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Among Other Things by Among Other Things - 2d ago

I bet you’ve already got these in your closet, too!

Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means the unofficial official start of summer is fast approaching. YESSSS!

(… Or here’s hoping, at least.)

To help you find some inspo on the style front, here’s a few outfits that’ll be easy to recreate this weekend — regardless of what you’ve got planned.

Bring on the beach days, barbecues and al fresco happy hours!

Outfit 1: Daytime denim

Get the look:

1. One-shoulder shirt | 2. Retro sunglasses (my favorites) | 3. Earrings

4. Silk scarf  | 5. Straw tote | 6. Circular straw tote

7. Two-strap sandals (also in black) | 8. Ankle-strap sandals (also in nude)

9. Red lipstick (in “Dragon Girl”) | 10. Distressed high-waist shorts (in 6 washes) | 11. Leather rope belt

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Outfit 2: Water-logged

Get the look:

1. Boater hat | 2. Ribbed sweater | 3. Stripe Scrunchie

4. High-waist bikini bottoms (black) | 5. Circle bag with tassel | 6. Palm leaf towel

7. Blue and white Turkish towel | 8. Grapefruit party cup | 9. Wedge sandals

10. High waist bikini bottoms (navy) | 11. Navy tie bikini top

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Outfit 3: White Jeans

Get the look:

1. Striped tank (exact long sleeve here) | 2. Sunglasses | 3. Jean jacket (+ similar under $35)

4. Oversized tote | 5. Ankle-strap sandals | 6. Red sandals ($14.99)

7. Boater hat | 8. White skinny jeans

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OUTFIT 4: Fashion-forward

Get the look:

1. V-neck tee | 2. Silk scarf | 3. Retro sunglasses

4. Navy eyeliner (waterproof, the best) | 5. Striped blouse | 6. Wrap skirt (gingham style here)

7. Top-handle bucket bag | 8. Red lipstick (in “Dragon Girl”) | 9. Ankle-strap sandals

10. Woven clutch | 11. White sandals

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///

Half-way to the weekend, babes!

Here’s all four of these easy Memorial Day outfits in one image/round-up for you to Pin now & recreate all summer:

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… You’ll never guess where from.

Okay, gals. Today’s post is about something I’m extremely passionate about: Saving money.

Lol okay, so I’m actually talking about buying shit on sale because technically you’re saving money in the process.

So, basically the same thing. Potato, puh-ta-to.

Nika — the dog I’ve been watching for the week — and I spent the weekend wandering around the Windy City — when it wasn’t raining, at least.

(CAN YOU EVEN HANDLE THE CUTENESS!?)

///

The temps fluctuated from day-to-day, annoyingly; but nonetheless, I was appropriately outfitted for the occasion in head-to-toe sale finds from — are you ready? — Kohl’s.

I’m convinced that retailers like Kohl’s exists so that you almost feel like shopping is a game.

So when the brand asked me if I’d like to see if I could style a full look from head-to/toe for less than $200, I was obvs up for the challenge.

//

Believe it or not, though, Kohl’s and I go way back. We’ve got history.

My nostalgia for the brand is a pretty easy way to peg that I grew up in a suburban city (in Ohio).

My mom and I used to play this game called “how much can we save vs. spend” when we’d venture out on our Wednesday night dates — dragging her mom (my gram) along with us.

Always Wednesday’s, since that was Senior Citizen (additional) Discount day. Rain or shine, gram.

//

Over time, it wasn’t just a standing calendar invite. It was the holy grail of mother daughter grandmother activities.

Also, quick side-bar:

Why isn’t “Bargain Shopper” something you’re able to proudly display on a resume? Do people have any idea how much goal-setting, patience and persistence goes into such a feat?

Marketable qualities if I’ve ever heard ’em.

But anyway, did you know you can buy the same things at Kohl’s versus other department stores for 30% less.

I totally made that number up, but there’s a lot of truth to it.

Take my outfit, for example:

Sonoma jean jacket, $50 $34.99
Levi’s striped crewneck top, $34.50 $20.70
Levi’s white boyfriend jeans, $54.50 $44.99
LC by Lauren Conrad sunglasses, $30 $18
Sonoma women’s boater hat, $32 $19.20
Sonoma tote, $50 $34.99
Circus by Sam Edelman sandals, $50 $34.99

… Yep!

I actually got these high-rise jean shorts (in “Indigo Kickflip”), a pair of nude sandals and the same Levi’s crewneck (in black stripe) — and was still just under my $200 budget (after adding two additional Kohl’s promo codes I googled around for).

//

Anyone else up for the challenge? And who else among my Midwestern babes goes way back with Kohl’s?

May your outfits be Insta-worthy and your checking accounts full.

In this look (c/o)

White boyfriend jeans: Levi’s
Striped crewneck shirt: Levi’s (also comes in black)
Denim jacket: Sonoma in ‘Crosshatch’ (size small); comes in six washes/colors
Women’s boater hat: Sonoma “Goods for Life”
Red sandals: Circus by Sam Edelman (in multiple colors)
Oversized tote: Sonoma “Goods for Life” (cute striped version here)
Sunglasses: LC by Lauren Conrad

///

Created in Partnership with Kohl’s

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Among Other Things by Among Other Things - 2w ago

A lot of sh*t you need in your life this weekend — and indefinitely.

Hey there, babes. Happy Friday! What’s on tap for the weekend?

It’s looking to be a rainy one here in Chicago, but I suppose that means I’ll have an excuse to (force myself to) curl up in sweats and get shit some done. Anyone else still doing their taxes?

LOL no just kidding… Kinda.

I could use a productive weekend before summer settles in with all of her warm-weather glory, though. You too?

