1. I know dry shampoo has been the thing for quite a while but it has taken me time to come around to it. At first I didn’t really have a need for it but over the past year or two, I’ve changed some of my hair routine and have found it to be useful in some situations. I wanted to test out a wide variety of them to be able to make a good recommendation for you guys, and I can finally say with confidence that Aveda dry shampoo is by far my favorite of the many that I tried. I love the applicator method, it smells good, and it works WAY better than any other kind I have tried. One bottle also lasts much longer than any of the aerosol versions.
  2. I finally got around to upgrading my iPhone and as such, I needed a new case. Unfortunately that kind of decision is coooommpletely overwhelming to me. There are just TOO many good options out there. After I narrowed it down to about 20 top choices, my friends helped me narrow it down further and this Slay case ended up being the clear winner. I mean really, how would I not get a case that was in some way a reference to Beyonce? Not even an option.
  3. Sandals a summer necessity, and I have been seriously in love with my Sseko Designs ribbon sandals since I bought them in the spring. The soles themselves are way more comfortable than any sandal I have ever owned, and of course I love the seemingly endless options for tying them in different styles. I can’t recommend these highly enough!
  4. These vintage filigree and pearl earrings from Erin McDermott were instant love at first sight for me. I adore both pearls and filigree so it was like they were made for me! Erin has generously offered a coupon code for any readers interested in purchasing a pair – use code annieseats for 30% off these lovely earrings.
  5. I have never been much of a hat person but I’m also not really into prematurely aged skin, so this year I decided to investigate hats a bit. After some research, I came across Pachacuti hats and am completely enamored with their business philosophy towards fair trade and sustainability practices. This hat was a great piece to have on our recent trip to Cali and I know it will be a wardrobe staple for many, many years to come!
  6. It seems like I have so many dresses, but I realized almost my entire dress collection is geared more toward workwear and I was lacking light, summery dresses. I decided to invest in this lovely halter swing dress from Symbology and I absolutely love it! It is such a perfect little number for summertime.
  7. I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to purses, bags, and such. I generally carry only a simple wristlet and replace it every 1-2 years when they get worn out. This Cedar Street Kate Spade wristlet is my new sidekick and I adore it! It comes in so many pretty colors but I couldn’t resist the blush pink.

(Related: Summer fashion post coming very soon, either later this week or first thing next week. Workout wear post is in the works but I’m taking my time to make sure I can give the best recommendations possible!)

 

I’ll be sharing more about our recent trip to California soon, but for now let me just say that this trip was a mega success as far as food was concerned. I don’t think we had a single bad meal, and many were exceptional! I couldn’t resist adding some new cookbooks to my collection from some of the restaurants we visited. Tacolicious, Tartine Bread and The Slanted Door are all recent additions and all have been fabulous to cook from so far. I recommend all three!

Our trip was also a great time to get some reading done. Two of my favorite recent reads are pictured above.

Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt – This is an extremely well researched, thorough and sound examination of the current state of abortion rights in our country. She says herself that the book is unlikely to sway those in the anti-choice camp, but for everyone else and particularly for those she refers to as the “muddled middle”, this book is simply a must read. This is a very important topic to be informed on and even if you thought you knew your stuff before, I have no doubt there is still much you will learn from this book.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – I’ll admit that when I first heard about this book, I didn’t really get the point of it. A book about creative living? What is that exactly? Well, let me tell you. It is a very quick and highly enjoyable read thanks to the unique conversational tone that Gilbert strikes with her readers. While I wouldn’t say that I actually gained a lot from this particular read, I can say that it thoroughly resonated with me. What I mean is that much of how Gilbert describes a creative existence is very much the way that I live naturally. For the many readers who often ask me how I do all that I do (which always makes me feel a little embarrassed, to be perfectly honest) I think this book answers that question far better than I ever could. She covers so many important aspects that often stand in the way of people following their creative impulses – fear, permission, and many more. I read some reviews of this book that dogged on it for not offering more practical advice that could be put to use immediately, but I feel that take is missing the point entirely. Whether you are already in touch with your creative soul or are hoping to make progress in that area, this book is worth a read.

Though my knitting needles have slowed down a bit lately, my sewing machine has been in high gear. These are just a few of the things that have come off of my sewing table recently.

The Akita top from Seamwork is the first thing I have made for myself in a while but I am really happy with how it turned out. I had some Purl Soho linen grid begging to be used up, and this top seemed a perfect option. This is made with a single swath of fabric and a LOT of bias tape. While I love bias tape for many reasons, I do not enjoy having to make four yards of it which was the amount required for this project. The project is billed as being quick because of the one piece construction, but just expect that it takes a bit more time than estimated. This was my first time making a garment with darts, and I really liked the way they turned out. Overall this a great staple to have in your closet. With so many fabric and print options, this is one I will likely make again and again.

I have been doing a great job with my goal to make most or all of Caroline’s clothes for this spring and summer, and we have bought her very little. These are a couple favorite things I have made her recently. I have made the Lotta dress from Compagnie M before, but this time I used an invisible zipper for the back closure and now I love this pattern even more. The fabrics I used are Liberty tana lawn 2015 Deborah with Robert Kaufman Cambridge lawn in dusty pink for the contrasting portions.

My newest favorite pattern are these adorable city shorts from Purl Soho. These are a ridiculously quick project to whip up and, at least in Caroline’s size, they can be made from a pretty small amount of fabric. I have some random squares from a fat quarter bundle with no real purpose, and each one had just the right amount. These do require making bias tape (unless you use some that is pre-made) but the quantity is much less than the top above, so it’s not a big deal. (The fabric pictured here is Cotton + Steel tangrams in indigo, though mine was purchased locally.)
Lastly and by far most importantly, are the horrifying events that have been happening around our nation, and around the world, the past few weeks (but really, so much longer.) I am at a total loss for words to capture the complex range of emotions all of this inspires – disbelief, sadness, despair, confusion, rage, and maybe, just maybe, hope mixed somewhere in there too. This article What It’s Like to be Black in Naperville, America by Brian Crooks is…haunting. Telling. Cringe-worthy. Important. So important, there should be a whole other word for it. This reminds me so much of the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which stays with me and which I still think about on a daily basis. Live with your eyes open. Live thoughtfully and with intention. See the problems we face, and find a way to be part of the solution.