Entries Tagged as 'Stuff to Buy'

BuzzFeed: The $20 Item You Should Add To Your Wedding Budget Immediately

June 19, 2015

Plus: which one to buy so you can avoid a rage-filled trip to Michaels. See more here.

My new party dress

June 4, 2015

Last month, I found this ASOS dress in my search for something to wear to my sister-in-law Kelley’s wedding. I loved the look of it—it’s very similar to the ASOS dress I wore to the last Miller family wedding! #uniform—so I went ahead and ordered it.

ASOS Wiggle Dress

But when the dress arrived, it looked horrible on me. The size 6 was too big in the hips, the back gaped around my shoulder blades, and it was a really unflattering midi length on my 5’4″ frame. But I loved the color, the pattern, the heavier fabric, the fact that I could wear a regular bra with it (!!), and the POCKETS. Since I had already sent back another ASOS dress twice (the petite was a little tight in the arms and the 6 regular was a little baggy/long overall, plus the fabric was on the thin side), I decided to see if a tailor could save it for me.

I’ve gone to the tailor for a bridesmaid dress, but never for more everyday-type clothing. If something isn’t the right fit, I just don’t buy it. (I was also raised by two experienced seamstresses, so that helped.) Because despite watching enough episodes of What Not to Wear to know that tailoring is The Secret to Everything (right after wearing the right size bra), I’m never quite sure how to find a good tailor, how much the job should cost, or what to ask for. (Like, how long should my jeans be?) Also, who wants to add another—errand especially one that involves going someplace twice in the same week—to her to-do list? Ugh.

In the interest of time, I decided to go to a place near my office (Fifth Avenue Dry Cleaners & Tailors on 23rd and Fifth) and everything went perfectly. My friend Tashween spotted me as I was walking there, so she came along; we squeezed into the teeny shop and we were both impressed by how quick and professional the tailor was. I had actually forgotten to mention I wanted the back fixed, but he noticed how it was gaping and asked me if I wanted him to do that too. I dropped it off on a Friday and asked if I could pick it up on Tuesday and the timeframe wasn’t a problem. The final bill was $50—it would have been considerably less if I’d only gotten it hemmed—which may be a lot (is it? in NYC? I have no idea) but I was in a time crunch, handing a brand-new dress over to a stranger and asking him to hack eight inches off of it, and Mercury was retrograde, so…whatever. It brought the total cost for the dress to $150 which is a little more than I wanted to spend, but now I have a pretty versatile party dress that was virtually unwearable before.

summer wedding guest dress

P.S. I left my heels at the office and had to take some very old wedges on the trip instead. I was so bummed!
P.P.S. After I put considerable effort into doing my hair and makeup and applying fake eyelashes the day of the wedding, I realized that I hadn’t even surpassed the Mormon-fashion-blogger-going-to-church basic level of glam.

BuzzFeed: 10 Life-Changing Things To Try In June

June 2, 2015

Furminator

Like the Furminator! See the full list on BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed: Get Ready To Fall In Love With Danish Store Flying Tiger

May 28, 2015

If Ikea and the dollar store had a baby — and Crate & Barrel and Party City were its crazy aunts — you’d have something close to the Danish store Flying Tiger.

Flying-Tiger

Read more about it here.

The best maraschino cherries

May 22, 2015

The past few times Eric has ordered an old fashioned at a bar, the maraschino cherries added for garnish have been amazing. On the last occasion, we were so moved by the delicious cherries that we started discussing making our own at home. The bartender—who was particularly nice/chatty/awesome (and also happened to be from Houston!)—overheard us and told us not to bother because she had the secret: Luxardo cherries. “You’ll buy them in a huge can that’ll cost about $100,” she told us. “But it will last you like a year.”

Luxardo cherries

We found them pretty much just as described on Amazon; the 6.6-pound can cost $77. (You can also get a 14-ounce jar for $20 on Amazon or from Williams-Sonoma.) The retro, bright yellow can is pretty huge (and, admittedly, a splurge), but the cherries apparently have a shelf life of about three years.

