As I mentioned last month, we’re heading to New York for a five-night stay in the city after Thanksgiving. It’ll be my first time in New York and I can’t wait to be there with all of the Christmas lights and decor. Gray Malin just released a beautiful photograph of the Rockefeller Center Tree, which I’ve already made my phone background to put me in the holiday spirit in advance of the trip! Shortly after we return, we’ll head to Chicago for the Christkindlmarket. Spending a holiday-filled weekend in the Windy City has become one of our favorite annual traditions — even if we have to limit ourselves to just one new ornament! A tree can only handle so much glitz!
I’m not a huge fan of movies. For whatever reason, the idea of sitting still for two hours for a feature film sounds like too much of a time commitment, yet I can binge-watch TV shows all afternoon long. It took no time at all for me to get through two new shows: The Haunting of Hill House and Bodyguard. I really liked Hill House up until the ending, but I’ll stay mum if you haven’t watched it yet. Bodyguard, on the other hand, was great through the last episode. We just started Homecoming, which gets rave reviews from critics and mediocre ones from viewers, so I’m curious to see how that unfolds.
If you saw my Instagram story last week, you’ll know that we finally installed a dining room light fixture! We had been living with an old ceiling fan that we removed the blades from last summer when we painted the ceiling. It was certainly a conversation piece, but not in the way we would have liked! I’m smitten with the new fixture and it has given us so much motivation to continue working on that room. We ordered this rug to try. The 7′ x 10′ size was just $140 when we bought it, so it’s cheap enough to keep for now even if it’s not “the one.” Adding curtains is the last thing I’d like to do in that room before the holidays. We have dingy roller shades right now and I think I’m going to add a curtain rod and light-filtering sheers or sheer linen drapes. I want the light in the room, while offering privacy from our neighbor’s house. Yet, I’m not sure I want to cover the architectural detail the window provides in that room. Anyway, just another thing to obsess over (and Photoshop ideas) before pulling the trigger!
I can’t wait until the month-end recap or an outfit post to talk about the dress I bought, especially because there aren’t many sizes left. Madewell’s fit-and-flare dresses fit my body like a glove, and I love that the low v-neck and short hemline keep the dress flirty. The colors of the pattern are a lot more vibrant than they appear on screen. I’m smitten. I’m also eyeing up this bag in white (I do have a trip to Florida on the books in January), this coat, this sweater in green for casual holiday gatherings (just add sparkly jewels!), this sparkly sweater, and this swimsuit.
I’m trying not to bombard you with all of the holiday spirit just yet, but that’s probably going to change next week. Ideally, I’d like to get the majority of my shopping done before the end of November. (I’d like to kick back and enjoy the holiday season instead of worrying about last-minute gifts.) I end up bookmarking all sorts of gift ideas to pass along while I’m shopping for friends and family, so those gift guides are going to start comin’ atcha soon. I’m also working on a gift guide for men that includes the things that I’ve given over the years that have rave reviews. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing the same J.Crew sweaters and socks on everyone’s gift guide. (Speaking of socks, if the guy on your shopping list is looking for new pairs, Dave likes Garnet Hill’s cashmere socks, Anonymous Ism, and the wool socks from Chup.)
Winter does a number on my skin. I’m stocking up on my moisturizing favorites to avoid running out during the winter. I’m still using this every night and loving how my complexion looks, along with this eye cream. This serum is an absolute must, and this overnight mask is great for the really drying days. My hands are prone to severe dryness and cracking during the winter. This hand cream, which you can snag at hardware stores, is the only thing that can keep that at bay.
I bought this dress, which is part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, on a whim. I had honestly expected to send it back, but I liked the colors and thought it would be a nice option for late summer when I grow tired of brighter hues. Happily, it fit the bill, but it’s not without fault. This dress wrinkles so easily. I ironed it before going downtown for drinks this week (which isn’t a long drive, mind you) and this is what it looked like after sitting in the car. If creases bother you, this is a terrible option. But if you don’t mind the wrinkles when it comes to a casual dress, then it’s a really pretty, lightweight option for late summer and early autumn.
WAYF dress (version with sleeves) | Sea & Grass tote (similar) | Sam Edelman sandals | Julie Vos bracelet (c/o; similar) | Monica Vinader ring (similar) | Rachel Comey earrings | Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses (old; similar)
Happy Saturday! We only have one more weekend to go until we’re wheels up in route to London! I can’t adequately describe how happy we are to having a trip on the horizon. We haven’t had a vacation in over a year, with the exception of taking a few days off last summer to paint the house. We both need a break from work and an opportunity to explore a new-to-us city. I’ve been going back and forth on booking reservations for tea at Sketch. It’s obviously an Instagram favorite and the tea service does have good reviews, but I’m not sure if spending the equivalent of $160 is worth it for a photo opp when I’d be just as happy with street food. Other than that, we’re in fairly good shape with our itinerary and we’ll be putting the finishing touches on it this weekend.
