LET’S CATCH UP 11.19.23

I’m officially in my annual Black Friday haaaze at work, but (as mentioned in my last post) trying desperately to maintain sanity and make the most of this special time of year. Sounds simple, right? I’ll let you know how it goes by December 31st.


  • I’ve been tasked with desserts this Thanksgiving (largely because I can buy them and I presume my family must feel safest that way) but I am attempting to make at least one thing from scratch and it’s my Mom’s beloved pumpkin roll recipe. Wish me luck. For posterity, I might also go armed with this festive seasonal non-alcoholic punch that surely I can’t mess up.
  • The 3 albums I’ve had on repeat lately – all of them are fun, upbeat and the type of synth-y 80s inspired pop that is a particular sweet spot in my musical taste. First, the new Cannons album ‘Heartbeat Highway’ – zero skips on this one, but I particularly love Sweeter and Cry Baby. Next up ‘1989 Taylor’s Version’, naturally. Those vault songs are just crushing me in the best way, especially Is It Over Now and Slut! An anthem. Last but not least, ‘Sting’ from Emarosa – we saw them play at a tiny venue in the West Village last month and they had such great energy. Their cover of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody is so fun and the song Cinnamon from the album mentioned is so good we put it on our wedding playlist.
  • Life has really thrown me some curveballs since we got back from our honeymoon and without getting into the details, it hasn’t been the easiest couple of months. Which has delayed my recap of our wedding day much more than I’d originally planned – I just haven’t had the bandwidth. But! It’s finally coming later this week – so stay tuned 🙂


  • I’m way behind my reading goal for the year – 40 books read with a goal of 52. In an effort to give myself some extra grace (perpetual goal hitter that I like to be), I’m trying to just focusing on reading books I think I’ll love for the rest of the year. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett is still high on that list of hopefuls but I also just picked up a used copy of My Life in France by Julia Child that’s calling to me.
  • I wasn’t willing to shell out the money to buy the Britney Spears’ memoir myself, but my celeb-loving sister did and so I’m once again benefitting from her hand-me-downs. I started this yesterday and will probably finish this weekend. Pamela Anderson, Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears.. these women were all of an era when the press/public made a mockery of them and I’m glad they’re all getting a moment to finally find their voices again.
  • I just finished Sloane Crosley’s essay collection I Was Told There’d Be Cake and while I thought some essays were stronger than others, overall it was a fun read full of sharp observations and relatable self-deprecation. I’d give it 3.5-4 stars.
  • As I always do – next weekend I’ll share my list of holiday reads! It’s one of my favorite posts of the year and one of my favorite December traditions. If you’re new here, I let my self revel in the literary equivalents of watching a Hallmark movie while sipping hot cocoa all month long. Last year’s post here.


  • I saw this plaid taffeta skirt at last week’s Talbots holiday party and immediately swooned. I’m placing my order ASAP as I’m always worried about sizes selling out.
  • I’m going to get one of our wedding photos (or maybe this one from our honeymoon) printed and put it in this sweet ceramic frame – will drop it in Adam’s stocking for Christmas!
  • I am really in need of a couple of new belts and it’s been strangely hard to find something I like in between cheap $30 options and $$$ designer options. So far I like this neutral one that has interesting but still understated gold hardware.
  • The way I cannot stop thinking about this mixed plaid fitted vest. It’s on sale but still pricey.. I’m keeping in my cart hoping that the Black Friday gods are good to me and it goes on further sale?
  • Totally different, but while we’re on the matter of vests – this fair isle option is much more budget friendly. I’d wear with a fitted black turtleneck and wide leg jeans.
  • A silly, small thing: I love these crystal accented socks – I’d wear with silver heels and a mini or cuffed jeans and loafers.
  • J.Crew’s cashmere sweaters rarely go on sale – I’m using the early Black Friday sale as my chance to pick up this cropped crewneck in a classic charcoal for just under $80.
  • Adam and I are finally crossing Waverly Inn off our New York restaurant bucket list with a reservation next Friday night and this long-sleeved rose print dress looks like just the thing to wear. Romantic and dressy enough with red lips and sheer black tights, but not over the top.




