We’re officially halfway through the year – a somewhat surreal feeling, no? Regardless I’m using this (iffy weather) weekend to reflect back on the first half and set a few intentions as we head into the second half. Also – if you happened to notice, my entire blog crashed earlier this week and I lost the old template design. Apparently everything is getting a fresh start as we head into July? I don’t hate it. Regardless, I hope to be posting here a bit more. I’m suddenly in a blog-ish mood after a long time of not feeling that way.
Below, what else is on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart as we make our way through this holiday weekend (specialshout-out to anyone else, like me, that is working in office on Monday…):
ON MY MIND:
I had the pleasure of seeing an early screening of Wes Anderson’s new Asteroid City a couple of weeks ago (thanks Focus Films) – if you’re looking for a way to escape the smoke or storms this weekend, I’d recommend it! As usual with Anderson, it’s a feast for the eyes but I also particularly liked this ensemble cast. The kids were brilliant! Tom Hanks! Maya Hawke! Fun.
On Saturday night I scored us hard to get seats at Tokyo Record Bar – a tiny speakeasy of a restaurant hidden in the basement below Air’s Champagne Parlor. Over an hour and a half, you’re served 7 courses while a DJ spins tracks selected by the guests from a ‘music menu’ of the records that line the walls. It’s hard to describe but as vinyl/music loving people – we had the best time. Afterwards, we popped upstairs and toasted with champagne. Ahh.. New York.
I’m headed to Kansas City next weekend for a long overdue weekend with my 2 closest college friends. And we justtt so happen to have tickets to see Taylor on Friday night – I’m hoping she’s got some tricks up her bejeweled sleeves since it corresponds with the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). I’ll be wearing this Lavender Haze meets Lover inspired dress.
ON MY BOOKSHELF:
I’m steadily making my way through my 2023 Summer Reading List and am currently about 3/4 of the way through ‘The Lincoln Highway‘ – I’m admittedly not loving it as much as Amor Towles’ ‘Rules of Civility’ but I’m solidly enjoying it and the 600ish pages are flying by much faster than I worried they would.
After reading and absolutely loving her memoir ‘Wild Game’ a few years ago, I pre-ordered Adrienne Brodeur’s new fiction ‘Little Monsters‘ for myself and my bookish BFF Claire. I plan on reading this as my in-flight book next weekend.
My virtual book club (now 3 years in!) decided to do a fun backlist title for July and we’re reading Valley of the Dolls – it’s a re-read for most of us but I haven’t read this in at least a decade and remember loving it in my early 20s. Can’t wait to dive in again.
IN MY CART:
I recently tried Alex Mill for the first time (from Mickey Dexler, the man who led Gap in the 90s and J.Crew in the early 00s – so he knows what he’s doing) – the brand focuses on elevated basics and I loved this skirt that I ordered. So much so, that when I saw they were doing a rare 4th of July sale I picked it up in this print along with the matching button down shirt.
I am fresh out of candles and it’s driving me crazy – I’m going to pick up a few on sale at Anthropologie (I love the tortoise shell looking glass on this one) plus finally try Hotel Lobby (which everyone raves about) in Paris Nuit since they’re having a 20% Off sale.
I’ve been trying to be more diligent about my skincare lately and so when my friends at Elemis offered to send over a few products to try I happily jumped on board. I’m about 2 months into using them and while the brand is spendy, I truly see and feel a difference in my skin when I’m consistent in using them. My current favorites are these resurfacing facial pads and the silkiest pro-collagen moisturizer – 25% off right now in their sitewide sale, so a great chance to try them!
I took a chance on these (final sale) red strappy sandals a couple of weeks ago and.. no regrets. Super comfortable out of the box and they make even a simple jeans and tee type outfit look chic. I found them true to size.
Happy Place by Emily Henry: First things first. Every summer needs a great rom-com and Henry consistently turns out solid content in that department. In full disclosure I already flew through this one last weekend and loved it.
