Week Links [20 September]

*I’m writing this well in advance of Sunday, so if the world has ended or something terrible catastrophic has happened, please accept my apologies for glibly posting my silly round-up amid the chaos.

  1. Can’t wait to watch Unpregnant on HBO Max! We need more films about abortion that don’t pull a Juno.
  2. Lindy West’s The Witches Are Coming is even better than Shrill. The South Park chapter put words to something I’ve felt for a decade. She’s a genius. And I agree with her entirely that pockets on dresses are vastly overrated!
  3. I started watching Woke on Hulu and Lamorne Morris is a gift. I mean, we already knew that from New Girl, but it was about damn time he got his own vehicle.
  4. This is a weird one, but look at this beautiful pill case! As someone who takes meds every day, a pill case is an essential item to me, and this one is magnificent. As soon as I can justify spending $75 on home organizing gear (free shipping, y’know?) I will be ordering one.
  5. I am running out of room on my walls for prints, but this one might be too cute to pass up. And I can’t rep East Coast without repping Best Coast. I almost got this one for my best friend, whose birthday was this week, but I don’t know if she reads this, so I didn’t want to spoil her present surprise.
  6. Tia Mowry’s Etsy collection is stunning. Give me all of the things.
  7. How did I not discover Jonathan Adler’s J’Approved blog until this week? Will I actually buy toner for my printer to print these coloring pages?
  8. My husband has been complaining about our water filter since the day I bought it (after our Brita broke, I bought the Target version), and we’ve been in a game of chicken about it ever since. I finally caved, as I always do, and bought a 10-cup Soma. I dig the sustainability aspect, and I’m hoping that getting filters sent to us every 4 months will actually remind me to change the thing once in a while.
  9. I bought pumpkin puree just to make this latte syrup.
  10. If you know me at all, you know I had no choice but to buy these shoes. It was beyond my control.

Week Links [14 September]

