An Autumn Everlane Wishlist

Sunday, August 26, 2018
I am single-handedly willing autumn into existence over here. I've been breaking out my long sleeve t-shirts and dark denim and suffering for it, but I'm sure it'll work eventually, right?! By late August in Nebraska I just have no more sweat to give. I need autumn to come and I need it now!

Not only does autumn bring sweet, sweet relief, it also ushers in the absolute best season for fashion. Warm, earthy colors. Cozy, thick sweaters. Leather jackets, wool coats, and blazers. Boots! Every one of those items are beautiful, and in autumn you get to wear them all at once -- without melting.

fall autumn fashion style shopping wardrobe capsule wishlist plan list

When I started looking at my fall wardrobe options, I realized that I'm actually quite short on autumn pieces. After my adventures with the KonMari method and Project 333 last year I ended up donating a lot of the autumn pieces I had. A lot of those items were almost 10 years old and virtually none of them were what I'd consider suitable basics. They didn't mix very well with my wardrobe because a lot of them were such statement pieces and they just weren't really "me" anymore anyway. Ten years ago is a long time ago, especially when you're talking about fashion choices you made at the beginning of college versus your thirties! So, happily ever after, those pieces all have new homes but not so happily ever after, I'm basically without any autumn pieces, especially basics.

Enter: Everlane. Haven't heard of them yet? Everlane is a clothing company that aims to be as transparent as possible about the factories they work with, the wages they page and cost breakdown of everything they sell. They're also making some pretty great strides in reducing their environmental impact which just melts my heart with happiness. They don't make trendy clothing -- just updated versions of classic pieces in timeless colors. In a way, their dedication to providing quality, classically stylish items you can wear season after season helps you be a little more sustainable with your shopping too.

Oh and also, Meghan Markel is a fan. Need I say more?

(If you're interested in buying from Everlane, if you want to use my referral link I'd greatly appreciate it! It's free to you -- just click here, sign up and make your first purchase. Thank you!)

I've ordered several things from Everlane in the past and I've loved everything so far. I love their crew neck t-shirts, cashmere sweaters and the silk button up and A-line cotton tank dress I recently picked up. Now I'm thinking it's time to fill in some of the holes in my wardrobe with some more Everlane pieces. Here's a rundown of what's sitting in my cart while I make the final decisions:

Everlane The Long-Sleeve Box-Cut Pocket Tee

Everlane The Cotton Boxcut Tee

The Cotton Box Cut TeeThe Long-Sleeve Box-Cut Pocket Tee

I live in jeans and t-shirts. Despite this, I actually only have about five short sleeve t-shirts and a single long sleeve t-shirt, and three of these items are Everlane tees. Their crew tees are well cut, not too tight, super soft and high quality and I'm sure the same will be true of their short sleeve box cut tees so I'll pick one up. My one long sleeve shirt I own is actually this same long sleeve tee and I'd love to grab another but in black.

The Slim Cotton Long-Sleeve Crew

These are obviously very similar to the box cut tees, just slimmer. I love to wear a slimmer tee when I'm wearing straight leg jeans or layering under a blazer so these should be perfect for that. I wore holes through my last plain, slim cotton tee so I know I'll get a lot of use out of these!

Everlane The Cotton Double V Tank

The Cotton Double V Tank

A tank top? In autumn? Again with the layering possibilities. My office trends from boiling hot (thanks computers) to freezing so I like to keep my options open, even as the weather cools outside. I saw Signe over at Use Less Wardrobe wearing this tank and I was immediately sold.

Everlane Classic French Terry Sweatpant Slim Classic French Terry Crew

The Classic French Terry SweatpantThe Slim Classic French Terry Crew

Now for the cozy stuff! I desperately need some loungewear; for the last 10 years I've been wearing old men's large Champion sweatpants that a girl I ran track with in high school borrowed from her boyfriend and then gave me. I'm a 30 year old woman wearing some 16 year old guy's 10 year old pants.... I don't think I need to explain much more here. I can't wait to look like a real life adult when I'm out doing my errands and eating ice cream out of the carton on my couch.