We’ll also spend time around the house this weekend putting our spring projects in motion. One of the biggest things we’d like to tackle is our outdoor space. Last summer, our lawn was mostly made up with weeds, which normally doesn’t bother me as long as it’s green, but we want to whip things into shape this year and create an outdoor area that we want to spend time in. We raked the leaves this week and picked up all of the sticks that fell over the winter. We also ripped up the landscape fabric that the previous owner put down over the entire perimeter of the yard for some ungodly reason. It looked awful and you’d see pieces of torn fabric in the yard, especially after mowing. Now that that’s gone, we’ll put down grass seed and see if that takes. We do need to have four trees removed when we get back from our trip because they’re infected with emerald ash borer. I was initially upset that four mature trees need to go, but they’re dying and removing them should give our yard a lot more sunlight in the afternoon. (Plus, one that’s getting taken out drapes over our deck and spiders randomly fall out of it. Ew.) After that, we’ll look to paint or stain our front porch, stain the deck, and buy outdoor furniture. Phew!
- I’m smitten with Clare Elsaesser’s art. I’m contemplating this print, this one, or this one for our home.
- You’ll be surprised to learn what color the Eiffel Tower was originally painted.
- This bathroom is seriously inspirational. I love how the different tiles work together to create a cohesive space.
- A roundup of spring cocktails to try.
- Fashion photographer Bill Cunningham wrote a secret memoir that will be published this September. You can pre-order it here.
- Jessica’s roundup of every outfit she wore in Australia is giving me major wanderlust.
- This chair is amazing.
- I really dislike our kitchen. The walls have an awful textured treatment, the floor is outdated linoleum that looks like river rocks (seriously), and the counter is a speckled brown that hides just about every crumb and spill (great, until you clean and realize it was dirtier than you thought it was). We don’t want to invest too much in a remodel, so we’re just looking at doing cosmetic changes. One will definitely be painting the cabinets white. I’ve bookmarked this post with step-by-step directions for doing it right.
- Gray Malin wallpaper is a thing!
- My style icon, Iris Apfel, now has her very own Barbie! While I won’t be purchasing the doll, I did just order her book.
- 16 of the most beautiful streets in the world.
Finds Under $50:
- I love the wood detail in these modern earrings.
- How great is the bust detailing on this swimsuit?
- I’m eager to try this lip scrub.
- The perfect mug for weekend coffee.
- These bow-topped slides are the cutest!
- Classic menswear-inspired pajamas.
- The shape of this sleek cocktail shaker is perfect.
- A sophisticated jumpsuit that will look adorable with black slides this summer.
Earlier This Week:
- Wearing all of my favorites in one outfit.
- I have a crush on both pairs of earrings in this week’s “The Coveted.”
- Sharing five of my can’t-live-without-it items under $50.
image via Unsplash
Goodness, what a week. We fell head-over-heels in love with the house we saw on Sunday, put in an offer over asking, and on Tuesday morning we received news that we didn’t get it. I didn’t expect to feel as heartbroken as I did and I left work early to come home and curl up in a depressed pile on the couch. This process is heart wrenching. It’s not just a piece of property you’re looking to buy, it’s a home and a life and a future. There’s so much wrapped up in putting in that offer that it’s soul-crushing when it doesn’t work out the way you hope it will. It’d be one thing if Madison had more houses on the market, but we’ve now gone another week and there’s nothing that we want to see. Plus, real estate in this market is expensive. Our budget is $275,000 and that will either get us a boring, carpeted, newly built home in the suburbs or a 1940s home that has never been renovated, doesn’t have a dishwasher, and no garage. So, the rare house that falls within our preferred neighborhoods that has the pretty finishes and upgrades go for $20,000 or more over asking. I’m scared that we’re going to find ourselves settling on a dumpy little home that we’re lukewarm about at best. It’s stressful and I so badly want it to work out for us. I know this isn’t the most uplifting life update, but #RealLife?
Anyway, here’s what I came across this week:
ON TOUR: Take a peek behind the scenes at the Lulu Frost studio with designer and founder Lisa Salzer.
BE INSPIRED: I loved going down memory lane with Emily Henderson in her post about their first home and everything they did to renovate and decorate. I found the kitchen especially inspiring. She didn’t have money for a full gut and renovation, but a backsplash, new counters, new cabinet hardware, and a coat of paint made a huge difference. Plus, that’s something that we can afford if our future kitchen is less than picture perfect.
EDIT: I’m such a Gray Malin fan girl, so I loved this post about how he edits his iPhone photos.
GIGGLE: I’m sure anyone who has had a bar haircut can relate to this.
WEAR: I spotted these earrings online yesterday and immediately went to H&M to buy them. They’re large and heavy and the cheap metal will probably irritate my skin, but I love them all the same!
WASH: I will never be someone who only shampoos occasionally. I don’t understand you people and, frankly, I don’t need to be convinced that it’s better to cut back on shampooing. My hair looks better when it’s squeaky clean.
SMILE: I loved this piece on how women are routinely judged more harshly than men in fictional shows.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Ten tassel earrings under $100
- The one item I bought at the Shopbop sale
- A review of the watch brand Welly Merck
CAUGHT MY EYE:
- A striped dress for hot summer days. I love the tie-front at the bodice.
- This sweet romper. The sleeve detail is gorgeous.
- An oversized sweater that looks perfect to pair with denim shorts on chillier summer nights.
- A pineapple trivet and pineapple glasses.
- The neckline of this dress.
If you celebrate Easter, I hope you have a happy holiday weekend!