i worked all weekend on re-organizing and snazzing up my kitchen, and i realized that i have a wild affinity for the color i call “versailles blue.” literally, every louis xvi-era décor has this shade of blue–when the world reopens, check your local art museum to fact-check me. also, sofia coppola’s marie antoinette is an amazing and underrated film.
  1. Is it too soon to decorate for Christmas? I don’t really do Halloween (even though my wedding anniversary is 30 October…go figure), so I’ve started incorporating general fall decorations—pumpkins, jewel and earth tones, and wreaths. I’m sure my consumerism is ruining the earth (and not the 100 corporations that are responsible for 71% of global emissions…), but the Target dollar grab-and-go section (does it have a name?) is my jam for decorations. I actually reuse the stuff year after year, and I like not having to be precious about storing them in the basement. Also, being able to find $3 gems means that you can decorate for even the “in-between” holidays like Dia de los Muertos and Valentine’s Day. I was such a cynical jerk until my mid-twenties, when I realized that, given life’s general bleakness, anything that can inspire a little bit of joy or peace is totally worth it. Which is why I own two Christmas trees despite being a lifelong atheist. Anyway, where was I going with this? These wicker pumpkins are adorable, rainbows belong everywhere, and you’ve got to be kidding me with these cable-knit cuties.
  2. I had no choice but to buy this dress in pale mint. My hands were tied. Now we need a vaccine and a competent government so that I can wear it to an event.
  3. Caved and bought an Ovira. TMI warning: Despite having incredibly easy periods for about 15 years, once I hit my late 20s, my uterus decided to stage a coup against the rest of my body every 25 days, and it has been debilitating. Like, can’t get out of bed debilitating. I’ve tried everything under the sun—lavender oil, magnesium, liver-destroying amounts of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, heat, meditation, stretching, *extremely The Script voice* prayer to a god that I don’t believe in, screaming—and nothing has worked, so I’m hoping that shooting electricity into my abdomen will do the trick.
  4. My husband bought these and these 2.5 years ago, with the intention of rehoming all of his CDs and recycling the jewel cases, but, as he has yet to complete this task, I finally took it upon myself to do my own CD collection, and I cannot oversell how much room it freed up in my office. My bookcase has never looked better.
  5. The perfect tweet doesn’t exi—
  6. I’ve been watching Better Things on Hulu because I’m extremely current and on the pulse of what’s hot. Am I cancelled because Pamela Adlon was/is (?) a close associate of Louis C.K., or am I redeemed because she voiced Bobby on King of the Hill?
  7. I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of NetGalley before a friend of mine posted about it on Instagram but it’s so cool! I, of course, have not been approved to actually read anything yet because I have zero credentials (I’ve literally written two book reviews ever), but I’m hoping that if I start writing reviews here I can accomplish two things: 1. Getting more words on the page! Writing begets writing! 2. Be able to read tons of as-yet-unpublished books fo’ free!
  8. Yoplait started selling lids for those adorable yogurt jars as a part of a capitalist conspiracy to ruin me. My husband loves bougie-ass yogurt, so my house is littered with these types of jars. They’re backordered right now, but soon they will be mine.
  9. I got this Zip Top set in a Causebox and I’m a close to the edge of risking it all and buying the complete set. It was in the Add-On Market for Fall and I totally would have gotten it but $50+ seemed like a lot…until I realized that it retails for $90.
  10. I am so thankful for all the people doing the work that I should be doing and informing me about amazing black-owned businesses to support. Check out this list of 7 BIPOC-Owned Clean Beauty Brands.
  11. I read P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy this week and really enjoyed it. You can definitely tell that it was translated from French, so if you’re really attuned to stuff like that it might be a slog, but as a totally basic Francophile, I loved it. It takes…quite a turn like 75% of the way through. I won’t spoil it because I would have never seen it coming. My one real “note” is that we must end the tyranny of women characters called Mia in novels. These authors must be stopped.
  12. Gonna have to endorse this drug-store toner. I used “Winter Wheat” to tame the brass in my highlights.
  13. I took the Enneagram Test and got a 2, because of course I did. I had previously taken random online tests and gotten almost equal scores for 4 and 2. Just like when I did Myers-Briggs, I never felt a strong identification with a particular type. This time, though, I find myself most intrigued by Type 6. I’ve never heard of anyone else who’s a 6 before, and the more I read about it, the more it totally makes sense for me (in a bad way, unfortunately). Now I really want to read this book when it comes out to learn more.

To borrow a phrase from my fave podcast, “Until next week, have fun.”

-c

Week Links [16 August]

Good morning, starshines!

T-minus 3 days until my 29th birthday. I will do everything in my power to not fall into a deep depression, but who knows what will happen when it actually arrives.? Anyone else get gloomy around their birthday? I don’t think of it as a celebration as much as a reminder of how little I’ve achieved in 12 months. Although, to be fair, for the first time I actually feel really good about what I’ve achieved this year, especially amid a global pandemic and the rise of American fascism.

29 signals the end of an era, albeit an era that mostly sucked. 28 was about getting a cool job that doesn’t make me miserable and about not being broke all the time; 29, I hope, will be about finding my joy. I’m sure that sounds like Instagram-wellness-influencer nonsense (it feels cloying to me, and I’m the one who said it), but for the first time in my life I’m in a period of relative comfort and prosperity (lol @ the idea that I have money,  I mean spiritual prosperity). I feel a sense of self and purpose that I’ve never felt before, although that could just be a general byproduct of getting older. I feel happier, calmer, and finally able to tackle the real, internal work of self-improvement and self-actualization. But mostly, I just plan on drinking less and watching more films.

