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5 spring must-haves

Inevitably, toward the end of each season, I start to get completely tired of all my clothes and am seized with an overwhelming urge to go buy a bunch of new things. The older (and wiser) I get, the more I try to be as pragmatic as possible about this. I want to make sure I'm investing wisely, and that I'm not going to buy something, wear it for a season, then never wear it again. So before I buy anything new, I've been asking myself three questions: 1) Would I wear this even if it weren't "on trend"? 2) Is it the best quality I can afford at the moment? 3) If it truly doesn't work for me in the end, can I resell it? These three questions have definitely made me slow down and be more conscious about what I'm buying, and that said, everything in this post obviously passed the test. Here are the 5 spring must-haves I'm most excited about.

What I wore in Honolulu

If it seems like I'm traveling a lot lately, well, I am. I have always loved to travel, and the pandemic pretty much brought that to a screeching halt, so now that life has (pretty much) gone back to normal, I'm making up for lost time. My day job is also 100% remote, which means I can work from anywhere, so when Sean has a business trip in an interesting location, I tag along. And lucky him, he had a work conference in Honolulu last week! Flights from San Francisco to Honolulu were very reasonable and I had a free place to stay (thanks, Sean's work!), so it was kind of a no-brainer. (Although, to be fair, my workdays started at 6:30 a.m., which was an adjustment to say the least.) I mean, who's going to turn down a trip to Hawaii? (Not me!) Here's what I wore.

An honest review of RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner

One of the things I get asked to review most by readers is eyebrow growth serum. Coincidentally, it's one of the items I get pitched most frequently by brands. In the interest of investigative journalism, I have tried many products intended to help brows grow; most of them have made little to no difference. There are all manner of brow serums on the market, at all price points (The Ordinary just came out with a version that's a very accessible $14.50), and if you read the reviews, for every rave, there's another that claims the product did absolutely nothing for them. It's a lot to sort through, so that's why I'm here to share what's given me the best results so far: RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner. This product was provided to me for free by RevitaLash with no obligation to review, however everything shared in this post is my honest and unfiltered opinion. Read on to see what I thought.

My 2023 birthday outfit

Today is my birthday and I'm 45 years young. I say that because strangely enough, I don't feel like I'm in my mid-40s—I still kind of feel like I'm in my late 20s—and in terms of looks, well, let's say I'm making the most of it. When I was turning 30 (which I was freaking out about at the time, hahahaha), a friend asked me what 18-year-old Cheryl would think of 30-year-old Cheryl, which made me put things in perspective. While many things have changed since then, I remain pretty damn happy with my life overall, and I hope that shows, inside and out. Tonight I'll be celebrating with friends, followed by dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, and here's what I plan to wear. 

What I wore in Palm Springs

People tend to picture L.A. or San Francisco when they think of California, but one of my favorite things about living in this vast state is that there are a bunch of quirky, singular towns. Carmel, Mendocino, and Big Sur are several of my favorites, and the longer I live here, the more I realize there are so many more to see. I had only been to Palm Springs once before—in 2006, years before I lived here—but when a friend mentioned he was going to Modernism Week this year, we decided to make a long weekend out of it and join him. There's plenty to do in Palm Springs when there's not a festival or big event happening, but if you're at all interested in architecture or design—particularly midcentury modern—I'd highly recommend going. It was also a completely different experience being in Palm Springs in the winter versus the summer, when I'd been there before. The weather was kind of all over the place, but I went with it. Here's what I wore in Palm Springs. 

My 2023 birthday wishlist

Two miraculous things happened with my birthday wishlist last year: one, it was one of the most-viewed posts of the year. Two, due to the incredible generosity of my friends and family, I ended up receiving everything on the list with the exception of the Céline bag, which I had intended to buy for myself (in the interest of fiscal responsibility, I went for a secondhand Chloé Faye instead). I am not quite as optimistic about this year’s wishlist—especially since the stakes are a little higher price-wise—but a girl can dream. Here’s what’s on my radar this year. 

What to wear on date night

 Is it me or has all of the marketing around Valentine's Day gotten a little toned down recently? I feel like I used to be inundated with emails and sponsored posts and pitches and ads—and I still see them, of course—but now, if anything, the tone seems to have shifted to an empowered one (buy your own diamonds!) and/or a more low-key one (date night looks to love). I realize I've done a lot of Valentine's Day outfit posts, including a Galentine's Day last year, and since it's been a whopping six years since I've done a date-night post (and oof is that one outdated!) I thought now would be a good time for an update. Also, we rarely go out on Valentine's Day; if anything, we tend to stay in and cook a nice meal at home since restaurants tend to be a sh*tshow on V-day. So since it's still February—and still cold here—this one is on the cozy side. Here's what I'm wearing on date night. 

5 ways to wear white jeans in winter

It's been a very rainy winter so far here in California, and when it rains, I tend to get into a wardrobe rut of skinny black pants and sweaters. (Case in point: this post.) Last week's Get the Look, however, got me thinking—as long as it's not raining, why not change it up with white jeans? I've found that wearing lighter colors in cold, dark weather really helps brighten my mood, and a little pop of white can go a long way. So with a little serotonin boost in mind, here are 5 ways to wear white jeans in winter. 

