I don’t always think about H&M when I’m looking for housewares, and that seems to be an oversight on my part. Mixed in with the generic items and those that seem better suited for a college apartment, there are some truly great pieces. It just takes a bit of scouring to find them. Another item I love, but didn’t quite make the top seven cut, is this storage basket. It looks like the perfect solution for storing miscellaneous umbrellas, scarves, and gloves in our entry closet.
After booking our May trip to Portugal, all I can think about is what I’d like to purchase and pack for the trip. I ordered the sneakers — which arrive today — as a warmer-weather alternative to the navy ones I bought last fall. They’re so comfortable for walking and took zero time to break in. I’m hoping to pair the slip-ons with spring dresses like this one for exploring Lisbon and Porto.
PORTUGAL THIS MAY
We’ve been looking for a European trip for either May or August this year. I originally wanted to visit Stockholm, but hesitated when roundtrip tickets were less than $400 in January. Those prices hadn’t resurfaced, so we expanded our search to other countries and came across flights in our budget to Lisbon. At this point, we’re thinking of spending five or six nights in Lisbon, taking a day trip to Sintra, and visiting Porto for a few days. Our flight actually returns from London, which saved us a few hundred dollars on each ticket, so we’ll need to make our way back to the U.K. at some point. (I’m actually really excited to go back to London so soon. I was incredibly sick for the first few days of last year’s trip and I felt like I missed out on a few things I wanted to do.) Let me know if you have any travel recommendations!
THE BEST OPTION FOR GAME NIGHT
Codenames is such a fun option for your game nights! We’ve been playing it with our friends just about every time we get together at the neighborhood bar for late-night drinks. The gist of the game is that you’re trying to get your teammates to guess words on the board that are highlighted on your secret map. There’s also an adult version with words that have x-rated connotations. That version is more difficult in a lot of ways because many of the words and the clues you’d give are so similar.
I’m such a fan of Patricia Vargas’ abstract art, and I’m beyond excited by the teaser she posted on Instagram the other day. I’m thinking that stacking two of the prints might be an option for over our little entry table.
I’ve been scouring Craigslist lately to find vintage pieces for our house. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of junk. However, I came across — and purchased — that incredible chair pictured above! It will eventually go in our yet-to-be-remodeled sunroom. That realistically won’t happen for years, so right now it’s in our office and I find myself staring lovingly at it whenever I’m in there.
A NEW BAG
I’ll use my Paravel backpack during the day for most of our trip in May, but I’m on the hunt for a crossbody bag I can use in the evening that can hold a lot but isn’t bulky. I’m thinking that this Kate Spade option might be the one. I love the neutral leather that’ll pair nicely with spring clothes and it looks roomy. Madewell also released a pretty cute option today, which is significantly cheaper. So, we’ll see. (In other pre-trip shopping news, I’m thinking about these Vince sneakers that are part of the current Shopbop promotion. I love the pair I bought last year and would like a lighter color for spring.)
SHOES FROM A CULT FAVORITE BRAND
Did you see that accessory newcomer Staud introduced footwear this week? Like the rest of their pieces, the shoes have a nod to vintage design — although these skew more late ’90s and early ’00s with their minimalist look. I like the asymmetrical strap detail on these and the pared down sophistication of these.
I’m happy to report that I’m sticking to my guns when it comes to selecting fewer, better things each month, and I can probably credit Marie Kondo in part for it. I went through a single dresser drawer last month, donating more than half of its contents. It wasn’t a closet clean out by any stretch of the imagination, but it still felt great to shed myself of items that weren’t my style any longer and it served as a poignant reminder to spend money on just the items I truly love. It’s a process, of course. I feel like I’ve wanted to be able to approach my wardrobe like this for years, but it’s only now — at age 35 — that it seems to have clicked.
See all of this year’s sartorial additions here.
- Kate Spade bubble dot blouse – The one-star review for this blouse cracks me up since it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the piece. Unlike that person, I absolutely love the vibrant color and pattern of this ’70s-inspired piece. I’m all about Nicola Glass’ debut collection for Kate Spade and fell in love with this blouse (and this sweater vest) immediately. It is polyester, so I’d almost suggest waiting for a sale if that bothers you, but the fabric feels substantial, it has a nice drape, and it’s well made. It runs a bit large. I ordered both the small and medium to try on. There wasn’t a huge difference between the two, but the small looked more tailored and I preferred that look.
- J.Crew ‘Tippi’ sweater in black – I had a $25 promotional gift card from J.Crew that expired at the beginning of February. I thought about buying something more playful, like this leopard skirt, but I figured I’d be happier buying a duplicate of my favorite sweater. The black Tippi sweater is one of my workwear staples and I love it with jeans on the weekends. Now I won’t have to wait as long to wear it again when one is in the dry clean pile!
- Tularosa ‘Ryland” dress in aegean (also comes in pink, plum, and a print) – My lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to too many cocktail events, so I love picking a new dress when I have something fancier on the calendar. I tried two other dresses (listed below), but nothing came close to how I felt when I put this one on. I love the ’70s-inpsired cut, the slinky velvet fabric, and that exceptionally low neckline. (Plus, Dave said I could repurpose it for Halloween and go as a sexy Merlin. Haha.)
DIDN’T WORK OUT
Things I tried and didn’t love.
- Reformation ‘Radford’ mini dress – I loved how this looked when I had a pair of tight on to keep everything in place, but wouldn’t have felt confident without a control top. Plus, the fabric felt a little cheap.
- Speechless lace fit and flare halter dress – I almost kept this for the aforementioned cocktail event, and while I liked it, I didn’t love it. The halter neckline and fit-and-flare style was flattering, but the back zipper just wouldn’t lay flat against my back unless I stood perfectly still. I was fidgeting with it too much during my try-on session at home that I feel like I would have been doing the same in public.