/// Peaks & Pits

Peak: I’m dog sitting this week/end, yay! Head over to my Instagram story to meet sweet Nika.

It’s been so much fun having her around, but I must admit: I have it pretty easy. She’s su-u-per laid-back and low-maintenance as far as puppies come. Nonetheless…

Pit: I didn’t get nearly as much writing done this week as I wanted to.

I feel frustrated (and guilty) that I can’t seem to find a consistent workflow/posting schedule that actually sticks (and keeps me accountable to you guys), but I have been making mini adjustments the last few weeks so that consistency that you and I both want will fall into step in the next month. Like a well-oiled, sleep-deprived machine.

… Not to harp on it, but that’s where I’ve been spinnin’ my wheels lately. Hence the aforementioned nudge to Mother Nature. Help a girl Get Shit Done, sis! (Just not all weekend, please.)

Anywho, that swimwear post I promised you — how and where to shop for bathing suits online: There’s actually a ton of brands, tips and info I want to include — more than I’d realized — so give me a few days and I’ll have it up mid-next week.

Also in the words: Straw bags for every budget — so many options (with two of my favorite affordable options below).

… Phew!

Any Peaks & Pits for you this week? Good stories to share? Leave ’em in the comments if you’d like; I really do love to read them.

///

Oh, and major, major props to all you puppy/pet mamas (and actual mamas). Happy Mother’s Day!

Come say hi to Nika (and me) on Instagram this weekend.

… On with it!

/// Sales & Such

If the shoe fits: Did you see the red sandals I posted about on social media last week? I bought ’em and I’m ob-sessed. At that sale price, I may have to snag another color! (FYI: I’m a true 7.5 but got a 7 in these — the braided strap is too wide on the foot otherwise.)

Summer essential: A little preview of my Straw Tote round-up that’s coming… For my babes who want one of those circular cross-body bags this summer, here’s one for under $60. It looks exactly like mine! Check out this $30 wristlet version, too — so f’ing adorable.

Packing light: The carry-on luggage I used throughout Europe is 50% off at Nordstrom this weekend (see below). It’s not super spacious, but I like to have a system that holds me accountable to packing lighter.

I also love that it has two USB charging ports — so clutch for international travel. See more sizes, duos and colors on sale here. Free shipping, too!

Related Sh*t: The 10 beauty products you need in your carry-on

Be still my heart: This is the one-piece bathing suit of my dreams. Hands-down.

Bad & Bougie: If there was ever a handbag to describe my ideal summer aesthetic, it would be this one. Ayyyyeee!

Decor bug: I’ve been stalking this picture frame set for a while and it finally went on sale. My apartment is a mix of abstract, black, grey, blush and beige — so those stripes will be a perfect addition.

Navy Nike’s OMG: Well, I will literally be the old woman who lived in a shoe (her shoes)… But like, look at these new Nike Vandal’s. Anyone wanna split that rent, so-to-speak? I’m a 7.5 shoe size…

Did that even make sense?

///

Links & the like

Better together: In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, a lovely reminder that it’s okay to ask for help. Always.

Good vibes only: A good read on the process of cutting your emotional cords and spring cleaning your spirit.

Beach reads: Seven self-help books that will change your life. I co-sign on Mark Mason’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” That one is a permanent fixture on my nightstand.

Free healthy sh*t: Don’t forget to check out this Instagram giveaway, gals! Just leave a comment on this post to enter (and make sure you’re following both accounts). I’ll be selecting five winners this weekend.

New beginnings: Ever start to feel that itch for a change of pace or a new zip code to call home? Check out this quick read on your “city‘s twin” if so.

Heaven-sent angels local boss babes: Local ladies, have you heard of ReturnRunners? They’re a female-powered start-up that will come to your apartment/home, collect any returns and take them back to the store for you. Literally, brilliant. (And lazy on my part, perhaps, but hey… Time is money.)

The service is super affordable too; ~$9-$12, depending on how many stores you have returns for. Check ’em out and use the code HALLIE15 for 15% off your order all month on their website or via their app.

///

Have a good weekend!

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… aka an incredible meat-and-cheese plate. Created in partnership with Atkins.

“I live for a good meat and cheese situation.”

Same, girl. So much same.

… This is how my sister wrapped up one of our typical Sunday night see-ster catch-ups the other day, wherein food tends to creep into the close of our conversation, as it does.

//

I love a good lazy night in with Netflix and a couch sprawl — in cozy sweats, of course.

What could be better?

… Doing it with a massive cheese plate in your lap — that’s what.

There’s a lot to love about this simple spread: It’s easy, cost-effective, and without much clean-up or those agonizing microwave minutes.

Right?

//

When I was younger (and for most of my adult life, admittedly), I knew next-to-nothing about antipasto pairings, cheese differentiators, cured meats and the like.

Cheese used to be a singular food in my mind — like, cheese was just cheese.

You know?

Over the last few months, though — ever since I started to become more mindful of my net carb intake, these spreads have become my favorite little Sunday night solo dinner “indulgence.”

I’m going to share exactly how to replicate this low-carb masterpiece below; but first, let’s backtrack…

Earlier this year:

Do you remember when I read and wrote a book review of Atkins’ newest lifestyle book, “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less?”

Initially, I thought it was going to be a no-carbs-allowed cookbook type-of-read and, well, boring. To be honest.

It was quite the contrary, though — and I actually highlighted my way through it.

(Read the eight key things I learned here — and have since put into practice – and more about the book itself here.)

I didn’t get into this in my last post, but there’s an entire section devoted to cheese, hence today’s post; but first, I want to tell you about an exciting partnership I’m continuing with Atkins — and more importantly, the giveaway we’re hosting for you.

