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quarantine faves: september 2020

Posted in Living by

Another month of pseudo-quarantine in the books. We’re still settling in to the new condo, I’m still mainlining the Crimetown podcast archives. Unfortunately the weather has started to turn, which is always a bummer because I love long days and sunburns, and it also signals the impending seasonal affective disorder. I’m a person who is so attuned to the sun that even the slightest cool breeze will send me crashing into the valley of depression.

So in that spirit, here are some of my new favorite attention-holders!

Saint + Sofia: This British fashion brand was a GAME CHANGER. For a lot of reasons, I’ve been looking for some new pants that work as well as my trusty C9 black leggings, and after hours of specific Google searching, their Plimco Pant was a suggestion. They have sizes up to US 18 and three different inseam lengths(!!!) so I ordered the suggested Plimco as well as the Runway pants. They are incredible. Both pair are perfect for just relaxing and quarantining at home, but professional enough to wear to work. ~*~ And they have pockets! ~*~ Everything they carry is really cute and looks like it will work both for lounging and for going out, and it’s super affordable.

The Ordinary Vampire Mask: Everyone has heard of this peel by now, and it’s sold out basically everywhere on the internet. After months of complaining about the bumpy texture along my jawline (thanks hormones) and being recommended this product by my friends, I finally tracked some down at the Deciem store in Wicker Park. The hype is real on this one. After one treatment, the bumps are almost totally gone. Hallelujah.

Recliner.NYC Pajamas: I went through a period of wanting some really fancy, expensive pajamas, and these were the ones I landed on. I got a sleep dress as well as a t-shirt and shorts set and they are so comfortable, so lightweight, and so buttery. They have some cooling material in them, too, which is great for hot sleepers like me. They’re my new favorite comfy clothes, and I can’t stop telling everyone to buy them.

Living Libation Tooth Serum: Since I have pretty severe TMD, it can be hard to open my mouth wide enough to comfortably brush, especially in the mornings. These tooth serums have been such a savior, especially in the mornings when my jaws are often locked the most. I drop a few of these into my mouth, swish around, and while it’s not an exact substitute for brushing, it gets my teeth and breath fresh enough.

Showerhead: One of the first things we did in the new condo was switch out the old builer-grade showerheads. This one by Waterpik makes me feel so fancy – the showerhead has different settings, and the detachable “water comb” is great for massaging sore joints or running it through my hair.

Invisibobble Waver: I don’t think that the little baby hairs at the base of my skull will ever really grow out to be tucked in to a ponytail or bun and I’ve finally made peace with that through headbands and bobby pins. But bobby pins are always annoying and I somehow never get them to stay in properly, and these clips solve that problem.

Untitled Goose Game: I love a silly game, and since we got the Nintendo Switch a few months ago, the Untitled Goose Game has been such a fun way to escape real life. HONK

Brooklinen Classic Duvet: Another upgrade for the new condo, the Brooklinen classic duvet cover combined with an Ikea “cooling” filler has been heavenly. It feels like we’re sleeping on a cloud. (And, bonus, Brooklinen is a woman-owned company!)

Have you found any new favorites to keep you entertained through quarantine?

September 25, 2020

mailing lists to subscribe to while planning your wedding

Posted in Money, Wedding by

mailing lists to subscribe to while planning your wedding

It’s no surprise that weddings are expensive, and any way to reduce spending is well appreciated by everyone. (Well, everyone except perhaps this bride.) To protect my inbox (and my sanity,) when I started planning, I set up a dedicated inbox to use for communicating with vendors or people involved in planning to keep everything better organized and all in one place. I highly recommend doing this! Whether you have a domain-based email for your wedding website, or just create a new, free Gmail address, it cuts down the disorganization and crazy-making promotional emails in your main inbox.

Especially with Black Friday/Cyber Monday coming up, it’s a good time to set that inbox up and subscribe to any stores or vendors you’ve been eyeing products from. You never know if they’ll choose this month to deeply discount your perfect wedding band or aisle rugs!

Be sure to sign up for eBates as well to earn cash back on all your online shopping!

Dresses, Suits, and Shoes



Stationery (Save-the-Dates, Invitations, Thank You Cards)

Some others that are worth subscribing to would be your venue, caterers, or photographers you’re interested in – you never know when they might get in the promo code for wedding game!

What mailing lists are you subscribing to to save some money on your wedding or reception?

October 27, 2019

black friday survival guide

Posted in Money, Style by

black friday

So you’re taking on Black Friday shopping for the first time. It does get a lot of hate: all these people who have to work rather than spend time with their families, the gross display of American consumerism, blah blah blah. There’s some truth to the arguments, to be sure – but Black Friday in my family is just as much of a tradition as the Thanksgiving day turkey. Lots of great memories from it as well – like the year I was sick with pneumonia and still insisted on going out, and promptly passed out at the outlet mall, or the year I was on crutches and wheeled around Walmart (full disclosure, these were the same year, but still.)

