore on Carpool Karaoke.

**I know Miley is problematic, but she has never looked more beautiful than she does now. Hearing her talk about Liam saving the animals when their Malibu house burned down made me full-on ugly cry. Also, her ass got Sean Ono Lennon on the SNL stage, something he deserves as a brilliant musician and songwriter.

Dressin’

Is there an AA, but for online shopping? Sign me up. I have decided to do a no-spend month in January, but perhaps declaring that has been a bit too stressful, since I’m going completely ham on December purchases. It doesn’t help that I’m starting a new job where I can actually dress nicely every day.

A huge part of my self-care routine has to do with clothing and accessories. For the past 11-and-a-half years, I have worked in the service industry (with the exception of a few months during my grad school internship). Service industry means dress codes, some of which have been more permissive than others. Even when I was a store manager, the one who set the dress code (or, y’know, abolished it entirely), it was a coffee shop, which meant coffee spills, smells, sweat, and mop water. You’d be out of your mind to wear anything nice.

On the rare occasions I’ve gone into my various workplaces on days off, people usually ask, “Where are you going today?” because I’m (apparently) all dressed up. I get it—these people are used to seeing me in t-shirts and leggings, with little to no makeup on. But, in the immortal words of Steve Harvey, “They call me ranch, ’cause I be dressin’.” Clothing, at least in my adult years, has always been the way I express myself. I have to admit, my outfits can be a little eccentric (last night, for instance, I strolled into a family dinner wearing big hoop earrings, a pink utility jumpsuit from Madewell, a faux fur leopard coat, and leopard-print flats). PSA—the $16 ballet flats from Target are the most comfortable flats I’ve ever worn, and the cheapest. 

I know the stupid aphorism—don’t judge a book by its cover. But in my actual life, I found this to not be true at all. The way a person presents themselves says quite a lot about who they are! Just not in the way you might think. For instance, I step out into the world in lipstick (which I’ve worn every day for 12 years), a cool outfit, and styled hair because I want to project confidence, which internally, I struggle with. My house is very clean and organized because my mind isn’t. I work hard to be my aspirational self. Sometimes it fails (my professors, in particular, have seen right through the veneer) and sometimes it succeeds (my friends are often shocked when I open up about my mental health struggles). A variation of the outside-in philosophy, which was played on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a laugh, has worked for me. Organizing my home has helped me stay on top of more quotidian tasks (like, paying my car insurance and stuff). Getting validation and support from my friends has helped me seek it within (and get into therapy!)

Okay, this is getting a bit dark and long-winded, but what I’m trying to say is that fashion is important to me. I love to buy things, wear them, donate them, and give them as gifts to friends. This holiday season has taught me how much I love giving—curating special and useful gifts for the people in my life that I love.

No-spend January is going to be tough for me. But hey, I’m up for a challenge. I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to get really creative with things I already own. So instead of my usual Sunday Kind of Love post, where I chronicle all of the things I’m lusting after on the internet, I’m turning inward. Thanks for reading!

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Okay, okay, okay. I will post one recommendation. The Schitt’s Creek Christmas Special, y’all. That show is the best thing I discovered in 2018.

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Oh, okay, one more. The Weezer sketch from last week’s SNL. I died.

What’s in my cart?

By which, I of course mean, what’s currently being shipped to my house. Your girl did some shoppin‘ this week! I always spend way too much money this time of year (the sales are just too good!), and my husband and I have been talking about doing a no-spend month (or 2, or 12…he’s so good with money and I am…not), so I went a little nuts in preparation. I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks, which means I actually get to dress like a person again (no shade to the retail/food service industries, but I’ve done it for 12 years, I deserve to look cute at work)! I’m joyfully unpacking all of my business casual clothing from my last office job and I *might* do a ceremonial burning of some of my ratty work clothes soon.

Here’s what I’ve been checking out lately!

On Santa’s Sleigh

J.Crew

I’ve been a die-hard J.Crew girl for years and years, through the Jenna Lyons era and unto the breach. Even though not every season perfectly matches my aesthetic, J.Crew makes great quality clothes and they’re always having wild sales. In the past few weeks I’ve bought this green dress (still on sale and available in every size!), this jumpsuit, these amazing pants, and these stunning sandals before they sold out, along with some other great work staples!

