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What I wore in NYC

Have you ever meticulously packed for a trip, only to arrive and experience a sudden change in weather? That's what happened to me last week. I had been checking the forecast for a week and having lived on the East Coast for years, knew I was in for humid, mid-80s temperatures with lots of sunshine. Except I forgot the biggest rule of East Coast summertime weather, which is that it can change at any minute, and that's exactly what happened, whoops. Thankfully I did bring layers and a few warmer things, so while this outfit didn't turn out quite like how I had planned it—in fact, it shares over half of its elements with what I wore in this recent post—I'm still pretty happy with it. Here's how it all came together.

How to pack for a trip

Now that the pandemic is endemic, restrictions are being lifted, and we can take travel once again, it seems like we are all THIRSTY for a vacation. Anecdotally speaking, the airports were packed when I flew last week, and based on an elementary understanding of supply and demand, ticket prices are definitely reflecting that. (I'm not going to tell you what I spent on my flight to NYC, but on a normal day, it would have bought me a flight to Paris.) Having not done much air travel in the last few years, I'm a little rusty, but so far I've found it's just like riding a bike—muscle memory kicks in right away. And of all the aspects of traveling, I think I'm a particularly good packer; this may be a surprise, but I actually tend to pack light. Over the years, I've perfected my formula, and since so many of you have asked me about it over the years, here's how I pack for a trip. 

Amazon cult favorite beauty products

Amazon is many things to many people: incredibly convenient, possibly evil, a source of income, an undeniable and almost unavoidable force. It also happens to be a great source for hard-to-find yet amazing beauty products from around the world. Here are 9 of my favorite beauty products with a cult following, and you can find them all on Amazon

7 ways to wear Birkenstocks

It's summer, and that means it's Birkenstock season. Well, that means it's Birkenstock sandal season, because if you're like me, you own what I call Winter Birkenstocks (aka the shearling-lined variety) as well. Then again, you can always wear Birkenstock sandals with socks year-round, so maybe let me backtrack again and say it's sockless Birkenstock sandal season. Whew, glad we cleared that up! I own Birkenstocks in all shapes, colors, and warmths, but my favorite pair to wear in the summertime is the Arizona EVA sandal in black. I actually think they're more comfortable than the traditional cork footbed—the foamy EVA material is more cushiony and absorbs impact better—and they have the added benefit of being much more affordable than traditional leather or suede. (They're also vegan, if that's important to you.) I own them in black and am strongly contemplating a pair in white, because as I'm about to prove, they're one of the most versatile pairs of shoes in my closet. The fact that they're a single color makes them a little more streamlined and sophisticated-looking than the traditional leather-and-cork combination, and I pair mine with pretty much anything. Here are 7 ways to wear the Birkenstock Arizona EVA sandals.

5 summer must-haves

It finally (finally) feels like summer here in the Bay Area: the weather is warming up, my workweek ends at 1pm on Fridays, and we have a bunch of fun trips planned. I also really look forward to wearing some of my favorite key pieces every summer—they're simple yet there's something about them that just makes me feel happy and carefree. Here are my 5 summer go-tos for 2022 (and every year).

Coastal grandmother style with Margaret O'Leary

There is a Thing happening on the internet at the moment, and it's the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic. Think of a heroine in a Nancy Myers movie: book clubs, farmers markets, Carole King, a glass of white wine (or three), and airy linen clothing. As someone who enjoys all of the above, it's a lifestyle I can definitely get behind, especially when it comes to the clothing part. When the weather gets hot, I love a loose-fitting linen dress that the air can just breeze right through, and of course it gets chilly along the coast at night, so you'll want to have an organic cotton sweater on hand. I'll take loose and relaxed over short and tight any day—the better to eat my heirloom tomato and burrata salad in, right? Thankfully I live in a city where the Coastal Grandmother game is strong, and there's no better place to shop for it than Margaret O'Leary, which opened its first store on Claude Lane in San Francisco over 25 years ago and can now be found across the country (including in my hometown, Chicago). They invited me to pick out a few of my favorite pieces, and as soon as I put them on, it was like a glass of sauvignon blanc showed up in my well-moisturized hand and "This Will Be an Everlasting Love" started playing. Here's my interpretation of the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic.