(Learn how to make this meat and cheese plate by scrolling below)

Here’s the deets:

I’m creating three posts dedicated to living a healthier, accessible, more goal-driven lifestyle — using Atkins’ low-carb lifestyle as a general guidepost.

And I should clarify up-front: I am not “doing” Atkins.

I’m not “on” any type of diet — and I don’t “diet” very well.

Atkins, as I’ve learned, is a more like a carb-conscious lifestyle.

Ever since I read the book, I’ve just become more aware of my carb consumption (holy sh*t it was high, more on that in my last post, though); and of certain lifestyle changes I could make to more effectively reach my own personal wellness goals.

*Get the lookTwist-back sweater (in red), high-rise ripped jeans  multicolor slide/sandals

Turn on your JavaScript to view content

The first is all about this insta-worthy charcuterie (a low-carb meal that I’ve been making for myself regularly — and why).

For the second and third, though, I want you guys to tell me what you want me to research/write about specifically.

It can be anything — healthy snacks for traveling, foods to eat before vs after a workout… As open-ended as meal prep help, weight loss and even “how/where would I even start?” works too.

Click here to submit your suggestion 

 ///

In addition, I’m hosting the giveaway on Instagram to get more familiar with your content questions, suggestions and ideas.

To enter, simply comment here with an idea about a wellness- or nutrition-related question or topic you’d like me to write about — that’s all. A few words are fine, nothing crazy!

Logistically, a few more things… (The “fine print,” if you will.)

  • You can enter twice by leaving two separate comments with your question/ideas.
  • This is open to residents of the USA/Canada only, sorry!
  • You have to be following both me, @halliekwilson, and @atkinsnutritionals on Insta, too.
  • Entry period ends Friday, May 11, at 11:59 CST
  • Five winners will be chosen at random on to snag a copy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less.”
  • Blog post topics will be voted on after I narrow your questions and the emergent topics/ideas.

Alternatively/if you don’t want to enter the giveaway but still want to make a suggestion, leave your thoughts in the comments below or send me an e-mail.

I’m excited about this one — and eager to tailor it to what you want from the partnership as much as possible. I hope you guys are too.

//

Lastly, let’s get back to the ‘gram-worthy task at-hand — and how simple it is for you to recreate.

How to build the perfect meat & cheese board

Like I said, I’ve really come to love a cheese plate (and I order a lot of my fixins’ from Foxtrot Delivery Market — if you’re in Chicago, you have to check them out. They deliver everything from wine and cheese to gifts and home essentials. This link gets you a discount on your first order).

I know an impressive spread may be difficult to re-imagine, but it really is easy to make.

The trick to a well-balanced antipasto platter is abundance — lots of fresh, colorful food.

For starters, here are some low-carb accoutrements to consider — I’d suggest selecting 1-2 from each category to start.

  • Cold cured meats e.g. prosciutto, ham, , pepperoni, turkey — and FYI, whenever possible, try to select nitrite- and nitrate-free deli meats (and again for my local ladies, most of these I order through Foxtrot Delivery Market)
  • Hard and soft cheese e.g.. feta, brie, camembert, goat cheese, blue cheese, mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cheddar, provolone
  • Nuts: Almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts
  • Olives and small marinated vegetables, like pickles, peppers, or artichokes
  • Fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries are your best low-carb fruit options because low-sugar fruits rich in antioxidants decrease inflammation and help keep your carb and sugar intake in check, preventing insulin spikes that affect mood and cravings.
  • Veggie sticks, like cucumber, asparagus, peppers and celery

//

If you want to add carbs or a crunch to the mix, do it! Atkins’ just suggests selecting high-fiber, whole grain crackers to help keep your net carb count down.

While I made this particular spread for a group of girlfriends the other night, remember to keep your portion sizes in-check if you’re dining solo.

I know you know, but be sure to read the labels.

I also used dried fruit (lemons) and rosemary as garnish, but know that fixtures like these (and the dark chocolate) can be packed with sugar, so as you know… Everything in moderation.

In my previous blog post, I touched on how Atkins explains the “Hidden Sugar Effect” – foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does.

A few other festive ideas:

  • Use mini bowls to create a few “unique areas.”
  • Scatter/space out similar items throughout the board to create contrast.
  • Finish by scattering nuts and berries across the board to cover as much of it as you can.
  • Light some candles, set the table — or seat on the couch, lol — with a textured, colorful towel or two.

Bon appetit, babes! I’d love to see your finished products, too, so send ’em my way on Instagram or e-mail; whatever works!

Outfit details: Twist-back sweater (also here in red), high-rise ripped jeans (i also have/love these; similar here under $60); multicolor slide/sandals

///

Iron & Honey Photography

Created in partnership with Atkins

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… aka an incredible meat-and-cheese plate. (This one’s Atkins-friendly, too!)

“I live for a good meat and cheese situation.”

Same, girl. So much same.

… This is how my sister wrapped up one of our typical Sunday night see-ster catch-ups the other day, wherein food tends to creep into the close of our conversation, as it does.

//

I love a good lazy night in with Netflix and a couch sprawl — in cozy sweats, of course.

What could be better?

… Doing it with a massive cheese plate in your lap — that’s what.

There’s a lot to love about this simple spread: It’s easy, cost-effective, and without much clean-up or those agonizing microwave minutes.

Right?

//

When I was younger (and for most of my adult life, admittedly), I knew next-to-nothing about antipasto pairings, cheese differentiators, cured meats and the like.

Cheese used to be a singular food in my mind — like, cheese was just cheese.

You know?

Over the last few months, though — ever since I started to become more mindful of my net carb intake, these spreads have become my favorite little Sunday night solo dinner “indulgence.”