Anyway, here’s what my rapidly-graying hair and I got up to this week:

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  1. If you live in Massachusetts, I urge you to vote in the September 1 primary. Outside of a VITALLY important Senate race, there are so many progressives running for local office. You absolutely love to see it! You can find your local candidates at this site. P.S. Vote Markey forever and ever, amen.
  2. I watched Knives Out and Midsommar on my recent “vacation” (both are streaming on Amazon Prime right now) and holy shit, 2019 was a great year for film. I cannot recommend them both more highly. It really put the iconic Ana de Armas Updates Twitter account into perspective for me.
  3. I ordered this pajama set in two colors. It is my goal to one day only have matching pajama sets. I feel like excellent home/loungewear is the next tier of adulthood that I must achieve. I also got this adorable set which is unfortunately sold out now. Lemons! So cute!
  4. I’m aware that this is insane, because I don’t eat meat or seafood, but how can I call myself a proper home cook without a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Even though I never use recipes because I am a terrible snob who thinks I have some sort genetic predisposition to cooking, I am a total cookbook freak. I just bought Nothing Fancy, and my wishlist overfloweth. If it seems like I’ve missed something…trust me, I have it.
  5. Coupling is on HBO Max. I don’t care if I’ve already talked about this. I loved this show in high school, and though it absolutely does not hold up 20 years later, it is a foundational text and tbh FRIENDS wishes it could have been Coupling!
  6. My local coffee shop uses these coffee syrups and they have to be the BEST I’ve ever had. They apparently only do wholesale, so do I have to open a café?
  7. Have you seen John Legend’s new video?? I won’t spoil it, but…[insert 20 crying emojis]. Congratulations to the best celebrity couple there is!
  8. did buy the Kacey Musgraves candle, and lemme tell you—it does not disappoint.
  9. On the subject of spending wildly frivolous money, this weekend I did a double-feature of Phoebe Robinson on Good for You and Whitney Cummings on Black Frasier. They both talked so openly about their past struggles with money management and the ways their relationships to money changed as they got older. I’m really inspired by it. Money is freedom, so of course I should be saving mine! But I never want to have a toxic, miserly relationship to money that prevents me from doing the things that bring me joy and having fulfilling experiences. Balance.
  10. And speaking of better ways to use your money, please support the USPS by buying stamps! I bought these and these, and the best part was that I bought them using cash back I’d earned from all of my frivolous online shopping. That’s atonement.

Week Links [9 August]

I broke 100 followers on this damn blog. I have ZERO CLUE how that happened but I appreciate you all so much! For reference, I have 91 followers on Twitter… I don’t do any promo for these posts, so I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for indulging my nonsense.

I was listening to Nikki Glaser on Whitney Cummings’ podcast, and Whitney mentioned something about how naming your fear takes away its power. So, I’m trying to name my fear, or rather, my terrifying dream—I want to write! I pathologically don’t take my writing ability seriously—I don’t do revisions or editing. I just jettison my thoughts out into the world as they form. It feels so vulnerable to me to admit that I want something; it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked. What if I’m not good enough?? But then I remember that I have a literal Master of motherfucking Arts degree in Literature. Thoughtful analysis and communication are the only things I’m good at. Even if it’s just my alma mater’s graduate journal, I’ve been published. There is no reason I can’t write something meaningful about Bunheads. So, sorry to be like, Stevie-Nicks-draped-in-turquoise-charging-crystals-in-the-moonlight, but I’m manifesting. Hold me to account!

Apart from the above, this week was dreadfully uneventful, so, on with it!