Everlane The Cotton Turtleneck Tee

The Cotton Turtleneck Tee

Last year I really wanted a thin-knit, black turtleneck but for some reason I just never got to it. This year I will right my wrongs!

Everlane Hipster Thong Bikini Underwear Panties

Hipster, Bikini & Thong Underwear

The most glamorous of wishlist items. I need to retire some of my existing underwear (because hole-y underwear just isn't attractive) so I want to try out some of their cuts with their 3 for $27 deal. No frills, normal-colored underwear that isn't made in a super sketchy sweatshop is pretty hard to find so I'm glad they started making underwear!

Everlane The Clean Silk Short-Sleeve Notch Shirt

The Clean Silk Short-Sleeve Square Shirt

Last but not least, an absolutely beautiful silk shirt that in all reality I probably won't get, but damn do I want to. Look at that. Those notches. That color. The cut. It's all so lovely. Dearly Bethany recently did an Everlane try-on video and it just looks soooo gooood. It can stay in my cart just a little longer...

I probably won't get all of these items, but it's sure fun to pretend shop. I'll be sure to let you know how I get on with whatever I do end up buying! Good luck with your own autumn wardrobe shopping!

Book Review: One Small Act Of Kindness - Lucy Dillon

Sunday, August 19, 2018
Hey there you lot! I'm super excited to finally be writing this book review for you guys. As I mentioned in my post about all the books I've been wanting to read lately, I've been a fan of Lucy Dillon's writing for several years now but it seems they've stopped releasing US editions of her latest books. Luckily, I visited London this past spring so I picked up one of the books I hadn't gotten my hands on yet. I would have grabbed all her books if it weren't for my already overstuffed suitcase, but I only had room for one so One Small Act Of Kindness was the lucky winner.

lucy dillon one small act of kindness review book novel chick lit fiction popular read book cuddle snuggle hygge warm white linen grey sheets

We once again return to Dillon's fictitious village of Longhampton (quickly becoming one of my favorite places to live in my mind) where Libby and her husband Jason have recently taken over operations at Jason's family's hotel. His dad recently passed and his mom was struggling to keep the place afloat herself so they moved back from London try breath some new life into the business. Libby is directing a substantial renovation of the hotel and hopes to turn it into a nice boutique experience for all her old friends back in London to come love. Jason is learning a lot about renovations and has taken on the DIY work full-time after having left his lucrative London finance job. Libby and Jason are doing well on the outside, but underneath and definitely not in front of Libby's mother-in-law, they're still working through some marital ripples left in the wake of this giant life change.

Libby doesn't really know many people in Longhampton aside from her husband and mother-in-law. That only changes when she responds to a car accident while out walking her dog (it wouldn't be a Lucy Dillon novel if a dog wasn't involved) and helps an unconscious woman make it safely to the hospital. When Libby visits a few days after the accident, the woman is perfectly fine -- except she has no idea who she is. Despite this, Libby and the mystery woman, who decides to call herself Pippa, form a friendship. When Pippa has nowhere to go home to, at least not that she can remember, she takes up residence at the family hotel until she can regain her memory. Together they navigate the renovation, some marital ups and downs, mother-in-law drama and figuring out just who Pippa is after all.

lucy dillon one small act of kindness review book novel chick lit fiction popular read coffee mug tea cozy hygge hot drink beverage

I absolutely loved this book. It was heartwarming, comfortable, compelling and just the right amount of suspenseful. I even stayed up into the wee hours of the night to tear through the last pages because I so badly wanted to know how it ended, and boy was I not disappointed. It was a satisfying in a girl power meets first kiss with your crush kind of way and there's not much better than that. There were a surprising number of themes throughout this book, especially compared to your average chick lit novel รก la Sophie Kinsella, etc. (Nothing against those books intended! Just drawing a comparison.) Without trying to give anything away, the book hits on marriage and relationships, in-law dynamics, aging, loss, insecurity, and female friendships. Each of the characters had their own list of problems, flaws and strengths, which intertwined nicely to create an interesting web of storylines.