I’m going to share exactly how to replicate this low-carb masterpiece below; but first, let’s backtrack…

Earlier this year:

Do you remember when I read and wrote a book review of Atkins’ newest lifestyle book, “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less?”

Initially, I thought it was going to be a no-carbs-allowed cookbook type-of-read and, well, boring. To be honest.

It was quite the contrary, though — and I actually highlighted my way through it.

(Read the eight key things I learned here — and have since put into practice – and more about the book itself here.)

I didn’t get into this in my last post, but there’s an entire section devoted to cheese, hence today’s post; but first, I want to tell you about an exciting partnership I’m continuing with Atkins — and more importantly, the giveaway we’re hosting for you.

(Learn how to make this meat and cheese plate by scrolling below)

Here’s the deets:

I’m planning to create three posts dedicated to living a healthier, accessible, more goal-driven lifestyle — using Atkins’ low-carb lifestyle as a general guidepost.

And I should clarify up-front: I am not “doing” Atkins.

I’m not “on” any type of diet — and I don’t “diet” very well.

Atkins, as I’ve learned, is a more like a carb-conscious lifestyle.

Ever since I read the book, I’ve just become more aware of my carb consumption (holy sh*t it was high, more on that in my last post, though); and of certain lifestyle changes I could make to more effectively reach my own personal wellness goals.

The first is all about this insta-worthy charcuterie (a low-carb meal that I’ve been making for myself regularly — and why).

For the second and third, though, I want you guys to tell me what you want me to research/write about specifically.

It can be anything — healthy snacks for traveling, foods to eat before vs after a workout… As open-ended as meal prep help, weight loss and even “how/where would I even start?” works too.

 

In addition, I’m hosting the giveaway on Instagram to get more familiar with your content questions, suggestions and ideas.

To enter, simply comment here with an idea about a wellness- or nutrition-related question or topic you’d like me to write about — that’s all. A few words are fine, nothing crazy!

Logistically, a few more things… (The “fine print,” if you will.)

  • You can enter twice by leaving two separate comments with your question/ideas.
  • This is open to residents of the USA/Canada only, sorry!
  • You have to be following both me, @halliekwilson, and @atkinsnutritionals on Insta, too.
  • Entry period ends Thursday, May 10, at 11:59 CST
  • Five winners will be chosen at random on to snag a copy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less.”
  • Blog post topics will be voted on after I narrow your questions and the emergent topics/ideas.

Alternatively/if you don’t want to enter the giveaway but still want to make a suggestion, leave your thoughts in the comments below or send me an e-mail.

I’m excited about this one — and eager to tailor it to what you want from the partnership as much as possible. I hope you guys are too.

//

Lastly, let’s get back to the ‘gram-worthy task at-hand — and how simple it is for you to recreate.

How to build the perfect meat & cheese board

Like I said, I’ve really come to love a cheese plate.

I know an impressive spread may be difficult to re-imagine, but it really is easy to make.

The trick to a well-balanced antipasto platter is abundance — lots of fresh, colorful food.

For starters, here are some low-carb accoutrements to consider — I’d suggest selecting 1-2 from each category to start.

  • Cold cured meats e.g. prosciutto, ham, , pepperoni, turkey (whenever possible, choose nitrite- and nitrate-free deli meats)
  • Hard and soft cheese e.g.. feta, brie, camembert, goat cheese, blue cheese, mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cheddar, provolone
  • Nuts: Almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts
  • Olives and small marinated vegetables, like pickles, peppers, or artichokes
  • Fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries are your best low-carb fruit options because low-sugar fruits rich in antioxidants decrease inflammation and help keep your carb and sugar intake in check, preventing insulin spikes that affect mood and cravings.
  • Veggie sticks, like cucumber, asparagus, peppers and celery

//

If you want to add carbs or a crunch to the mix, do it! Atkins’ just suggests selecting high-fiber, whole grain crackers to help keep your net carb count down.

While I made this particular spread for a group of girlfriends the other night, remember to keep your portion sizes in-check if you’re dining solo.

I know you know, but read the labels!

I also used dried fruit (lemons) and rosemary as garnish, but know that fixtures like these (and the dark chocolate) can be packed with sugar, so as you know… Everything in moderation.

In my previous blog post, I touched on how Atkins explains the “Hidden Sugar Effect” – foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does.

A few other festive ideas:

  • Use mini bowls to create a few “unique areas.”
  • Scatter/space out similar items throughout the board to create contrast.
  • Finish by scattering nuts and berries across the board to cover as much of it as you can.
  • Light some candles, set the table — or seat on the couch, lol — with a textured, colorful towel or two.

Bon appetit, babes! I’d love to see your finished products, too, so send ’em my way on Instagram or e-mail; whatever works!

///

Iron & Honey Photography

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Among Other Things by Among Other Things - 3w ago

What I bought on sale, spring cleaning your finances & workout gear you *have* to see…. Among Other Things.

Friday, hooray! What’s on the agenda this weekend? Derby dresses or Cinco de Mayo gear?

Decisions, decisions…

///

Peaks & Pits

Pit: We’ll start here and work our way up: I don’t know that I’ve mentioned this yet, but I’m still really sad about Tim Berg’s (Avicii’s) passing. If you’re a fan of his music, I imagine you feel the same… He was everyone’s introduction to dance music, no? (“Levels” was the song of the summer way back when.) The silver lining, I suppose (not that there is one in a situation like this), is that it’s brought on a lot of public discussion about success, suicide and mental health.

Peak: Last Friday, Studio Three (where I teach) hosted the annual Battle of the Bikes fundraiser — a four-hour event where teams of five people ride in 35-minute classes.

I co-taught one of the sessions with another instructor and DJ’d for three hours (below). It was so crowded, so much fun — and the best part? Collectively, the event raised more than $48,000 for Autism Speaks and Aspire Chicago (a local nonprofit geared toward helping adults with disabilities.