I especially love J.Crew for men’s clothing—my husband is allergic to shopping and would 100% wear ill-fitting pants he’s had since the ’90s and band t-shirts every day if left to his own devices. J.Crew’s pants fit him so well (he is #blessed with a great metabolism). I scored 3 pairs of pants for less than the retail of 1 yesterday—merry Christmas to him!

Madewell

How is Madewell not sponsoring me by this point? I’m just free advertisement. I would say that a majority of my closet is Madewell—their clothes truly are made well, and last. Their leather bags are buttery-soft and incredible. I just snagged these tops—love a wrap, gingham, and a square neck!—and this jumpsuit, which I’m aware is criminally extra.

I’m eyeing this coat, this kimono jacket (all leopard everything), these Chelsea boots, this skirt (I have it in pink!), and this jumpsuit.

BlissBranch

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about BlissBranch on here, but it’s an awesome (and very reasonably priced!) online vintage store that was recently relaunched! I treated myself to some wide-leg pants, and a couple of gorgeous vintage dresses. This week, use the coupon code 15FORME to get 15% off your purchase!

Everlane

I love Everlane so much. This winter, I finally caved and got a weather-appropriate parka (only took me 27 years), and the Tank Bra in every. damn. color. These flats are definitely on my Christmas list, and the Day Heel and Boot need to join my closet ASAP.

xo

-c

Sunday Kind of Love xx

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Back in the saddle again (metaphorically, of course, I’m afraid of horses). Today’s post really runs the gamut of topics, but I hope you find some new faves! As I get older, I’m investing in a quality, ethically-made wardrobe and trying to support small businesses (although my love of Target and my problematic AF love for Amazon may never die). The world is on fire, so if I can even do a tiny part to help, I’m in.

 

  1. I’m ditching bras in 2019! That’s right—I’m freeing myself from the Victoria’s Secret prison. I’ve been getting almost all my bras from VS for 15 years! The brand is…not great to begin with, and the quality has been declining for years. Also, tiny skinny straps! I feel like I’ve been untwisting a bra strap since I was in middle school! Now, I’m no Dolly Parton, but my girls do need support, which is why I’m switching over to bralettes. Madewell has some amazing ones on sale right now, and Everlane is the new go-to. The Tank Bra is $22 (at least $10 less than the cheapest VS bra, I ordered one in every color) and it so comfortable I could die. Plus, “lift and separate” is a thing of the past—my boobs have never looked better than in this bra, doing their own thing. Plus, Everlane fucking owns. I know that my small-ish breasts (34C) give me the privilege of metaphorically burning my bras, so if anyone has any ethical full-bust recommendations, hit me up! P.S. I’m donating my gently used bras to I Support the Girls.
  2. Spectrum Boutique is an amazing, sex-positive, gender-inclusive sex toy store that my husband came across on Instagram. They’re based out of Detroit, and their selection is curated by Zoë Ligon, a sex educator and journalist! We’re huge fans in our house of supporting small businesses, especially those that give the finger to gender norms!
  3. The new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is out! My husband and I are bingeing it this weekend. I’m so excited. MMM is one of my favorite pieces of recent media. It might even be my favorite show of all time!
  4. I did it, guys! I finally bought an espresso machine for my house! This is a decade in the making. Since I’m leaving my coffee job at the end of this month (and hopefully forever—sayonara service industry!), I’ll no longer have unlimited access to all manner of caffeinated beverages. I already have a Chemex, two French presses, a pour-over cone, a cold brew Toddy, an Aeropress, and a Verismo frother (whoever took my stovetop espresso maker is dead to me), but there’s really nothing like a proper espresso machine. I went with this model after doing some research online. I really want a $3,000 Breville machine, or something equally extravagant, but this little guy will have to do for now! Other dream espresso machines: LaPavoni, SMEG, illy.
  5. The Glossier perfume is amazing, and I hate perfume. I got a sample of it in my last order and I have been wearing it all the time. It’s the perfect combination of floral and musky without being overbearing or migraine-inducing (I basically go into anaphylactic shock every time I’m around someone with perfume or cologne on). I just bought the bottle and the solid to keep in my purse.
  6. Speaking of purses, I just got this baby in dusty peony and I am obsessed. It was on sale at the time for $129, which is an insane deal. It’s the perfect size for an everyday bag, although fitting a book and a planner is a little tight. It’s also just so cute I could die.
  7. P.S. The surprise sale is happening now!
  8. Have you heard of HARA? It’s an Australian brand that sells organic bamboo intimates and loungewear. Their stuff is definitely on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the occasional splurge. Their mission is to bring ethically-made, sustainable clothing to the forefront, and we should all celebrate that!
  9. Oh, forgot to mention. Just bought this steaming pitcher and this tamper to go with my espresso machine, because of course I did.
  10. Boston finally nixed single-use plastic bags! California did this ages ago, and the last time I went I was so taken with the idea. Reusable bags cost a dollar and can last for years—why wouldn’t you be using them?? I literally bought reusable grocery bags at Tesco while I was staying in England because there was no way I was cheating just because I was “on vacation.” Hopefully, now that this ordinance is in effect, I’ll stop being the only crazy bag lady in the Boston area! Come on, rest of Massachusetts…do your thing.
  11. This one’s more serious, but it’s something I’m insanely passionate about. I found out about RIP Medical Debt via a New York Times article about two women who fundraised $12,500 and were able to erase $1.5 million worth of medical debt for hundreds of people. Long story short, medical debt causes bankruptcies, ruins people’s lives, and is basically all fake because our healthcare system is complete garbage. Lots of employers will match your donation (mine did!), so you can do double the good by contributing even a small amount. When donating, you can even specify that your contribution helps struggling veterans, which tbh made me tear up. If nothing else this holiday season, please donate to this incredible organization.