There were only a couple things that I didn't like as much in this book. Sometimes the juxtaposition of Libby's problems, which tended to be rooted more in material insecurities, with Pippa's problems made it hard to really take Libby seriously, but in the end Dillon did a good job of making Libby just likable enough for us to overlook that. The storyline centering on Libby and Jason's marriage too often seems to have relied on miscommunication to drive the plot, which is a pet peeve of mine. Communicate already people! The marriage storyline doesn't really wrap up in a very satisfying way either. It feels a bit rushed and contrived. Then again I wasn't that invested in it to begin with so I didn't feel like I missed much; The better storylines were all the female character subplots anyway.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It's nothing like I expected. For some reason I assumed from the back cover that the mysterious unconscious woman was going to be an elderly woman and from the title that it would have more to do with a chain of charitable events or something -- I was wrong on both counts. I loved what it actually ended up being, characters and story in all and I can't forget the icing on all of Lucy Dillon's cakes: getting to revisit old Longhampton characters, and their dogs, from previous novels. Go find a copy, somehow. You will not be disappointed.


Bullet Journal Update

Sunday, August 12, 2018
Once upon a time, I wrote exclusively about my Bullet Journal on this blog. (No idea what a Bullet Journal is? Read this first.) It was right when I first started Bullet Journaling and I was using it as not only an organizational tool, but also a creative outlet. I had found a safe place to play. A blank slate within the garden walls of structure. My first few notebooks were really colorful places, filled with lots of experimentation and even more washi tape.

That style was perfect for me at that time but as the months rolled on I started feeling more pressure to keep it up (which I wrote about it some here). When I started a new notebook in 2017, I took a completely different approach. I went minimal. And it's stuck! A year and a half later, I'm still rocking the exact same notebook, pen, ruler, and basic layouts. Since it's been quite awhile since I've shared some Bullet Journal goodness, let's do that today!

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook weekly minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace

First off, my weekly. I ditched dailies almost right away in favor of a single weekly spread. I found the month view to be too broad of a picture when I just wanted to know what I was up to next Thursday or jot down a task for tomorrow. Nowadays I have a super simple weekly layout. Four lines per page, two pages for each week. I use the extra area for general notes and tasks for the week that aren't assigned to specific days. I always write the dates of the week on the top of each page, using the same style and in the same place. This layout has drastically simplified my weekly setup and it's super functional to boot.

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace ruler monthly overview calendar budget money plan log

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace gratitude thankful log mindful positive good thoughts happy happiness

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace habit tracker goals focus tasks to do list

My monthly pages are equally as simple. Each month I include a monthly overview page with one line for each day, a page for budgeting out each paycheck, a gratitude log with a single line for each day and a page to write a few goals for the month. The focus/goals page is pretty flexible, but I usually write out what I want to post here each week and sometimes I'll include a few habit trackers. This month my focus is on relaxation and self care after a really busy July and I don't even think I'll include any trackers and that's totally fine! You can see what my small habit trackers look like on last month's pages. Super minimal and really easy to fill out -- just a "--" for completed or an "X" not completed.

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace yearly annual calendar index events mini

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace collection reading log list books authors read

My annual setup has been pretty much the same since I started Bullet Journaling however. I always draw a little calendar, the month name and then leave space for birthdays and anniversaries before any tasks or events. It's been working really well so there's no need to switch it up! I also include a few of the same pages each year like a reading log, some wardrobe planning/review notes and some financial goal pages. This year I have been trying to focus on only creating pages when I need them, so the number of pages I create a the front of my Bullet Journal each year has definitely shrunk. Next year I'll probably even cut out a few more, so it's definitely a fluctuating and adaptable process.