All-in-all, a super solid, productive week… I’m ready to get outside and spend some time offline (and off the bike) this weekend. Hope you have fun plans in store, too!

///

Sales & such

One of each, please: Holy. Shit. Have you guys seen Carbon38’s new Sayang collection? I literally want every sports bra — look at this beauty! See the entire collection + more new arrivals here. (15% off your purchase with e-mail sign-up, FYI!

Color crush: I love, love, love with this pale pink pouch — my color of the moment. (Yours too?) That circular shape — and size — is so damn cute! (Under $100)

Sandal staple: I just bought these adorable sandals on sale in red — for under $30! Such a freakin’ deal. (FYI, went down a half-size based on reviews — they run wide, accordingly!)

Surfbort: I also got this hot sauce iPhone case. I mean, I don’t t need another one (or wait, maybe I do?), but was $19… Had to, right?

Mother’s Day Ideas: Anyone still need a cute gift for Mom next weekend? Anthropologie has a curated section of pretty little things, like this cute grocery-type tote bag and silk sleep mask — Nordstrom has a ton of Mother’s Day gift ideas too. I always get my mom an annual subscription to People Magazine — and she loves these eye masks (as do I). Like mother, like daughter!

Functional (and cute!) Fruit: Is anyone else having a moment with kitschy straw totes? … Just me? Well, either way: This watermelon straw tote is to die. So is this festive pineapple purse!

(Side-note, I’m doing a round-up of straw totes at every price point next week. Here’s a preview below, though — all under $50!)

Click to shop

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One of my go-to straw totes last summer (originally posted here)

///

Look for less: You saw my post on the jumpsuit I’ll be wearing indefinitely this spring, but did you check out those similar styles from Forever21 I shared? They’re is almost identical (save for the fabric) — and they’re only $28.

Occupational hazard: And okay — here’s my last purchase from this week: I actually bought this striped romper (light blue) while I was researching that jumpsuit post…  Couldn’t resist that price point.

Books with style: You may have seen this on Instagram stories yesterday, but four of my favorite coffee table books are 40% off today. I stack the latter three on my coffee table and stock up on the first for gifts — it’s under $20!

Click to shop

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(Clockwise, top left) 1. Rosé All Day, 2. Escapes (Gray Malin),
3. Chic Escapes, (Condé Nast Traveler), 4. YSL — The Scandal Collection

///

Links & the like

Dolla dolla bill, ya’ll: Three ways to spring clean your finances — once and for all.

Getting organized: … and on the notion of spring cleaning, I found this post on how bloggers organize their beauty products really insightful. Need to take a trip to The Container Store ASAP (to get something like this for my bathroom).

Girl, same: I can really relate to this post by Coco’s Tea Party — five lessons learned in her twenties.

Powerful pep talk: Loved this read on how to turn any failure into a success — or creating “momentum from mis-steps,” as the author writes.

Au revoir: Here’s what no one tells you about living abroad — an insightful read for anyone who is or has ever considered it.

New music mix: Here is your monthly playlist for May, my loves. I’ve got that first song on repeat! (I share these monthly on Spotify, FYI; here is April’s playlist, if you missed it. Happy listening!

///

Hasta luega! Have a great holiday weekend.
Join me for mine by following along on Instagram / IG Stories.

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You can find me in this Mara Hoffman jumpsuit until further notice.

Get the look:

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Shop: Jumpsuit | Straw bagSunglasses (sale) | Lip color (sale) | Sandals

The first signs of spring are always a span of magical — and unproductive — days here in Chicago…

At last! So much to look forward to! Air-dried hair, sunshine, fresh food on the grill, al fresco happy hours, cargo shorts and man-sandals…

Totally kidding on that last one.

For me, though, that translates to an easy, breezy jumpsuit.

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I bought this watercolor number for a destination wedding last month and have been anxiously awaiting my first opportunity to wear it around the Windy City ever since.

I pretty much lived in it. Except when I was at the ceremony.

(While there’s limited sizes available in this printed version, Revolve should re-stock it soon since it’s one of their best-sellers. It comes in two other colors, too: here in black, duh; and here in a festive yellow.)

You know those items that you feel all “love at first click” with?

… Orrrr is that just me?

Either way, that’s what happened when I pre-ordered this Mara Hoffman jumpsuit — an immediate #AddtoCart situation. Love at first sight — and fit, thankfully; which was surprising since I’m pretty hit-or-miss with pieces like this.

Loosely fitted rompers or jumpsuits can make me look like I’m drowning in fabric since I’m on the shorter side (5’4″), but this was just right in all aspects. (It looks great with flats, too.)

The silky fabric isn’t see-through, which makes it a perfect piece to wear around the city — belted or unbelted — but its super cute when worn poolside, too. That’s why I dubbed it “the only thing you need this spring.”

Now, unfortunately for my bank account, this goddamn print comes in almost every other style and silhouette imaginable, including the ‘Carla’ multicolor bikini top and matching high-waisted bottoms I’m wearing in the photo below.

There’s also the dress version, these palazzo pants, and a one-piece swimsuit

Lollll…

See? Help!

Click to shop:

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Call it excessive, but I like to justify of it as closest consistency.

If the “shoe” fits, right?

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(Side-note, next week I’m doing a post on how and where to shop for bathing suits online. Any questions for me specifically? Check out the rest of Mara Hoffman’s swimwear collection in the interim — there’s a few that are on sale! And this summery dress, while you’re at it. I actually bought that too but ended up returning it since it’s slightly see-through — it’s so cute for the pool or beach, though.)

What do you think? Love it as much as I do?