Whitney Houston Was Too Perfect To Stay - MTV
image source mtv

  1. I desperately need ethical/sustainable fashion brand recommendations. I’m in a fashion rut. I feel really uninspired by my closet (which may have something to do with the damn pandemic, and the fact that I’m in pajamas half the day). Hit me up with your favorite brands, extra points if they’re BIPOC-owned. I’m looking into a lot of the brands on this list. I need to stop shopping at J.Crew, basically.
  2. I got myself a lil’ birthday present. I’ve been lusting over this bag for AGES, and this gorgeous yellow color was on sale. Meant to be! Also, I have a referral link for 10% off if you’re interested! (If you’re wondering, my birthday present from my husband is these earrings in both metals.) And fuck it: in the spirit of manifesting, my Venmo is @highwaytochel if you want to buy me a drink or pay off my student loans.
  3. I upgraded my home office because I’ve been craning my neck for months and I’d like to not end up with arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever terrible posture does to your body. I got these adjustable monitor stands (one for my monitor, the other for my work laptop), and this cute AF keyboard (with an actual number pad, praise be!) I’m in my office 8-10 hours a day, so I really should be taking care of my body! Also, I should be exercising…at all, but that’s definitely a story for a different day.
  4. I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
  5. I went on a book-buying SPREE. I know Amazon is the devil and Bezos deserves the guillotine, but those daily Kindle deals! My plan is to be totally Amazon-free by age 30. Just like how restaurants say that they’ll use all recyclable materials by 2022 or whatever. I got: The Year of Magical Thinking,  The Collected Stories of Eudora WeltyBird by Bird, If They Come in the Morning…: Voices of ResistanceSick in the Head: Conversations about Life and ComedyFreedom is a Constant StruggleYou Deserve Each OtherThemes and VariationsTomboylandCleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, The White Boy Shuffle, and What Girls are Made ofA mix of rom-coms and radical politics—sounds right.
  6. My queens have honored us with new music. Listen to “WAP” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, and watch the video here. And let me know if you think “wet and gushy” is…way, way worse than the actual lyric.
  7. I’m rewatching This Way Up on Hulu right now and it’s just an absolute gem of a show. Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan are a dream team. I also watched Military Wives, Sharon’s recent film (also on Hulu), and despite the fact that it’s sympathetic toward military things (boooo), it shattered my heart because I am a sap! Oh, and not on Hulu or related to either of these at all, but Coupling is on HBO Max!
  8. Just discovered that there’s a Haitian-American vegan catering company in the next town over that has been doing a special menu during COVID for delivery…my body is ready to receive it!
  9. This Twitter thread broke my heart. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
  10. In honor of Christina Schneider following me on Twitter, please listen to “Hot Wife” immediately! Personalia is a gift to this earth.
  11. Happy birthday to the *wickedly* talented, one and only, Whitney Houston. In the iconic words of Aretha Franklin, “Whitney was a talent. Definitely a talent. She had a gift. And Cissy’s baby.” We will always love you.

For the Love of God, Take My Wallet Away [Part Deux]

Just like Miley of the Cyrus clan, I simply cannot be tamed. I actually talked about spending in therapy, and my therapist said to be kind to myself about it because we’re living in a time of unprecedented horror!

One thing, other than reckless spending (lol), that’s been getting me through quar life is Twitter. I love that there’s a place that can make me sob, curse god, feel existential terror, and then make me snort laughing in the span of 5 minutes. Completely normal! Please enjoy this exquisite cartoon, from my favorite meme account, Russian Memes United. Translation:

Russian Classical Literature /

suffering hero (main character) / suffering author / suffering reader

Universal Suffering

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weird personal fact: my high school boyfriend was from russia, so he taught me the letters & pronunciations of the cyrillc alphabet. so i can read russian…but i can’t understand it. i will say that a lot of words are cognates with other languages! in the second tier, two of the words are “hero” and “author;” basically the same in russian!

And so without further ado…

Lovin’…is what I bought:

  • A Glossier haul. I got more Solution, the Skincare set, Future Dew, and 2 Generation Gs. I need to start taking better care of my skin yesterday. I never had acne growing up, so when I have occasional pimples now, I basically panic and go nuclear on them. I’ve been getting away with gross negligence for too long…as age 30 looms, I’ve got to get my act together.
  • A Headley & Bennett “Wake Up & Fight” Mask. It’s now recommended that we wear masks while out in public (to protect others from us), so I was going to have to get one eventually. The cool thing about the Headley & Bennett masks is that they’re 100% cotton, made in LA, reusable, and each purchase donates a mask to a health care worker. Plus, they have a filter insert for added protection! I think this company’s entire operation has switched to producing masks, and it’s weirdly inspiring: capitalism, but for…doing good?
  • I caved and got a May Designs mask too. Even after COVID is over, I think we should still wear masks if we’re symptomatic of anything. We need to step up to protect immunocompromised people!
  • Container Store haul! Snagged some pantry labels, canisters, cable turtles, and a cable hider.
  • The Home Edit is putting out another book! I pre-ordered—I’m psyched for it to arrive in September (provided we’re all still alive then)! I have to admit that their first book was, well, not exactly for those of us actually living the low-bar lifestyle (who has an actual pantry room?) but it’s aesthetically stunning and always nice to get compulsive organization confirmation bias from my like-minded idols.
  • On that note, I treated myself to this very professional COVID-19 themed work attire. Let’s just say I’m surviving…not thriving. THE only does limited runs of official merch, and I always miss out on it. Not this time!
  • Madewell sale was still popping off, so I got these boots and this belt bag, which matches my Zip-Top Transport Carryall in the same color. I’ve been looking for a nice-quality pair of leather boots for under $100, and the gods delivered! Also, I love belt bags in theory, but haven’t successfully pulled one off yet. Now is finally the time! Oh, and the boots fit perfectly.
  • I wanted to try out Pact, so I ordered this dress super on sale (in Rosewood Heather & Cadet Blue). I used the code ORGANIC2020 for 20% off!
  • Quibi. So, I’m not entirely on board with the concept, but there’s a 90-day free trial and MATT ROGERS has his own show on there! Gonna have to stan on that one.

Updates!

  • The lilac Madewell jeans didn’t work out…back they go, sadly. They fit okay, they were just very rigid.
  • The Kate Spade wallet is not quite as nice as the one I already have (final sale, though)…it’s obviously very cute, but I’m going to sit on it for a week, and if my feelings don’t change, it’s going up on Poshmark.
  • The Rothys were a win! I’m so glad I went a half size up. Honestly, I could have even gone a full size. If you get this style and you have wide feet like me, definitely size up! These ones are next, for sure.
  • The West Elm bedside table is gorgeous and great quality for the price! My only gripe is that the drawer itself is very shallow and small, but it did force me to go through what I kept in there and edit, so I’m calling it a win.
  • The Thirdlove Pima bras & undies are even more comfy than I expected them to be. I want to live in these bras, for real.
  • The nixit is great! Easier to put in/take out than regular cups and I’ve barely had leaks.

I’m going to put my poor wallet to bed. It’s been fun, but I’ve got to maintain my credit score and be responsible with the stimulus check we’re supposedly getting.

None of this will make up for not being able to see friends and family, missing vacations, or my general feeling of nagging uncertainty, but surrounding myself with pretty things or letting myself have little dopamine hits now and again is really all I can do right now.

What are you doing to stay sane?

-c

Spotted

I have loved leopard print for as long as I can remember. Even though my husband thinks it’s tacky (he’s @GrandizerGo on Twitter if you want to drag his ass), it is one of my favorite prints and I find it visually calming. It reminds me of my Great-Aunt Michele—we always bonded over our shared love of it (she’s still pretty young and very much alive, just to clarify—this isn’t a sad thing!)

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 1.45.24 PM
source: etsy

I was going to include a few of these in my usual Sunday Scaries post, but there were just too many leopard things, and the post was overtaken. Please enjoy some internet window shopping!

Shout Out Sunday 5.26.19

Good morning, long weekenders! I needed this mini-vacation like you read about. I have no plans, which, it seems, is the best possible way to spend a weekend as an adult. I would like to try to get to the beach at some point, but considering the holiday, I might have to settle for the nearby pond. I hope you make the most out your days off!

Enjoy this week’s round-up!

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the namesake makes an appearance!