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace collection garden log tracking list vegetable fruit

bullet journal bujo planner planning schedule calendar dotted notebook minimal minimalist black and white staedtler triplus fineliner pen gold jewelry box earrings necklace strategy organize

Collections in my old Bullet Journals tended to be really elaborate and decorated. There was a lot of time spent planning the layout, and then I'd often times just never get around to it because I didn't have any new layout ideas. But what's a Bullet Journal if it's not useful? I gave up on all the layouts and now I just use the exact layout for each collection -- the collection name written at the top of the page in the same style I write every page header. Simple as.

And just because you're so great for making it all the way down here, I'll leave you with my favorite Bullet Journal hack so far. If you're worried about running out of pages, or ending up with too many extra pages after the year is up, take a few minutes at the beginning of the year to divide up your notebook by month. I write the page numbers that each month can comfortably take up in the back of my notebook so I always have it handy. It eases my mind when I have a ton of collections I'm adding and I want to make sure I won't run out of space later!

That's a wrap on my Bullet Journal update. I've really found my grove with my notebook. I love how simple it looks and how stress-free it feels. I hope you guys enjoyed taking a peek! Let me know if you have any questions!

On Turning 30

Sunday, August 5, 2018
thirty birthday new decade celebration party age grey sweater white wall bangs girl woman

It finally happened. This last week I left my twenties behind and traded them in for a fresh new decade -- my thirties.

I started out my twenties in the UK, living on my own for the first time. At the time, I was used to living on campus only a few feet from the building most of my classes were held in, and working just across the street from that. When I studied abroad, not only was I learning about Victorian-era British novels (my concentration) in the very city most of them were written in, but I was also learning basics like doing my own grocery shopping and cooking, traveling alone, navigating public transport and remembering to request vote-by-mail ballots. Looking back now, I was basically a child pretending to be an adult in a brand new country.

When I returned to the US, I finished school, I got accepted into grad school, didn't go and took my first adult job instead. I broke up with my first boyfriend. I moved into an apartment by myself. I bought a car. I spent almost every summer evening with my best friend lounging in the sun at my apartment pool until sundown and then making something unhealthy, cheap and easy for dinner around nine and maybe doing a chore or two. Every weekend all my friends flocked to the downtown bars. We were such staples that bartenders started making our usuals when they saw us walking down the street, heading toward their bar. It was a fun, carefree, probably irresponsible time and we all had a blast.

I got a little older and instead of hitting the bars every weekend, we started opting for dinners at restaurants instead. We were growing into our foodie ways of today I guess. Almost accidentally I bought a house and suddenly had to start thinking about things like interest rates and liability. My 250k+ mile 1995 Honda Civic got traded in for a car that wasn't covered in rust, missing rear-view mirrors and rocking half-broken stereo speakers. I started a small garden. I got promotions at work and started making some decent money. Another serious relationship came and eventually went, but left me actually thinking about things like marriage and kids as I never had before.

Now we're all settling down. Friends have gone on to get advanced degrees, get married, get divorced, suffer loses, talk about having kids, buy houses and start retirement accounts. We consider ourselves party animals when we make it to midnight whenever we get together. Gone are the nights spent seeking out the high energy parties, and instead we gather at our homes and share homemade meals and a few drinks.

thirty birthday new decade celebration party age mountain yosemite couple hike outdoor

I know we've been indoctrinated to believe that our twenties are our best years and we should be sad to leave them behind, but I'm not at all. I had a great time in my twenties and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but this sense of self I have now makes me very excited for the future. A sense of calm seems to have swept over all of us. Our friendships are firmly rooted, we know who we are and what we want and we're okay being frank about it.

Obviously big changes are already in store for me in my thirties since I'm getting married next year, but after that I really don't know what life will bring. I'm undecided on having kids, I don't plan on making any big career changes anytime soon and I'm already living in the house I can see us happy in for several years to come. All I know is that I want is to continue to travel and see new places, read as much as I can, make a home that feels like my own and enjoy simple but fulfilling time with my friends and family. I hope I'll continue to be as lucky in this next decade as I have been in this past decade and that I'll carry on growing this strong sense of self I'm starting to enjoy now.

Bring it on thirties.