The Guest by Emma Cline: I’ve already finished this one too – I’m flying through the list! But highly recommend if you want something with a bit of tension/suspense that’s not at all a thriller. I loved Cline’s ‘The Girls’ a few years back and really liked this too.
June Loves Legs by Karl Geary: A heart-wrenching coming of age story of friendship, set in 1990s Ireland. This one grabbed my eye on a recent browse at the Strand so I picked it up.
American Mermaid by Julia Langbein: I love when a book feels like it has a truly original premise and this Hollywood story with a hint magical realism sounds like it will fit the bill. Also, it was praised by the authors of ‘Pizza Girl’ and ‘Circe’ – both of which I loved, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
Brutes by Dizz Tate: The Virgin Suicides meets the restless humidity of Florida – I love a dark story of girlhood. I’ve had this debut novel on my list for a few months now.
Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson: Set in the dark underbelly of a glittering 1920s era London, I’ve heard great things about Atkinson as an author and this setting already has me hooked.
Last Summer In The City by Gianfranco Calligarich: Billed as a ‘forgotten classic’ this book, translated from Italian, was originally published in 1974. I’m 40 pages in and it gives me the feel of Fitzgerald or Hemingway meet Andre Aciman’s ‘Call Me By Your Name’. I thought it was going to be a more challenging literary read but I’m already totally immersed in it.
The Furrows by Namwali Serpell: A reflection on memory and grief, this story follows a woman who is looking back on the death of her younger brother when she was a girl. I’m reading for my virtual book club and will be interested to hear what everyone thought!
The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt: I loved the dark humor and unnerving charm in DeWitt’s ‘French Exit’ so I’m ready and waiting to pick this up when it releases in July, following an aging librarian in Portland, Oregon as he begins to volunteer at a local retirement home.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman: My NYC book club is reading this one, set in Coney Island at the turn of the century, before we head there on a bookish field trip. I love Hoffman’s ‘Practical Magic’ series so I’m looking forward to diving into her backlist.
Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan: Admittedly, since I flew through Happy Place I wanted to stack this list with at least one more fun rom-com and I’m excited for this after reading and loving Monaghan’s ‘Nora Goes Off Script’ last year.
Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: Intimidating in size at almost 600 pages, but if it’s anything like ‘Rules of Civility’ I’ll be flying through it. Towles does historical fiction so beautifully and I can’t wait to follow the story of two brothers on a 10 day cross country drive, set in 1954.
As is often the case in the winter, I needed a little break from this space. Two months worth of space it seems. But (as also is often the case) as we head into spring, I’m starting to feel like myself again and with it I feel like I can return to somewhat regularly scheduled programing here. Or at the very least a little game of catch up. Below, what’s on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart as we head into one of my favorite months of the year. Ready for you May!
ON MY MIND:
I’m really proud of my slow but steady return to running this year and am tentatively thinking of getting a half marathon on the books for later this year. I’m admittedly a little scared to commit to the training again (the last one I ran was over 5 years ago) but I also know how great it feels to set a big goal like that and achieve it. Putting this all here to hold myself accountable?
We re-started The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from season 1 so that we could re-watch the whole series before finishing with the newest (and final) season that just premiered. It’s such a visual treat (the interiors, the clothing!) and I can’t wait to see how they wrap the whole thing up. No spoilers please.
Also – I rewatched How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days last week and I’ve gotta say.. Kate Hudson’s outfits in that movie really hold up for me. I loved them in 2003 (no coincidence that my junior prom dress in 2004 was yellow) and 20 years later, I still want them all.
And speaking of movies, I saw Polite Society in theaters this weekend and LOVED it. Such an original premise and laugh out loud funny, but with a heartwarming story of female strength, the bond between sisters and girlhood friendships at its core. Can’t recommend enough.
T-minus two weeks until my date with the T-Swift tour. That’s all.
ON MY BOOKSHELF:
I’ve been slowly working my way through Trust by Hernan Diaz. Centered around the 1929 stock market crash it’s a more demanding literary read, but I’m fascinated by the structure of the book and where it’s taking me. I’ll report back when I’m done.