Time is a strange, stretching taffy sort of thing, isn’t it? As of writing this, we have about 6 1/2 weeks left in this year. In contrast, our wedding was 6 1/2 weeks ago. It feels like a blink and a lifetime. In a normal year, the weeks to come are my busiest, most stress-inducing, highest pressure of the year. But as you might know, this wasn’t a normal year for me. We planned a wedding in 12 weeks and have had about a 4-5 month stretch where, even if we hadn’t added that major milestone to the agenda, would have left me stretched pretty thin. I’ve become the taffy in this scenario I suppose.

And while my career of choice (Fashion E-commerce) tends to dictate that these next 6 1/2 weeks will feel like I’m careening towards the new year – it is in my best interest health wise (mentally and physically.. lest we all forget the stress induced stomach ulcer I had back in August) to dig in my heels so to speak. To make a dedicated effort to stubbornly reject the blink and you’ll miss it moment that exists between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I think this might seem counterintuitive but I’m doing this by filling up my calendar (it might in fact be ill-advised but what do you care, it’s my experiment). We’ll only get one holiday season as newlyweds, I want to look back and remember cozy December date nights, ice skating hand in hand in Central Park, picking out gifts that feel special. Likewise, I’ve made significant progress on some personal goals this year and I want to keep pushing. Sure work is busy – but it’s always going to be. I’m going to keep getting up early every morning to work-out, keep trudging through the depths of my novel’s first draft, keep putting money in the apartment fund. 6 1/2 weeks suddenly becomes an expanse before me.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I suspect that the dates on the calendar will continue to surprise me with their domino fall – but this year, I intend to not let it pull me completely apart.

Outfit from the lost France files – I hope you’ll continue to indulge me with these.



I’m a shoe girl year round.. but fall and holiday shoes reallyyy take the cake for me. Suede, velvet, croc, metallic, embellished.. you name it and I want to be walking in it this time of year. I picked up a few new fun pairs for our honeymoon (all of which also happen to be deceptively comfortable) and I’ve got my eye on at least 1 or 2 pairs for the holidays. Tis the season, no? Below – what’s on my radar this season.

Above: Franco Sarto Knee High Leather Boots


Both are huge trends for the season (although in my humble opinion, neither ever goes out of style) – this pair that I’m wearing are buttery soft and required zero break-in. I’m eyeing these red t-strap heels for holiday though too.


I’ve always loved a loafer but they’re really getting their moment in the spotlight lately. And while a great, simple leather pair is a timeless style to own, why not try a patent, two-tone or bejeweled version too this season?


Again, two huge trends, again – I say.. to me they’re always in style. Either way – it’s my season to shine. I love a metallic shoe – all the better if it’s in a sweet little mary-jane silhouette that makes me feel like a modern day flapper like this pair I wore a few times in Paris and can’t wait to wear again.

Above: Inez Paz Ankle Boot (code: thesteelemaiden15 gets you 15% off your order)


In looking back through our (probably thousands) of honeymoon photos – I realized that I took some outfit photos along the way that were just quick snaps (not enough for their own blog posts/have maybe been shared on IG stories already) but that I still wanted to share here in a permanent place. Thought it might be fun to round them up together all in one. Here are 5 of them (for day) and I’ll do another post on some of the things I wore at night!


We spent a Saturday morning in Montmartre (just early enough that it wasn’t yet flooded with tourists) wandering the cobblestones, picking up crepes and taking in the sweeping views that all those hills afford you. It was cooler so I needed the trench until about noon and I’ll definitely be re-wearing this entire outfit to work here in New York.


This was one of my favorite days – we started with a visit to the famed department store Galeries Lafayette then took a stroll to the Tuileries (New Yorkers have Central Park, Parisians have this), stopping to pick up macarons along the way of course. We grabbed lunch at an unassuming little outdoor cafe nestled in the park (which turned out to be 10/10 delicious) then found a couple of green chairs to sit in the sunshine and enjoy our dessert. Typically we’d go to see Monet’s water lilies in the neighboring Musée de l’Orangerie but alas, tickets were sold-out.. I figured if I couldn’t see them this trip I’d wear this floral ikat print skirt (that reminded me of an Impressionist blur) in their honor.