Luxardo cherries

Luxardo cherries don’t look like the neon red maraschino cherries I grew up eating on ice cream sundaes; they are dark red—almost black—and float in a viscous red-brown syrup that resembles a number of disgusting things. But the Luxardo cherries taste SO MUCH BETTER than the maraschino cherries I’m used to. (And I say that as someone who really loved eating the bright red maraschino cherries over the years.) I don’t like old fashioneds but I do like eating the cherries straight out of the can as a little treat, and I’m excited to try them on some different ice cream flavors this summer.

One added bonus of buying the big can is that we can now scoop cherries out into smaller jars for a perfect little housewarming/thank you/hey friend what’s up gift whenever we need it. You could also buy a big can in the winter along with a bunch of little jars, and then dole out a bunch of great $10 gifts.

Buy them here!

Further reading:

Who Made That Maraschino Cherry?

An Unscientific Taste of Maraschino Cherries

Luxardo PSA: Don’t Store Your Cherries in the Fridge

Cherries’ Garish Glory Revived

Eric also recently tried these cherries recently and found them completely vile.

BuzzFeed: 10 Life-Changing Things To Try In May

May 1, 2015

I was so excited to bring this new BuzzFeed format for doing product reviews to life in May!

flats thumb

See them all here.

BuzzFeed: 21 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That Aren’t Flowers

April 29, 2015

Because not all moms want stereotypical “lady” gifts.

gifts

See the list on BuzzFeed.

My spring uniform

April 22, 2015

I’ve been having a bunch of conversations with different friends and coworkers about creating a uniform (plus a recent Harper’s Bazaar article on the topic has been all over my social feeds), so I wanted to share my current uniform. On pretty much any given day, you can find me wearing some combination of these items:

Spring uniform

Though I had my winter uniform down, a couple of weeks ago, I realized that my spring uniform needed some help. (We’ve been having some very strange days lately, both weather-wise [cool in the morning, warmish in the afternoon] and office-temperature-wise [ALWAYS FUCKING FREEZING].) I was also coming up short on shoes. So I did some shopping and now I’m in good shape for spring, plus I got a bunch of items that I’ll wear for the rest of the year.

Below is a list of everything in my wardrobe that makes up my current uniform. The items I bought this month are marked with an asterisk and I included the rough purchase dates for everything else. I also included the price when I got an item at a significant discount.

Bottoms

One ankle-length pair of white skinny high-waist jeans* to wear with flats & sneakers ($9.99 on sale at H & M)

One pair of white straight-leg jeans to wear with heels (from Joe’s via Saks Off Fifth, 2013)

One ankle-length pair of dark blue jeans (~$25 on sale, J. Crew outlet, fall 2014)

One pair of straight-leg dark blue jeans* from Uniqlo

Three pairs of black Lululemon leggings (all gifts/gift card purchases between 2012 and 2014)

(I also have a white midi skirt, a radiant orchid midi skirt, and some dresses, but it hasn’t been warm enough to wear them yet so they really aren’t part of my spring uniform.)

Tops

Two white Oxfords* ($15 on sale)

One blue Oxford* ($15 on sale)

Ivory cable-knit crew-neck sweater (Polo outlet, summer 2013)

Chambray button-front shirt (Polo outlet, summer 2012)

Two white sweatshirts* ($15 each on sale)

One navy blue sweatshirt* ($15 on sale)

One pink H&M sweatshirt* ($9.95 find)

Gray sweatshirt ($14 clearance find at Gap, fall 2014)

Ivory sweatshirt* from Muji

Ivory track jacket (Lululemon gift card purchase, early 2013)

Mint green track jacket (Lululemon gift card purchase, early 2014)

A few built-in bra tanks to wear under the track jackets

Looking at this list, it seems like I have way more clothes than I’ve had in the past few years, but I guess that’s what happens when you no longer work from home or can do laundry at home! This is also the first time I’ve bought the things I really like in multiples.