Jeanette Walls, author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses (both of which I loved), just came out with a new work of fiction – Hang the Moon. Set in Virginia during Prohibition and centered on a strong female protaganist.. this sounds like it’s going to check all the boxes for me. Diving into it next!
IN MY CART:
In a somewhat surreal turn of events, over the course of the next two weeks I have not one but two Black Tie events to attend, both for work. The first of which is this Wednesday and I’ll be borrowing this chic bag to carry and hoping that these shoes that I ordered complete with the look!
And speaking of shoes, I ordered these silver platforms to see if I think they’ll be comfortable enough for 3 hours of dancing at the Eras Tour. If you missed it I ordered this mirrorball of a dress and am still just swooning at the thought of wearing it. Otherwise, I’ll go with Converse sneakers for a fun high/low look.
Okay, okay now for some more relatable fashion. I love this classic checked midi skirt. Sneakers, heels, t-shirt, a cardigan – there’s nothing it won’t go with for work or weekend. I love the idea of pairing it with this shrunken vest.
I’ve got summer dresses in mind – this one and this one in particular. Could the weather cooperate now?
I joked on Instagram the other day that I’m in my hermit era.. but in reality I feel this way every year around this time. I haven’t shopped since before the holidays/our trip to London (my goal is to get through February! 2 whole months!), in fact I haven’t done much of anything this year besides go to work, read, work-out, repeat. That being said – my daydreams are making up for the lack of excitement in my current calendar. Below, what’s on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart as we kick off a new week.
ON MY MIND:
I can’t quite wrap my mind around the level of devastation from the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Here’s an article that provides a good handful of resources for how to help.
Are you waiting any good TV or movies lately? I want to finally watch Don’t Worry Darling and try Reese Witherspoon & Ashton Kutcher’s new rom-com on Amazon Prime.
It will surprise absolutely no one that I’m itching for a quick warm weather getaway. Any suggestions for places that are a quick flight from New York, offer white sand and clear oceans and won’t blow my budget?
ON MY BOOKSHELF:
I ready Ann Patchett’s collection of essays, These Precious Days, last month and I can’t stop thinking about them. Somehow both incredibly poignant while still being entirely approachable. It’s inspired me to dive more into her backlist – starting with her debut work, The Patron Saint of Liars.
I have to be in the right mood for audiobooks but recently listened to two rom-coms, The Ex Talk (4 stars from me) and Norah Goes Off Script (5 stars) and they were such a fun addition to my regular reading life.
IN MY CART:
I’m doing my damnedest to get through February without shopping (January is already in the bag!). But when I do start up again I’ll be looking to thoughtfully add a few transition pieces to my wardrobe. This striped cardigan feels like it would fit the bill. And this slightly cropped option is cute too and would pair well with spring dresses in months to come.
While I’m in the spirit of yearly recaps (the best books I read in 2022 here), I thought I would reflect on my favorite purchases of 2022. These 10 items were particularly useful, infinitely wearable and/or just things I ended up loving. And – because I’m a sentimental shopper – I also shared 5 “bonus” purchases below those.. things that cannot be linked. Things that I spent money on last year that purely brought me joy. It was a fun exercise that I encourage you to try!
Reformation Cynthia Jeans – I could write an entire love letter to these jeans. They look vintage yet modern, hold their shape through a bunch of wears (I strongly disagree with washing jeans after just one wear) and are perfectly rigid, high-waisted, curve hugging in a true blue wash. In short, to me they are perfect. The price per wear on these is down to pennies since buying them in May.
Warby Parker Prescription Sunglasses – It’s not hyperbole when I say these changed my life. I had been fighting the dilemma of wearing glasses but then squinting into the sun vs wearing non-prescription sunglasses but squinting to see distance for years now. This put an end to that and all year I felt a burst of happiness every time I put them on. I also feel very “me” in this classic shape.