  1. It’s Memorial Day weekend, so watch this deeply moving episode of You’re the Worst. It gutted me.
  2. We’re all sad to see GoT go, but Barry has been renewed for another season! Bill Hader would never disappoint us. This article nails why the show is so effing good.
  3. I did it—I became a mystical bitch. Crystals, Tarot, you name it—sign me up. I had my first ever psychic reading on Sunday (I was in tears the entire time). I bought this fancy deck set and some stones for meditation at Open Doors in Braintree, and yeah, I’m signed up for the crystal meditation class on June 3rd, so see you there?
  4. I finally fixed my Instax Mini 8 (i.e. put new batteries in it) and I’m going to try to take more physical photos. I miss having actual pictures around! I’m pretty sure my cat, however, doesn’t appreciate me following her around like a paparazzo.
  5. I snagged Rainn Wilson’s book on clearance at Barnes & Noble and I’m pumped to read it. Dwight Schrute is my dream man.
  6. While I was at BN, I also picked up Tyrant by Stephen Greenblatt, which had been recommended to me by a professor, and of course, this absurd trinket.
  7. J.Crew sale is 50% off this weekend!
  8. You can’t escape frizz.
  9. I don’t know who needs this Twitter account, but you’re welcome.
  10. It’s a week old now, but have you seen Leslie Jones talking about the Alabama abortion ban on Weekend Update? 5 words: Leslie. Dracarys. That Bitch. Jones.

Have a lovely day off tomorrow, if you’re lucky enough to have one. And even if I’m not the world’s most forgiving person when it comes to this weekend’s theme (those planes tho), a Facebook friend shared this petition and it seems like a great cause.

See you next week!

 

The Best Bags & Purses

So, as I announced a few months back, I’m not spending any money on non-essentials for the foreseeable future. I’ve certainly broadened the meaning of “essential”—for me, a meal out with friends every few weeks to catch up is really life-giving, so it’s essential to my mental health. In the past months, I’ve (somehow) managed to knock out over $2,000 of debt! This process has had highs and lows—anyone ever sent all of their money to pay off credit cards and forgotten about a scheduled charge that sent your bank account into the negative? Uh…me either. Overall, though, it’s been a lovely experiment and has really helped me build a healthy relationship with money.

So, back to the bags and purses. Part of the saving money journey has been selling things through Poshmark, so it’s forced me to take a good, hard look at my possessions and figure out which ones I’m keeping for function and which ones I’m keeping for status. My biggest area of weakness is handbags—they are my moon and stars. I have an enormous collection that I’ve had to pare down and sell. So, in essence, this list is what I decided to keep, what I decided to sell, and why.

I hope this helps your shopping journey! Please check out my shop, a lot of this stuff and way more is up for sale! I always take reasonable offers—I’m not afraid to haggle!

Love ‘Em

The Medium Transport Tote, Madewell

This bag is the GOAT. I would literally never dream of getting rid of it. I have it in a beautiful wine-colored leather. It doesn’t zip, so you have to be comfortable with an open-topped bag, but if you can deal with that, this is a fantastic bag. It’s nice and deep, perfect for a laptop, books, really anything you need. It has shoulder straps and a crossbody strap, so it’s versatile AF.

The Zip-Top Transport Carryall, Madewell

Madewell bags are just excellent quality. That’s how it goes. This one is a great travel bag—you can get a decent-sized laptop in there with little effort. You can cram all of your belongings into this thing and still zip it. It just has the standard compartments, but they’re big enough to actually accommodate your sunglasses case, pens, and other stuff you reach for all the time.

Le Pliage Nylon Tote Bag (Large), Longchamp

The #1 travel bag in all the land. This thing has gone to Mexico, Florida, England—it is the only bag I’ll bring on a plane now. It really stretches the limit of how much can possibly fit into one bag, while not seeming massive or suitcase-like.

Like ‘Em

The Transport Tote, Madewell

This bag definitely doesn’t work as an everyday purse but it works for everything else. The one I bought is nubuck leather, so it’s super soft while still strong and durable. It fits a ton without getting unmanageable or misshapen.

Kanken Mini Backpack, Fjällräven

What could be cuter? I still haven’t exactly figured out how to incorporate this into frequent use, but I imagine that it will come in very handy next time I travel.

Riverdale Small Crossbody, Kelly Moore Bag

This is actually up for sale on my Poshmark just because I don’t have a need for it, but it’s such a cute little bag. It’s shockingly roomy, and the inside is padded to protect your devices (it’s designed as a camera bag.