Shoes

Black and leopard New Balances

Mint green Coach Frederica loafers* ($60 with in-store markdowns)

Gray BCBGgeneration snakeskin pumps* (After I tried to wear my wedding heels last week and was just like, What fresh hell is this? Seriously, I’m not sure how I ever walked in those which is a major bummer because they are so beautiful, and also because I intended to wear them to death.)

Gray wedge sneakers from ASH via Saks Off Fifth (I never thought I’d love these shoes as much as I do, but I LOVE them. I wore them a ton this winter.)

Accessories & outerwear

Black fanny pack ($20 at C. Wonder going-out-of-business sale, winter 2014)

Black Longchamp tote bag (2008)

Neon yellow Kate Spade tote/beach bag ($20 at the Kate Spade outlet, summer 2013)

Khaki trench coat (Express, 2008ish)

Black sporty rain coat (Target, 2012)

I can’t say that either of the jackets spark joy but they function so I decided not to spend the money to replace them this year.

Jewelry

Engagement ring

Gold Sydney Evan “love” ring (pre-wedding gift from my Lover.ly coworkers)

Gold midi ring* ($20, Chelsea Market)

Gold flower earrings (belonged to my great-grandmother) or similar small gold earrings

Gold “Best Bitch” heart necklace* from In God We Trust (received in an event gift bag last month)

Things I still need…

Something to replace the gray snakeskin flats I’ve been wearing for nearly seven years. Props to Tory Burch, because I’ve been wearing these shoes since my mom bought them for me when I got my first post-college job in the summer of 2008. They’ve served me well but the soles are a little too worn down to be comfortable anymore and holes are beginning to appear in the toes. I’m trying to find something as versatile and comfortable without buying the exact same shoe. (I’m ready for something a little different in terms of silhouette, and I’m not crazy about the gold logo on the new version.)

Black rain boots. I have a pair of red J. Crew rain boots that I’ve had since 2006 and just never really loved. While I love the look of Hunters, I’m planning to get this $45 pair from DSW. I’ve just been putting off buying them because I don’t feel like lugging them home on the train, which is kind of silly.

So! I’m pretty much always wearing one of the following outfits:

Ivory top + white jeans + wedges, pumps, or loafers
Light blue Oxford or chambray shirt + white jeans or blue jeans + wedges or pumps
Navy or gray sweatshirt + white jeans + wedges
White or ivory top + blue jeans + gray wedge sneakers, snakeskin pumps, mint loafers, or black sneakers
Track jacket + black leggings + black sneakers

Plus all the jewelry mentioned above, my fanny pack, a jacket, and (a couple days a week) a tote bag.

(My winter uniform was really similar, but included navy blue corduroy pants and medium blue jeans instead of dark blue jeans, pastel and ivory sweaters instead of the sweatshirts, snow boots instead of sneakers, a faux-fur vest, a couple plaid blanket scarves, and no button-front shirts.)

Wearing a uniform was borne out of necessity (a few years ago, I realized I needed to stop spending money on things I didn’t really need and that included new clothes, especially new clothes I didn’t really love) and also getting older and wanting to buy nicer clothes that I would take good care of and wear for a while. (In my case this just meant like, nicer than Forever 21 and Target.) The uniform approach makes shopping much easier because I always know what I’m looking for and what I’m definitely not looking for. It simplifies getting dressed in the morning and makes doing laundry easier.

I feel like taking the uniform approach is similar to when I went from fucking around with a bunch of meh dudes to realizing I’d rather be with someone awesome (or just be alone and awesome). I no longer fuck around with meh clothes. The best part of taking this approach is how good it makes me feel to be wearing something I really love every single day. We all have our “power outfits” (or accessories) that make us feel great. Why not just make that the thing you wear every day?

BuzzFeed: 21 Women Who Slayed In Their White Jeans

April 15, 2015

I have so much love for white jeans.

See them all here.

The week in review

April 12, 2015

This week was kind of meh. The bad weather really bummed me out, I hated my hair and all my clothes, and everything just felt kind blah. But! Things took a turn for the better on Friday evening. The BuzzFeed Life team went out for drinks and snacks at Le Pain Quotidien after work and it was just what we all needed. It was a total blast and I came home good and drunk and insisted that Eric and I eat the pizza I’d ordered on my walk home on our wedding china.