Over the past ten years that we’ve been attacking the stores, we’ve gotten pretty good at getting in and getting out with minimal damage – to ourselves, others, and our bank accounts. If this is your first year heading out, or even if it’s not, here are some of my best survival tips! Read more…

November 24, 2016

holiday gift guide: this is a man’s world

Posted in Living by


We’re just a few weeks out from Christmas, and in the crunch for wrapping up the holiday shopping lists! If you’re feeling stuck on gift ideas, I’ve put together a week of ideas to help you get inspired! Today we’re shopping for the men in your life.

Ladies aren’t the only ones who get the nice, luxe hair products these days. Lockhart’s Authentic, a Michigan company, creates their product based on customer feedback, improving them as they continue to produce them. Get your man in the holiday spirit with this Black Christmas hair pomade, or opt for their Goon Grease.

A candle might not be at the top of your man’s list (or even register on that list at all,) but it will certainly go a long way in his studio, office, or man cave – a little decor and plesant (but still manly) scent makes it more inviting for the ladies. I’m a fanatic of this Amberwood Fire candle from Target, and buy it like an addict any time I find it in store.

This is a really fun one, and an idea I’m tucking away for my friend’s birthday present in February. ManCrates will send a wooden crate with gifts surrounding a theme (like video games, beer, or sports). If you’re feeling truly brain dead on ideas, or just looking for an extra special gift, their crates range from $19.99 to $179.99 for the man who wants to be truly prepared for the zombie apocalypse!

Craft cocktails are gaining in popularity right behind craft beers, so if someone in your life is jumping on this trend, let Wolfmoon Mixers help you stock their bar! I’m a fan of their Pineapple Jalapeno – perfectly sweet and spicy and begging for tequila or rum.

Many guys take pride in their facial hair, and well they should! Help him keep his beard and face fresh (and keep him away from your expensive face wash) by getting him Kalamazoo from Lush. One wash for both face and beard cuts down on maintenance for him, plus the fresh scent and moisturizing ingredients are great to ward off dry winter skin.

And if you’re looking for a free idea to load on his iPhone, Newman is really into this podcast Uhh Yeah Dude. Hosted by Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette, they riff on current events, news, and more. If he needs some new comedy for his commute, he’ll thank you for this suggestion!

Do you have any great gift ideas for guys? Let us know in the comments below!

December 7, 2015

on the (treadmill) again

Posted in Work Out by

After accidentally taking a year off from regular runs or workouts, I started pounding the tread again in my apartment gym fairly regularly in mid-September. After being pretty committed for awhile, and not having bought or been fitted for new shoes since April 2012, I thought it was high time I got my tail in to a running shop. I took myself in to Fleet Feet Brentwood and got fitted for new shoes! (For anyone curious, I highly recommend going on the day before Halloween – people start celebrating early here, so the store was empty when I walked in.)

The fit specialist took a look at my beaten-down running shoes and asked what size I wear. She measured my feet and broke the most upsetting news I’ve possibly ever heard: this size 11-cursed girl has now crossed the threshold into size 12 running shoes. I considered walking out then – who on earth has ever seen cute size 12 running shoes? Certainly not me, and certainly not the size 11, April 2012 version of me who was reduced to ugly blue and gray Asics. She assured me that things have gotten better, and was confident we’d find something comfortable and pretty for me.

The first pair I tried on were Asics GT-2000s, and they felt good. To be honest, I didn’t want them to – I don’t particularly like the look of Asics, and though my last pair did treat me well, I was hoping for a cooler (and prettier) pair. She had me run up the sidewalk to watch my gait before we moved on to the next pair, Mizuno Wave Inspires. These felt even better than the Asics, and I definitely liked them more – the bright, pretty coral color was a vast improvement over my old, dull grey shoes. They felt great on my feet, and I could really feel the support for my slight overpronation.


The last pair I put on, and the ones I definitely wanted to be the winners, were the Brooks Ravennas. For some reason, I’ve always been attracted to the design of Brooks shoes, and these ones even came in my favorite colors: turquoise and hot pink. Even though the Mizunos felt better, I knew I was going to pick the Ravennas before I even put them on.

$130 later after the shoes, a new pair of Feetures, and a tube of Nuun, I’m back on the treadmill again, hoping to be in shape for a 2:45 St. Jude half marathon in the spring.

Have you ever had to switch your shoes because your model was discontinued? What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?

December 4, 2015