Jet Set Large Crossbody, Michael Kors

I actually ended up selling this bag, which I have mixed feelings about. It was truly so, so cute. My only complaint was that the leather was very rigid, so it was tough fitting things into the bag while retaining it’s sleek rectangular shape. When I carried this, I got endless compliments. If you can find one on sale, snag it!

Leo Clutch, Rebecca Minkoff

This seems like one I wouldn’t like, since it’s super thing without a lot of stretch, but I’ve actually used this clutch a ton of time with great results. I bought it for a wedding years ago, and I still pull it out for special occasions or evenings out. Mine’s in a black floral pattern so it straddles the line between pretty and edgy. The winning feature of this bag is that it has card slots, so no need to carry a wallet.

Leave ‘Em

Simple Half-Moon Crossbody, Madewell

This bag is so cute and I’m keeping it, but it’s very thin, meaning you can barely fit your keys in it.

Le Pliage Nylon Tote Bag (Small), Longchamp

I bought this bag to carry on my trip to England and I honestly didn’t love it! The no-compartments thing, for whatever reasons, works better on a large travel bag, where constantly grabbing necessities (like your money, which you then have to rustle through because you’re not familiar with the currency), isn’t as important moment-to-moment. Because the Longchamp bags are so roomy, I ended up carrying everything all of the time because I had the space. Ultimately, I switched this bag out for a £30 backpack from TopShop (in Windsor where the queen lives, no big deal), because it was just way too heavy on my shoulder.

Ella Tote, Tory Burch

I wanted to love this bag so much. Every few months, I take it out for a couple of days, hoping I will change my mind. But alas, it’s just not a practical bag. It’s enormous, which I actually like, but it has no compartments and an almost accordion-like structure that just gets bigger and bigger the more stuff you, well, stuff in it. It doesn’t really stay closed (nor do the side snaps) and the straps are really rigid, making it really uncomfortable to carry. If you need a really disorganized suitcase, this is the bag for you. I bought it at a discount when I worked retail and I truly did love the status symbol, but ultimately it wasn’t right for me. I sold it within an hour of putting it up on Poshmark, and I made back a good percentage of what I spent.

Wishlist

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You didn’t think I was going to end a handbag post without a little window shopping, did you?

The Abroad Shoulder Bag, Madewell

The perfect size for a crossbody.

Harper Crossbody Bag, J. Crew

I know for a fact that this would be so impractical, but it’s soooo cute.

Darren Shoulder Bag, Rebecca Minkoff

This looks like such a great size! I love things that are divided by compartment!

Full STEM Ahead Bag, Modcloth

I’ve been lusting over this bag for months. It’s not as high-quality as I usually aim for, but it’s so freaking cute. I have a weakness for yellow.

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

It’s Business Time

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Friends, countrymen: As I mentioned in a post this summer, I have an office job! We’re all student employees, so, baby steps, but the department is cracking down on professional, “business casual” dress. It’s been a while since I’ve done a style post (and it’ll be a while before I do another (mama put on that post-wedding weight), but faithful followers know how I dress. I’m basically a spokeswoman for Madewell. Ripped jeans are my life. I own one blazer.

Luckily, my mom was game to take me shopping for a few office-appropriate dresses to tide me over. But I’m viewing this new dress code as an opportunity to overhaul my entire wardrobe. Since I’m officially going gray (more on that later), I should probably own more than slogan tees. Unfortunately, guidelines about women’s business casual are pretty vague, and range anywhere from “don’t be a slob” to “buy a bunch of skirt suits”. The only resource I’ve found so far that’s been remotely helpful is this list. Refinery 29 also put out a list, but it’s a bit high fashion for working in public schools. Like, I’m not getting away with a silk jumpsuit.