Saturday we woke up to really beautiful weather; Eric and I had breakfast at Emeline’s and then went out to play. We wandered around Union Square Market (go there for all your house plant needs, seriously), ate street corn, and stopped for gelato at Cones. And basically got high on that sweet, sweet Vitamin D. Today we’re having a pretty lazy Sunday, but we’ll be heading to my coworker’s birthday party at a bar this afternoon. It’s so nice outside and I’m feeling pretty great about everything!

Other highlights from this week…

Buying

New shirts for spring. Yesterday, Eric and I went to Uniqlo; I haven’t been there since I moved back to the city, and I had forgotten how much I like their stuff. Though I saw a lot of items that really spoke to me, I did practice some restraint. I had settled on getting a few Oxfords, but was bummed that the women’s shirts were not on sale for $15 (!!) like the men’s were. Eric suggested I just buy extra-small men’s shirts, which turned out to be a great idea. And not only did they cost less up front, they’ll cost less every time I have them dry cleaned. Win!

A basil plant. The plan is to keep it alive. Wish me luck!

Trying

Rapidbrow Eye Brow Enhancing Serum. I got a free tube of this and the reviews are pretty great, so I’m very excited to see how it works on my basically non-existent eyebrows. It says it can take three months, so we’ll see.

Reading

What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand? The New Yorker. I love this.

Inside the Police Failure to Stop Darren Sharper’s Rape Spree, ProPublica + The New Orleans Advocate. This will make you SO angry.

Grief, by Dallas Thompson on Medium. The first timed Dallas talked about managing other people’s reactions to her loss, it was like a lightbulb went off for me. I’m so glad she finally articulated all of that in this piece. (Related: Guide for Millenials with Grieving Friends on APW, which is also really good.)

This Singer Has Written Possibly The Most Touching Best Man Speech Of All Time, BuzzFeed. Just adorable.

‘White Feminism’ Perfectly Explained Through Pizza and Burgers, Jezebel. Charming and on point.

Why I Wear The Exact Same Thing To Work Every Day, Harper’s Bazaar. “Immediately, people started asking for a motive behind my new look: ‘Why do you do this? Is it a bet?’ When I get those questions I can’t help but retort, ‘Have you ever set up a bill for online auto-pay? Did it feel good to have one less thing to deal with every month?'” Preach.

17 Things You Didn’t Know Google Chrome Could Do, BuzzFeed. My coworker Nicole has just been killing it with these kinds of articles! She finds the best tips.

Uber-Affordable Danish Home Decor Brand Coming to Flatiron, Racked. Looking forward to checking out this new store!

Living the Label-less Life, Apartment Therapy. I came across this post on Pinterest yesterday, and it’s right in line with point #4 in my KonMari post. I also like how half the comments are like, “Ugh, who has TIME to do this?” People who have time to leave comments like that on Apartment Therapy, that’s who. I actually decanted body wash, soap, shampoo, and dish soap last week and it took me no more than 15 minutes, tops.

How Emoji Get Lost In Translation, The Huffington Post.

The Price of a Life, The New Yorker. (And I can’t remember if I shared this related post last month, but it’s also a really good read.)

Are you storing your 9 volt batteries properly?

Mad Men is back, which means so are Tom and Lorenzo’s recaps!

I also read the new book Read Bottom Up in a single day and it was a fun little rom-com book that reminded me so much of the conversations my friend Lauren and I have been having for the entire duration of our friendship.

Writing

21 Stunning Nontraditional Wedding Bouquets

What’s Your Six-Word Love Story?

21 Times Being A Bridesmaid Damn Near Killed You

This Sock-Folding Technique Is Basically Life-Changing

Undeniable Proof That Blue From “Blue’s Clues” Is A Total Bitch

23 Photos Of Men Doing Yoga That Will Make You Thirsty

18 Times Restoration Hardware Went Too Damn Far

The week ahead…

Same old, same old!

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