Monday, September 28, 2015

September Budget

Hi, my name is Kyle and I'm addicted to J Crew.  I didn't even realize how bad it was until I started typing up this post and realized literally everything is from J Crew.  Whoops.  This actually felt like a really light shopping month - the gingham shirt, vest and tank were all from an order at the tail end of August, and the rest of it arrived Friday.  So far, everything's been in prime rotation, and I can't wait for it to get cooler so the wool sweaters are an option. Huzzah for fall!

1 // J Crew Gingham Button Down - $22
2 // J Crew Vest - $48
3 // J Crew Tank - $25
4 // J Crew Turtle Neck - $20
5 // J Crew Tee - $20
6 // J Crew Zipper Sweater - $21
7 // J Crew Sweater - $13

Linking up with Fran!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Apple Watch Review

As my mother so-lovingly put it, I have poor impulse control, and, as per my father and grandfather, rather delight in buying myself lovely things.  The latest is a rose gold Apple Watch.  My precious.  I've only had it for about a week, so this is a preliminary review, but here's what I love, what I don't, and why I'm a total convert.
// image //

Pros // 
  • The biggest pro for me is that the watch allows me to be less involved with my technology.  Ironic, I know, but hear me out.  At least once an hour, I pick up my phone to check notifications, and 4 out of 5 times, I'm still on it 10 minutes later and can't remember why I got on in the first place.  My phone is a vortex, and it can be frustrating. I LOVE that I can glance quickly at my watch,  see that none of jillions of friends have texted me and no mommy bloggers have uploaded pictures of their cute babies and go back to work. When I'm traveling, I can see that an advisee won a soccer game in the same time it takes any one else to read an analog clock (aint nobody got time for dat, ps). Is this necessary in my life? No, absolutely not.  Is it really awesome? YUP 
  • This thing is beautiful.  I just like admiring it.  The watch face is gorgeous, but also really informative, and I love how customizable it is.
  • Siri is amazing. Without taking my hands off the wheel of my car, I can send a text, change the song or call my grandparents.  You can choose whether the safety or awesomeness argument is more sound
Cons //
  • The screen is TINY.  This is the point, but even I, who has child-sized fingers, often have issues controlling things.
  • OS2 isn't a thing yet.  The software was supposed to hit last week, but didn't.  I'll reserve judgement until then, but the lack of external apps available now are a bit of a bummer.
  • This isn't so much a con but a point.  No one needs this. Apple Watches are not necessary, they do not solve the world's problems. But they make things easier, more fun, better streamlined.
Overall // Now that I have one, I won't be without. I love it, and I love that it makes me feel less tethered by technology (irony already acknowledged).  It fills holes I didn't even realize I had in my life, and makes being on the road for long stretches a lot easier.  If you can safely afford one, I absolutely recommend it, but if not, you aren't missing out on much.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fresh Grass Photo Essay

All taken this weekend at Fresh Grass, a blue grass festival in North Adams, MA

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North AdamsFresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams, hops

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Fresh Grass review, bluegrass music, North Adams

Monday, September 14, 2015

Current Favorites

Despite the weather's firm objections, I have decided that it's fall.  It's happening.  In light of that, here are a few of the things I've been loving recently.

Hard Pretzels // The bigger the pretzel, the better.  Also, crumbs everywhere
Overdrive // I've talked about this before, but I've been on a huge reading kick lately and it's mostly down to this app.  It allows me to check out digital titles, books and audiobooks, from the library.  So much easier, and I never forget to return things
Honeycrisp Apples // My absolute favorite part of fall is apples - both the whole fruit and the cider.  When I went grocery shopping this week and the first batch of Honeycrisps were in, I had a bit of a meltdown in the produce department.  SO EXCITING
Pumpkin Spice Chai // I am pretty anti-PSL, but I will admit that pumpkin spice anything is pretty delicious.  This tea is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, and isn't full of unknown chemicals
NARS Lipstick // A recent pity shopping trip turned into a Sephora splurge, and I picked up my first NARS lippy in Roman Holiday.  The color is a bright, blue toned pink that looks great on my skin and is neutral enough to put on whenever.  I also love that it slightly stains my lips, so they look great even after the finish has faded
Wrinkle Releaser // I will own up to occasionally forgetting to fold my laundry immediately after it comes out of the dryer. And by occasionally I mean literally every time.  This product means it doesn't matter - a few spritzes makes my clothes look and smell super fresh
Covergirl Super Sizer // My L'Oreal Butterfly mascara has been ousted as favorite mascara.  This stuff is kind of tough to work with, but it gives me super long, voluminous lashes in just a few seconds
Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth // In terms of color match, I have never found a better foundation than this one.  The finish is also gorgeous - luminous without being actually shiny.  Perfect for fall/winter

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall Wishlist

Happy Labor Day! I'll be spending the day packing away my white pants and eating everything in sight.  The best of times.  Below is everything I'm lusting after for fall, and some of the outfits I'll be wearing for brief moments directly in front of my air conditioner for the time being.

1 // Halogen skirt
2 // Brass dress
3 // Street Level tote
4 // Old Navy sweater
5 // Tahari dress
6 // Old Navy flats
7 // LOFT skirt
8 // J Crew pants
9 // LOFT top
10 // J Crew sweater
11 // Jack Rogers booties

one // two // three // four

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner

Along with tote bags, planners are my other love language.  I love them, in an obsessive, kind of sad way. Last year, I used a Day Designer and this year, I switched over to the Simplified Planner.  Overall, I prefer the Simplified.  Both planners come in a variety of layouts and styles, and are similarly priced.

To be fair, the Day Designer and Simplified aren't direct comparisons, and the newer purchase works better for my life.  The Day Designer has a full page spread for every day, which makes the planner pretty large and heavy, but perfect if you have a lot going on.  The Simplified comes in a daily version and a weekly, which combines the full week onto two pages (unlike the Day Designer, which doesn't offer other layouts).  This works much better for me - I don't really need an hour-by-hour layout of my day, and the size made it much easier to carry around.  Size-wise, the Simplified makes way more sense for me, and the coil is of higher quality.  My Day Designer was on the serious coil struggle bus by the end of it's life.

Design-wise, both planners are beautiful.  The Day Designer is a bit more classic - it's got black and gold accents and the original colors were classic stripes. This year's covers are a bit more colorful, and I'm seriously lusting after them.  The Simplified is pretty committed to color, which I love. All of the days are marked by different color ink, and the covers and liners are very bright.  I also appreciate the limited number of other boxes on the Simplified. It's hard to read below, but there are boxes marked Due, Dollar, Dinner and Don't Forget in the upper right hand corner, which I never used in the Day Designer, and even the Top 3 box was a bit useless.

Overall, I definitely prefer the Simplified planner - the size, layout and incredibly cheerful design are perfect for me.  If I had more meetings/daily requirement, the Day Designer would be a better fit, but I found myself kind of making things up to make the days look more full. I also think that the Day Designer is somewhat more professional looking, for those that care about that.  Both are being released for the fall soon and can be found at the Day Designer and Simplified Planner websites.