///

Look for less

For those trying to be a bit more budget-minded, I searched around and found a similar-looking wide-leg style in five solid colors here — an absolute steal at $15, but just know the fabric won’t be as silky as the one I’m wearing.

This strapless version looks really cute too (also a bargain, comparatively, for under $60).

*Get the look:

Featured

Jumpsuit: Mara Hoffman ‘Carly’ (available here in black and here in mustard yellow)
Jumpsuit for less: Scoop-neck wide-leg jumpsuit ($15)
Straw handbag: Sold out, identical here and here — both under $60
White sandals: Schutz (similar here and here)
Sunglasses: Preen (similar on sale here and here)
Lip color: NARS Satin lip pencil in ‘Luxembourg‘ (15% off limited time)

Bathing suit

‘Carla’ multicolor bikini top
Matching high-waisted bikini bottoms

 

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Iron & Honey Photography

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Six weeks and five countries in 3.4 minutes — my “solo” travel story (video).

I’ve been waiting a really long time to show you guys this.

Like, nine months at least — which was when I started working on it when I was traveling through Europe.

I would have shared it sooner, but, well; I tend to be one of those picky perfectionist-types — annoyingly so.

And if I’m being honest, I’ve actually been pretty scared to.

I compiled this video while traveling through Europe last summer — a triple is mostly spent solo.

It was partially spontaneous (I ended up staying an extra four weeks/not getting my on my original return flight) and came as the result of a very low point in my life.

That’s a post for another day, as you know (July, like I promised).

Today is all about those good vibes.

Because as stressful and debilitating as a break-up and/or losing a job (your “dream job”) can be, it can also bring you to the places, people and perspectives that you actually needed the most.

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

A "Solo" Travel Diary: 6 Weeks & 5 Countries in 3.4 Minutes - YouTube

Click here to open in YouTube

These are some of my most meaningful and deeply personal moments from my entire trip, which is why I imagine I felt nervous about sharing it.

The time I spent in Europe — and with these souls in particular — completely shifted my life. Back in the direction that I’d basically stopped caring about/given up on (admittedly).

I’m aware how cheesy or dramatic that may seem, but it’s an accurate depiction of my identity crisis and just how depressed I actually was (a word I’m no longer scared of talking openly about).

//

I read this quote awhile ago that’s stuck with me ever since:

When you give yourself to a place you’ve never been,
it will give you back a piece of yourself.

It’s true.

These places — these people — challenged me to explore who I am, who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be. I re-learned, in a sense, how I needed to heal, feel, learn and let go.

Travel re-calibrated me. 

So here’s to travel. Or better yet:

Here’s to the journey…

To embracing the magic in not making an itinerary.

To honoring where you are rather than where you thought you should be.

To rediscovering that you enjoy your own company.

**

To getting lost but finding yourself.

And to the people you’ll meet along the way.

//

And as promised, here are details on the locations from the video — and a few good stories. 

(0:04) A solo lunch at Nessun Dorme in Manarola, Cinque Terre (One of my Top 10 must-do’s)

(0:07) The night we got lost and met our “Brits in Spit(, Croatia)”

(0:09) On the balcony of our AirBnB in Bol, Croatia

(0:15) Nessun Dorme again — did I mention it was a two-hour solo lunch? Can you blame me? That view!

(0:19) Our AirBnB host in Dubrovnik, Croatia, had left us a bottle of Croatian liquor to try. That’s me saying “It’s not so bad (it was),” before what came next.

(0:36) Hangover prevention specialists.

Click here to open in YouTube

(0:40) Dancing our asses off at Auro Dayclub (go if you’re ever in Croatia; it’s on Brac Island)

(0:45) Gelato every day in Cinque Terre

(0:46) Exploring Hvar, Croatia, and appreciating their open-container laws (or lack-thereof)

(0:48) Just after I’d spent five hours canyoning the Chli Schliere (outside of Interlaken, Switzerland).  I was the only girl and the only person who spoke English. We hiked to the top of a mountain and then made our way back down by repelling, cliff jumping and waterfall sliding. It was an unbelievable (and terrifying) experience!

(1:01) A mid-day break for lunch under the Tuscan sun. I was doing a Vespa tour of Chianti, Italy — another one of my must-do’s in Europe.

(1:07) Just here for the views — and the wine. (Lucerne, Switzerland)

(1:13) Wandering. (Zurich, Switzerland)

(1:17) Fresh baguettes in Cap Ferret, France

(1:23) A peaceful moment on the boat we’d chartered for a few days (outside of Dubrovnik, Croatia)

(1:29) Toasting to being alive (literally, though) after skydiving the Swiss Alps with my favorite English lads, Tom and Luke.

(1:36) Late-night life chats with Chris (in Paris), an expat who was equally as insightful as he is insane (in a good way).

(1:42) My favorite Parisian bartender (at Silenco) convincing me to eat ginger, which people do for energy, I guess?

(1:50) On the beach in Monterosso al Mar, Cinque Terre, Italy (another must-do)

(1:54) Celebrating our best-ever vintage store finds in Switzerland — Chanel!

(2:03) Nightlife in Milan, Italy

(2:09) auro nightclub

(2:14) Not at all making a scene with Ray, who is perhaps my favorite European (Milan, Italy)

(2:20) My first-ever hostel — Balmer’s (Interlaken, Switzerland)! This is the morning I was going skydiving, hence the alcohol for breakfast.

(2:27) Jagerbombs (whyyyy) with our new friend Chris, a pilot for Quantas we’d met in Dubrovnik, Croatia

(2:35) Teaching the Swiss locals how Americans play beer pong

(2:40) With two of the nicest expats we’d met earlier that night; somehow we ended up at the re-opening of L’Arc — one of the most upscale nightclubs in Paris

(2:44) A mix of the Balmer’s hostel staff and Interlaken locals who always came for happy hour. (We had literally just met, haha!) Two days later they were trying to convince me to stay and work there… I actually considered.