Here’s the thing: there is no such thing as a set business casual dress code for women. For men, it’s shockingly simple—a polo or button-down over khakis. Done. It’s industry standard. But women*, whose wardrobes tend to be more diverse (let’s change that, though #teamromphim), have a lot more at stake, both because of the uncertainty of what’s appropriate and because of the general lack of understanding of men*, colleagues and bosses. Additionally, every workplace is completely different, and some are far more conservative than others. Suddenly, skirt length and neckline depth come into play.

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i obviously play pretty fast-and-loose with the rules (this was my halloween costume tbh). top is oui fresh, bottoms are madewell

So, here are a few of my tried-and-true favorite pieces and combinations to help ease you into adulting!

High-Necked Dresses

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this loft sweater dress is a dream!

The high-necked dress can’t fail. Conservative, stylish, and diverse, this is the #1 best option for women in the workplace, imo.

Tips: avoid strapless or spaghetti-strap looks, keep the hemline close to the knee

This Madewell sweater dress is #goals.

This JCrew stunner is on my wishlist.

Living for this cobalt blue number.

Blazer/Tank/Jeans

A casual/cool riff on the suit, this look is easy and super stylish. Make sure your jeans are a dark wash, and that the tank isn’t too revealing!

This tank, with these jeans and this blazer would be adorable!

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Bodysuit & Midi-Skirt

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this look is killer

To tuck or not to tuck—that is the question. Tucking in shirts is a terrible curse. I honestly don’t know how guys do it every day. Inevitably, you get fabric-bunch and spend the entire day stealthily readjusting to avoid lumps and bumps. Plus, if your top’s not long enough, it falls out constantly. Enter, my great love, the bodysuit. Goodbye, lumps! The bodysuit’s design keeps your top looking sleek and in place all day. Pair it with a midi-skirt for maximum cuteness.

Tip: Tall girls—size up! Bodysuit proportions are definitely made for the vertically-challenged. I’m a size S/M and I always order a large for a flawless fit. #longtorsoproblems

Madewell’s body suits are bar none the best.

This skirt is too good. Loft sure knows how to make a skirt!

Classic Blouse (or sweater!) & Trousers

How can you possibly go wrong with this combo? Bonus points for high-waisted pants with tucked-in shirttails!

This blouse from the Who What Wear line at Target would look amazing with some cream or khaki pants!

Or this sweater and these pants? *faints*

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But what about SHOES?!

This is still an area I struggle with. I’ve spent years putting together a dope sneaker collection, and now all my sweet kicks are collecting dust. I tend to fall back on the same few pairs over and over again, but I’m trying to vary my shoe game.

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Strappy Sandals

These are perfect for summer! Avoid super-high heels, since comfort is the main objective. My tip is to invest in one super nice pair that you can wear to events and one everyday pair that looks nice but is secretly cheap enough to replace after a long summer. Get one black pair and one saddle—you’ll thank me.

Here’s your cheapo pair!

And here’s your splurge! Seychelles makes the best sandals ever.

Flats

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ella pump evangelist, party of one

Flats, or shoes with a small heel (less than 2″) are great for sedentary jobs. Opt for a leather/pleather or suede finish for ultimate polish.

These Madewell pumps are the comfiest heels ever. I’m wearing them in the pic above.

These are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

These are absurdly cheap and very comfortable.

Loafers

Loafers, oxfords, or (nice) moccasins are a super comfy way to class up an outfit.

These are snazzy and would go with everything.

These are the actual cutest (and they come in pink!)

Boots

I’m in Massachusetts where the weather has the potential to be terrible during any season, so boots are a wardrobe must. Make sure you have at least one black and one brown pair. Also, peep toes are awesome for the early fall!

This quilted look is adorbs!

I own boots similar to these (same brand), and they are comfy, chic, and go with everything.

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Office environments vary, but I guarantee if you’re in a relatively chill field like higher ed, this will help you conquer the first-job what-the-hell-do-I-wear?! blues. Just don’t forget your BOSS necklace!

 

 

*It should be noted that when I write “men” or “women” I refer to all those who identify as such and am not trying to enforce an outdated gender-binary system. Biology ≠ gender.