That’s all for now, folks! Someday, I’ll start actually writing posts again, but until then, see you on Sunday!

Sunday Kind of Love xix

Hello, hello (Hola!)

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Welcome back to another edition of SKoL! This week (tbh, month) has been a nightmare for me, personally, but I’m finding my groove and fixing my skin (more on that later).

  1. I bought Super Bounce and Solution from Glossier and I’ve already seen noticeable improvements in my skin! I also use their Boy Brow and I’m obsessed. Just ordered a few more goodies: Zit Stick, Stretch Concealer, and Perfecting Skin Tint.
  2. Ewww, David!!! I just started watching Schitt’s Creek on Netflix and I’m completely obsessed! Catherine O’Hara is a DREAM. What Would Moira Do? is my official life motto. If you’re wondering, yes, I have joined the Jazzagals. 
  3. I was a good little chicken on Black Friday and didn’t buy that much stuff. Just a Kate Spade phone wallet from the surprise sale (RIP, Queen), some Girlfriend Collective swag (these, this, & this, plus the discontinued? Monroe bra), a naughty “couples” purchase or three, the new Oui Fresh lip gloss shades, a cute bag from New Darlings on Depop, a SodaStream, and I *think* that’s it. But knowing me, some crazy packages are going to show up.
  4. I’m going to see Neko Case in February! I haven’t seen her since my first date with my husband in 2013, so I’m super excited! The show is in Tallahassee, so yaaasss, I’m goin’ back!
  5. I just watched Annie Hall again (for class!!!) and I know, I KNOW I’m supposed to hate Woody Allen (AND I DO) but I fucking love that movie—I can’t help it. In the opening scene, when he describes his working class childhood on Coney Island as an alienated, weird, smart kid, I felt seen (on film) for the first time #representationmatters). I mean, my family isn’t Jewish, but the dynamics are s i m i l a r. Watching it again felt like visiting an old friend. 
  6. I just read The Assistant by Bernard Malamud and it has my whole heart. It’s the tale of an immigrant grocer in New York whose failing business sees a revival when he hires Frank Alpine, an Italian-American man who learns a lot about shopkeeping and even more about morality. If you like books that start with robbery and end with circumcision, this book’s for you!
  7. Now I’m reading Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know. It’s incredibly moving and complicated. I’m a longtime fan of Nicole’s writing, from The Toast days, and I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy of her memoir.
  8. Ariana Grande is my personal Lord & Savior. Thank u, next.
  9. I may or may not have just splurged on this because I am a RECKLESS, IMPULSIVE, BIPOLAR WOMAN.
  10. Chag Chanukah Sameach! I know I’m technically late because the sun’s already down (December, right?), but Happy Hannukah to all my practicing homies!

See you next week! Or, you know, sooner if I decide to start blogging again.

-C