(2:50) Back in Milan with Ray, we had too much fun the first time-around. (The beauty in not traveling with an itinerary!)

(2:56) My sweet hostel mates in Lake Como, Italy

(3:05) Rosé all day (literally, I think) at ‘Les Bains,’ a beach bar located just a short boat ride from Hvar, Croatia

(3:07) New friends that felt like family in Medoc, France

(3:12) Feeling like myself again in Florence, Italy

(3:16) Took an overnight train to Paris (from Italy) to meet my main PIC, Jess.

(3:21) Feeling alive. (Hvar, Croatia)

//

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Among Other Things by Among Other Things - 1M ago

The seven things I wore/used every single day, plus the beauty buys that saved my skin (on sale!)

Hey there, my friends!

I’ve missed ya’ll. What’s new?

One week ago today I was on the West Coast gearing up for one of my favorite weekends of the entire year — Coachella! Don’t worry, I won’t be droning on about the festival and my outfits (generally speaking). Here’s a few photos from the festivities —  if you’ve never been, it’s an art and music festival based in Indio, CA; located a few hours outside of Palm Springs/Los Angeles.

I fly home to Chicago (and winter — WTF)  two days ago, and for the most part, I’ve been buried in laundry and busy getting back into my teaching routine.

I thought I’d devote this week’s Cool Sh*t to Share around the clothing and beauty essentials that I relied on daily over the last week — but of course, there’s a few links worth browsing below as well.

Super excited about today’s shareables — and this Sephora sale is no joke! Let’s get to it.

//

Coachella Essentials: 

These are the seven items I wore/used on a daily basis:

Sneakers: By far and away, the MVP of my suitcase were my vintage high-top Nike’s. I’ve posted about these a countless number of times, but I ended up wearing them all three days of the festival — and on both of my flights. (I’ll spare you the details, but I injured my foot the day of my flight, so I opted away from wearing anything open-toe this year.)

Leather backpack: My festival go-to for three years and running. The fringe style I’m wearing is an old version, but here’s the same bag (sand fringe). Nordstrom has 14 of her backpack styles available here. I like this one best — lots of colors to choose from; it’s less expensive too.)

Portable phone charger/case: Ah, my saving grace right here: The Mophie juice pack (on sale for 50% off). I kept my phone in this dual charger/phone case and it kept me charged all weekend. While it only offers 1-2 full charges, it was easy to plug-in every night and I found it to be better than toting around the bulky alternative — especially on days when I wore a belt-bag (similar here for under $50) instead of the backpack mentioned above.

Jean shorts: Since it ended up being so damn hot out (not complaining, I know!), I rocked jean shorts for most of the festival rather than these pleated pants. The high-waist pair I’m wearing (in the photo below) are from Cotton On, but I also kept these boyfriend-style jean shorts in rotation too.

*Note about the Cotton On shorts, size up! I’m normally a 4/27 but am wearing a AU 10/US 6 in these. Jess is wearing the same pair/size!

Jean jacket: It gets really cold when the sun goes down. This lightweight denim jacket was really easy to tie around my waist or toss in my backpack, and I was thankful for it come sundown — even with the beer sweater I was rockin’ while jumping around to Beyoncé.

*Note about the jacket: I invested in this specific jacket because it’s more form-fitting, easy packable and not at all boxy or stiff; but I also like this one as a more affordable alternative.

Sunglasses: My new go-to’s for the season have to be Ray-Ban’s Classic ‘Icon’ sunglasses. I often have a hard time finding sunglasses that fit my face (shielding the brows are a must for me), and their 53mm style is perfect. The only place I’ve been able to find them is Nordstrom, but for my babes on a budget, check out Forever21 — they have a similar style for less. I also packed my favorite all-black aviators and wore those on multiple occasions as well.

Polaroid camera: This one’s just for fun, but we brought a few of these adorable Instax cameras to capture polaroids during our trip. They’re so much fun to collect — I’m planning to frame a few for this picture frame that I bought. The hard part is narrowing!

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*Got lots of questions about Kelly’s red one-shoulder top (on the right)

//

*My favorite beauty buys:

Okay, another thing we need to discuss today:

Sephora just launched it’s twice-yearly sale for Beauty Insiders, where you can score up to 15% off your entire purchase (through April 23), plus free shipping.

Your discount depends on your Beauty Insider status, but if you aren’t already a member, you can become a Beauty Insider here, which will land you 10% off with code YAYINSIDER. (That’s what I am.)

Click here to shop | click here to sign up

//

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Here are my all-time favorite beauty buys that I’ll be stocking up on while they’re on sale: 

*Fresh Cosmetics Vitamin Nectar face mask: This vibrancy-boosting mask (pictured above) is worthy every penny. The results are instant and 100% noticeable — you’ll see!

Urban Decay ‘Heat’ palette: This is the only eyeshadow palette I use ever since discovering it — the colors complement hazel eyes so well (but would look awesome on any color, IMO). Oh, and the mini version (‘Petite Heat’) is perfect for traveling — or if you’re more of a minimalist.

*Perricone MD Cold Plasma: This one is pricy, but with good reason — lots of long-term anti-aging benefits. I love Perricone’s entire Cold Plasma collection, but this is one of my splurges. I consider it my “emergency” treatment — for those weeks when your skin needs all the revival help it can get. I try not to feel too bad splurging a bit on skin care — you only get one face, right? The eye treatment is awesome as well.