An honest review of Spanx straight leg jeans

It can safely be said that y'all love Spanx. I certainly do too—my jeans, faux leather joggers, and pants are among the most worn pieces in my wardrobe. But I recently acquired a pair of their new ankle straight leg jeans, and let me tell you, I think I have a new favorite. And while I just did an honest review last week, I figured it's never too soon for another one (especially since you, dear readers, seem to particularly love them). Spanx sent these jeans to me for free, but as always, the opinions in this review are 100% my own. Here are my honest and unfiltered thoughts on Spanx straight leg jeans

An honest review of Eighth Day Regenerative Serum and Reparative Moisturizer

One of the perks of being a blogger is that I get sent a lot of skincare products—often more than even an entire family can use. Conventional wisdom says that you should try a product at least 28 days before you judge its results, but ain't nobody got time for that here. I generally give a new product a week (or less if it irritates my skin), and if it's not doing anything for me, it goes into my friends and family pile. For the record, I don't write about 75% of the things I receive—generally I believe that if I don't have something nice to say. I shouldn't put it in writing—but when something comes along that's noteworthy, that's when I decide to tell you about it. And you definitely need to know about Eighth Day skincare. Full disclosure: they sent me a full-size Regenerative Serum  and Reparative Moisturizer to try, and I was under no obligation to write about either product, but the results were so instantly, visibly amazing, I knew I had to give them a proper review. So without further ado, here's my honest, unfiltered opinion of Eighth Day Regenerative Serum and Reparative Moisturizer

What to wear in wine country in spring

One of my favorite parts of living in San Francisco is that it's so close to wine country. If you time it right, you can be in Sonoma County in under an hour, or a little longer for Napa County, but not by much. While wine tasting is obviously a big part of the experience, for me, the best parts is getting outside, breathing in some fresh country air, and enjoying the weather, which is usually 10–20 degrees warmer than in the city. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I go to wine country quite a bit (I call my outings #SundayWineChurch), so I feel like I've perfected dressing for the nuances in weather. Here's what I recommend wearing in wine country in late spring. 

An honest review of Chicwish

Chicwish provided me with all of the clothing in this post for free, however all of the opinions in the following post are 100% my own. 

If you've been scrolling on Instagram recently, chances are you've seen ads for Chicwish—and if you're me, chances are those ads have followed you all around the Internet. I actually bought a Chicwish skirt on Amazon and featured it in my birthday outfit post last month; Chicwish saw that and graciously reached out with an offer to review some products of my choice. Of course I was curious to try more from this brand, so I jumped at the chance. Here's a little background on Chicwish, plus an honest review of everything I bought.

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2022

Mothers: we've all got one—possibly two, and maybe a mother-in-law, a stepmom, a couple grandmas, or even a mother figure. And while I may not be a mom, I certainly know how to shop for them, as I have a lot of them in my life. Since May 8th will be here before you know it, here are 10 Mother's Day gifts that your Mom will love. 

How to depuff your face

I've noticed a certain thing happening to my face recently, and that's if I've had anything alcoholic to drink the night before, I wake up in the morning with an alarmingly puffy face. If I've had, say, three glasses of red wine, my face looks like a pillow that someone sat on. This never used to happen to me, so I think we have dehydration, both the kind that happens naturally from aging and the kind that happens from drinking too much, to blame. While there's not a lot that you can do to prevent your skin becoming dehydrated as you age, you could, in theory, not drink—and I know plenty of women who have done that, or have at least seriously cut back. But I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or with friends, and, as the saying goes, I'm not a quitter. Plus, your face can become puffy from eating too much salt, from allergies, and from a bunch of other things. Thankfully for all of us, I have devised a formula to combat puffiness, no sobriety required. Here's how to to depuff your face in 8 easy steps. 

What to buy from the Amazon Aware collection

The fashion industry is slowly acknowledging that it's terrible for the environment. Of course, the best solution to that problem would be for everyone to buy less clothing, but we all know that's probably not going to happen (at least not anytime soon). The silver lining is that many fashion companies are shifting to more sustainable processes, and while there is a certain level of greenwashing going on in terms of marketing these "eco-conscious" products, at least it's a step in the right direction. Perhaps to draw attention away from its gazillion environmentally harmful practices, Amazon recently launched its Amazon Aware collection of fashion, beauty, and home products that are carbon neutral (offset through carbon credits) and feature various Climate Pledge Friendly certifications, one of which is Amazon's own certification (insert eye roll here). Full disclosure: Amazon sent me four items from the collection to try for free. My take: they're of much higher quality of any other clothing I've ordered from Amazon, and if that bodes well for the future of fashion on Amazon, I'm all for making every line adhere to these standards. (After all, if we can make some fast fashion more sustainable, can't we do that for all of it?) I already featured the sweater and button-down shirt in my Amazon tops post, and the other two pieces I got were so good, I had to give them a separate post. Here are my favorite items from the Amazon Aware collection. 

Everything to buy during the Sephora sale

Yep, it's that time: Sephora's Beauty Insider event starts Friday, April 1st. Rouge members get 20% off starting on the 1st. VIBs get 15% off starting on the 5th, and Insiders get 10% off starting on the 7th, all with code SAVESPRING through April 11th. It's a great time to stock up on your favorites or to try something new, and since it's been awhile since I've shared my full routine, now seemed like a good time to give you mini-reviews all of my favorite Sephora products. Here are my recommendations for everything to buy during the Sephora Beauty Insider sale.