Tea Organizer– I bought this last January and for whatever neurotic reason it sparks joy every time I make tea (which is nearly everyday). Something about it makes me feel like I’m in a fancy tea shop with lots of options even when I’m barefoot in our messy kitchen.
High Top Converse in Parchment – It took me almost a month last spring to track these down in my size in the vintage-looking parchment color, but ever since they’ve been on my feet about 5 days a week. From traipsing through Paris to commuting to work, they felt cool with dresses, easy with jeans and practical/comfortable enough to get my 10k steps in.
Neely & Chloe Black Top Handle Bag – I picked this up in their Black Friday sale after being really impressed by the quality and timeless appeal on a couple of other bags I have from the brand. I wanted an update to the black crossbody bag I’ve been carrying for about 6 years and love this one. I carried it all over London and love that it can go from day to night if need be.
HandheldSteamer – I’ve talked before about my love of steaming but in case you’re new here – I haven’t ironed in probably 5 years but am instead, devoted entirely to steaming everything I wear before I put it on. Wrinkles make even the best clothes look cheap to me and irons are very harsh on fabrics. Anyway, I bought a new handheld steamer this year and love this little guy. Small, lightweight and instantly hot. Highly recommend for steaming at home or domestic travel (it’s not dual voltage).
J.Crew Silk Slip Skirt in Camel – I love a piece that can be worn year round and this one fits the bill. I’ve worn it with simple sandals and the aforementioned perfect white tee in summer. With a sweater and ankle boots in fall. And now, with tights, the heels and a tweed blazer in winter. It can be dressed up or down and has a beautiful drape to it. Comes in lots of colors too!
Alexis Bittar Two Tone Hoop Earrings – A super wearable medium size, lightweight and with two tone metal and the tiniest hint of crystal sparkle. So basically they go with everything, day or night. I wear them at least a few times every week.
Franco Sarto Black Knee High Boots – The brand was kind enough to gift this pair to me in the Fall and since then I’ve worn them on constant rotation. They have a 90s appeal to me and are almost shockingly comfortable for all day wear.
J.Crew Vintage Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt – I bought this in white and black in my usual size and they’re possibly my favorite basic t-shirt I’ve ever worn. Lightweight but not sheer. Boxy and slightly slouchy but still flattering and just fitted enough. I already need to go back and buy more in multiples.
SHOP THE STORY:
Now.. the “just for fun” favorites (outside of plane tickets that is):
Rococo Fashion Bookmarks at Versailles: One thing about me is that I love a museum gift shop. When we were visiting Versailles I spotted this set of funny little paper doll-esque bookmarks in the fashion style of Marie Antoinette’s Rococo Era. I bought a set for myself and my best friend Claire (the only other person in this world I knew would be equally excited by them) and they truly spark joy for me every time I open a book.
Harry Styles Tickets: This one is likely pretty self explanatory but that show was just SO happy. Dancing in the aisles, feathers flying off of boas, face hurting from smiling so much kind of happy. Also I don’t think there’s anyone else operating at Harry’s level right now – all of Madison Square Garden just losing their mind for him. It was a bit like what I imagine seeing Elvis in his heyday to have felt like. Probably the most expensive thing on this list but I have no regrets.
A basket of beach fries from Rippers at Rockaway Beach over Memorial Day Weekend: It was our first beach day of the season and I remember just feeling so happy to feel warm and be hanging out on the sand. I can picture what I was wearing and exactly how they tasted. $5 (or whatever they cost) well spent.
Rockettes Tickets: I’ve wanted to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular forever but always thought it would be too expensive or that it’s meant more for families to attend. Turns out? Grabbing Black Friday discount tickets for a 10PM Saturday night show, just Adam and I, was reasonably affordable and SO fun. No kids in tow needed. I loved it.
Vintage Feather Manolo Blahniks: Are they practical? Not at all. Do I love them? Entirely. This year I continued to focus on building my “forever wardrobe”. Which doesn’t mean everything has to be a basic black sweater – it just means finding pieces that I love and feel collectible and inherently “me”. These ticked all of those boxes.