Living Proof (everything): I use the thickening shampoo and conditioner, but you know the dry shampoo is my shit.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I went through one of the mini travel-sized sprays during our three-day festival run at Coachella alone! (And no, it doesn’t leave a residue behind on dark hair — give it 30 seconds after you spray then run your hands through your hair.) 

*Origins active charcoal cleansing powder: My favorite face wash. It’s actually a powder (that you get wet to activate), and it gets everything out of your pores and off of your face. The full-size version is easy to travel with, too, since it isn’t a liquid.

NARS satin lip pencils: I mean, duh. Another staple you’ve likely heard me rave about. These are my favorite — they double as a lip liner and are really long-lasting. The Velvet Matte version has a bit more staying power, but I like the Satin pencils for spring/summer.

Beauty blenderWe’re all using these, right? Make sure you get yours wet before using it to apply face make-up — it makes all the difference.

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**

And here are a few newer (or new-to-me) products I’ve been using lately/that I’m loving for spring:

*The Ordinary ‘No Brainer’ set: The brand sent me these to try last month and I’ve been using both of the serums religiously — I like The Buffet in particular (worn under a moisturizer).

*GlamGlow BUBBLESHEET Oxygenating masks: Jess introduced these to me a few weeks ago, and I’ve gone through at least one every week since.

Urban Decay Hi-Fi shine lip gloss: Gives lips a light, dewy finish without feeling sticky. I like Rapture, Fireball and Backtalk.

NARS highlighting powder in ‘Capri’: The prettiest glow that doesn’t look too shimmery.

(*Pictured in photos from post)

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//

Links & the like

All righty, last but not least:

Down the rabbit hole: Ever been down the rabbit hole of an ex’s Facebook page? (Oh yeah, guilty.) This editor has been happily married for four years — but she found herself in the same place.

Under the knife: Everything you’d ever need to know before getting plastic surgery. Not that I’m considering it at the moment (zero judgement, there), but this was an interesting one.

The worst: Advice on how to get over being ghosted (in the most positive way possible).

Meal prep motivation: These four healthy cooking hacks that will end up saving you money.

Pearly whites: A dentist weighs in on whether or not you actually need to floss… Anyone else the worst at this?

Tricks of the trade: Katie, a friend of mine who works in PR, shared some tips in a great post on how to get your blog pitch read by publicists.

Now playing: In case you haven’t bookmarked it yet, here is the playlist I made ya’ll for the month of April — and if it’s the #feels you’re after, you’ll want to bookmark this playlist I made on the flight home this week.

//

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Coachella-bound! My three festival-inspired looks

Oh, my friends. Happy Friday!

I’m sorry that I’m late in sharing the rest of my Coachella-inspired outfits with you… I’ll skimp on the details and spare you the visual, but I had a bad foot injury occur earlier this week.

//

Plot twist. Ugggghhhh… Great timing, I know —  but what can ya do? I’m putting into the universe that I’ll be good-to-go on the dance floor this weekend. No other options!

So many awesome artists and art installations I’m excited to see. (Did you know Coachella was big on art, too? Tons of it — everywhere!)

I’ll be posting updates on Instagram all weekend, so find me there and come along for the ride!

///

Coachella has transformed into a bit of a fashion hub over the last few years, and while I can’t say I’ve completely drank the kool-aid (sneakers and all-day dancing will always be my priority), it’s a lot of fun to get inspired in dressing up.

So let’s get to it…

First up, of course: The classic jean shorts situation — and likely the look I’ll be kicking off the weekend in.

With a jorts vibe, I’ll gravitate toward looser, breezy tops to keep it light, carefree and casual.

Long sleeves though, usually (with a jean jacket wrapped around my waist), since it gets really chilly when the sun goes down.

A bag that’s big enough to fit all of the things is so clutch, too. We tend to trade off as a group in this regard, but accessory-wise, that’s usually my game-plan. I love this backpack!

Hands-free is the way to be!

*Get the look:

Similar crop top here + similar $8 Forever21 style
High-waist jean shorts: Rolla’s
Leather belt-bag: Gucci
Fringe backpack: Rebecca Minkoff
Round sunglasses: Ray-Ban ‘Icons’ 53 mm sunglasses

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Coachella aside, take it from a girl whose been to her fair share of festivals (whether they’re music, street, neighborhood, etc): If it’s an all-day affair, you need loose clothing that’s comfortable and easy to layer.

Similar concept.

And shoes that won’t kill your feed after all-day walking, too. But duh, right?

More often than not, this is my go-to look right here.

A simple, slightly sporty combo of a basic crop top, denim skirt and sneakers makes is unexpected, functional and so comfortable — the ideal hybrid of how you want to land at Coachella (or any festival).

For me especially this weekend, since sneakers are now paramount…

*Get the look:

Leather belt-bag: Gucci
Bomber jacket: ALO yoga (love this one too — esp the color)
Blush high-top sneakers: Nike (multiple colors; the low-top version is cute too)
Round sunglasses: Ray-Ban ‘Icons’ 53 mm sunglasses
Black denim skirt: Levi’s deconstructed skirt
Woven slides: Via Spiga ‘Harlotte’
Crop top/sports bra: ALO yoga
Similar Instax camera

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//

 

Last but not least: The swimsuit I plan to live in poolside all summer (and this weekend).

I’m in love with this watercolor print from Mara Hoffman’s collection this season. So good! The high-waist cut on the bottoms is perfect, too. (Hard to find, IMO!)

I actually bought the ‘Carly’ jumpsuit awhile ago for a destination wedding in Mexico and thereby began my obsession. That piece is definitely the most comfortable thing I own. No joke!

*Get the look:

Mara Hoffman printed bikini top and high-waist bottom

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Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s ensemble (also Coachella-inspired but in a category of her own because of those pants.

///

Iron & Honey

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