Get the look: black blazer and boots with white jeans

When I realized that one of the most-bought items last year was a coat I featured in a Get the Look post from 2021, I asked if I should bring back back this series and heard from a lot of you that I should...so here it is! To bring everyone up to speed, it's where I take one of the most repinned looks from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board and break it into pieces so you can re-create the look for yourself. When possible, I try to ID the exact items, but more often than not, it ends up being a "get the look for less" spin, which I know everyone loves anyway. S now that we got that out of the way, let's get straight into breaking down this month's most-pinned look.  

7 ways to wear Chloe Susanna boots

I came across a comment thread recently where a woman around my age (slightly younger) was asking what to wear on a trip to NYC and was promptly cut down by someone who probably moved there six years ago from Ohio, who declared that skinny jeans with ankle boots were "a no-go" and implored the woman to trade up to rigid straight-leg jeans with platform boots. Which made me think, "You can pry my ankle boots off of my cold, dead feet," and no pair more so than my Chloe Susanna boots. A version of this style first debuted way back in 2008 but was wisely brought back in 2011 by Hannah MacGibbon, a Phoebe Philo disciple (remember, Phoebe Philo took over as Chloe's head designer after working under Stella McCartney in the early 2000s!). That's when the style really took off—I remember seeing a pair on Sienna Miller—and Chloe has brought it back every year since, cementing its status as a straight-up footwear icon. I bought my pair of Susanna boots back in 2016 (full disclosure: when they were well under $1,000; I still think they're well worth the investment) and to this day, they're one of my favorite and most worn shoes in my wardrobe. I get compliments from a wide range of people every single time I wear them, but more importantly, they just make whatever your'e wearing look that much cooler. So with that in mind, here are 7 different ways to wear Chloe Susanna boots.

How to shop in 2023

Do you make new year's resolutions? If so, do you stick to them? I've always found resolutions to be a little punishing, albeit beneficial—lose 10 pounds, stop smoking, cut carbs, exercise more—so I frame mine as goals and make sure they are things that will bring me joy. In the past, I've set a goal of two cultural events per month (which I've kept up with, and then some), supporting journalism by paying for subscriptions (still doing that), and lowering my carbon footprint (going strong with composting, menstrual cups, offsetting all my flights, meatless Monday, and bar soap only). Last year, in a fit of mid-pandemic helplessness, I set way too many goals for myself, most of which were neither pleasurable nor attainable, and—shocker—I did not accomplish most of them, which left me feeling somewhat useless and unhappy. So this year, I've pared it down to three big goals, which in the spirit of vulnerability (and accountability), I'm going to share here. One is to strengthen my friendships; the pandemic did a number on my social life, and I'm still recovering from that. The second—which is a little more relevant here—is to improve my relationship with money, because I'm realizing that I could be in a better financial position than I am. As part of that, I made a budget for the first time in my life (I'm using You Need A Budget) and whew, has that been a humbling and eye-opening experience. Which brings me to my third and hopefully most relevant goal: to invest wisely in beautiful things. Real talk: I have frequently bought things just to feature here on the blog, and those are not items that have truly brought me joy; instead, I end up reselling or donating them, which is better than throwing them away, but still, I'd rather have one nice sweater that I love and will wear for years versus 10 crappy sweaters that pill and I can only wear a few times before I'm utterly disgusted by them. So with that in mind, I've set a few parameters for myself for what I purchase (and wear) in 2023—let's be honest, this blog is called Cheryl Shops, and while I have no intention of stopping, I can at least be more conscious about what I buy. So here are my shopping guidelines for 2023. 

What you bought in 2022

Happy new year! And yes, I think it's still within the acceptable timeframe to say that ;) I have definitely moved on to 2023 mentally but wanted to take one last look at 2022—specifically, what you bought. But first, I'd like to thank you for doing so, because when you buy something from one of my links, I get a small finder's fee from each purchase (at no cost to you), and that income helps fund me and all of the magic elves (e.g. people and software services) that keep Cheryl Shops up and running. Think of it as supporting a micro-economy. And speaking of the economy, here's how you voted with your dollars in 2022. 

The top 10 posts of 2022

I've always been fascinated by which posts attract the most clicks on this blog; some get a bunch of views from Pinterest, others pull in heavy search traffic, and some are good old direct load. No matter how you're getting here, I'm glad that you've come, and I hope that you stick around. And by looking at—and analyzing—the most-viewed posts of the year, it helps me create even more compelling content for you going forward. But before we move into 2023, here are the top 10 most popular posts of 2022. 

My favorite outfits of 2022

I always love when the "best of" lists come out in December: it's a time to add more books to my reading list, catch up on music I may have missed, and watch all of the Oscar-contender movies. Last year I decided to do my own best-of post, and I found that it's kind of like when you finish a big project around the house, then sit down with a beer and admire your handiwork. While I certainly had some misses in 2022 (like last week's clogs, ooof!), I had some pretty cute hits too. So let's take a look back at my favorite outfits of the year, in no particular order. Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments below!