On our last afternoon (in near 80 degree temps!) we grabbed a bottle of champagne, simple baguette sandwiches and found a seat along the Seine River with a great view of the Eiffel Tower for a little picnic lunch. I wore a vintage skirt that I’d bought earlier in the trip, tied my new Dior scarf onto my bag (it’s printed with a vintage map of the streets of Paris), an easy crewneck sweater and sneakers.


With a short flight (and the rest of our suitcases waiting for us at our final hotel) I made the most of the comfort of these perfect wide leg trousers to travel from Nice back to Paris. I paired them with a cropped tweed jacket – which I’m loving with jeans too – and a vintage metallic gold St Johns Knits sweater tank that I found in New York this summer and is proving to be a very fun layering piece. Once we landed in Paris I was ready to hit the ground running and wore this straight to lunch.


Red! I’ve forever been a fan of a bright cherry red, but it also just so happens to be having a major moment this fall. This sweater dress hangs beautifully and also is so comfortable you might as well be in pajamas. It was originally tamed by my trench coat but this was another nearly 80 degree day in Paris so after breakfast at a front row spot at Cafe de Flore (one of my favorite little traditions every trip), I had to shed some layers. Easy with sneakers and an oversized suede tote or with heeled boots and a smaller structured bag for a Fall date night.


I know, I know.. we’re a month into Fall already – but between the wedding madness, the honeymoon escape from reality and then the hectic return to work – I’m really just now getting to catch my breath and try to really hit pause. I want to soak in this little newlywed season alongside the fall season that I love so much here in New York. Below – a short list of joy-inducing things I’m looking forward to over the next month.

  • Catching up on Shows + Movies – I want to watch the new season of Only Murders in the Building + Sex Education and I’m hoping to fit in a few favorite fall movies (You’ve Got Mail, Practical Magic) alongside a few new ones (A Haunting in Venice looks perfect for spooky season and I’ve got screening tickets for The Holdover in a couple of weeks)
  • Baking/Cooking – I cook out of necessity but not because I love it, but this time of year I do think it’s fun to make a few seasonal favorites like pumpkin bread and turkey chili. So what if the bread is from a box, it’s the thought that counts, right?!
  • Reading (!!) – I obviously love to read all year round but Fall reading is elite tier. I have barely read a word in the past month, but I just picked up the first book in my fall stack (Alice Hoffman’s The Invisible Hour) and I can’t wait to spend the next month leaning in heavily to my TBR stack.
  • Increased Running – I’ve been in a really good running groove this year and I’m looking forward to add on a bit of mileage now that my life is *slightly* less busy and the weather has so nicely cooled.
  • Fall Foliage – While I’d like to have even 1 full weekend at home sometime this month, we’re headed to the lake this upcoming weekend to close up the cabin for the winter. The good news (besides the fact that it’s always nice to be at the lake) is that the leaves should be pretty close to peak color so I can bask in the foliage while I haul the dock out of the water.
  • Slow Weekends at Home – Will I ever get one? Only time will tell, but man would I kill for a sleep in Saturday. Chili in the crockpot, pumpkin bread in the oven. A good book, candles lit, and a seasonal movie to watch. Bliss.
  • Our 1 Month Wedding Anniversary – Still a couple of weeks away, but how fun to have something new to celebrate?!

Also – this entire outfit is 30% off in Talbots Friends & Family Sale starting Wednesday 10/18 + they just launched the first of their holiday collections. You all know it’s one of my favorite places to find classic wardrobe pieces that feel feminine yet modern so now is a great time to stock up. This entire outfit is comprised of pieces I know I’ll mix and match all season long – a timeless suede tote in rich chocolate, a perfect layering cashmere sweater, super easy to wear straight leg jeans, platforms heels (I’m obsessed with these!!) and a chic little jacket in a fun green plaid.


Thanks to Talbots for kindly gifting these pieces and for your support of brands I love!