1. I’ve never given much thought to my luggage, given that I only travel a two or three times most years, but my good old Target suitcase that I have had forever finally bit the dust. Since this past month included three weeks of travel, it was time for an upgrade. But not too fancy, because it’s still luggage and it’s still going to get thrown around and busted up eventually.  I found this Diane von Furstenberg suitcase from Zappos just a few days before we left for Italy and instantly fell in love. Isn’t it pretty? I love that it has a cute vintage look but it still extremely sturdy. It does come in a larger size but I wanted to be sure it would work as a carry on and not require checking so I went with the 24″. Many of you asked for a packing-related post – I promise, it is coming, but will probably up be early next week.

2. This paperwhites shirtdress from Anthro has been my summer champion. I ordered it in the spring and waited anxiously for it to come in while it was backordered. Let me tell you, this one was well worth the wait! The online listing does not do it justice. The shirtdress style in combination with the pretty embroidery on the front makes it work for just about any situation. It also happens to be super soft and comfortable. And now it’s on sale – even better for you guys!

3. We’ve got at least a month or two before things start shifting to deeper, more muted shades, so for now let’s celebrate summer with this little lipstick wonder. I was already a fan of Bite lipsticks but this duo made me majorly love them! This is a mini lipstick with two awesome colors (lingonberry and tangerine), and the slim profile makes it easy to take just about anywhere. I actually love it so much that I bought an extra one because it is listed as limited edition and I can’t bear to run out of it. I also bought one of the more neutral shades (fig and date) and they are pretty too, though the neutrals aren’t as much my style.

4. I’m not much of a belt wearer in general but when I purchased this dress (as featured in the last Things I’m Loving) it absolutely required a belt to give it some shape. After much deliberation, I eventually settled on this chevron braided belt from J.Crew in both the grey and pale pink shades. For someone who usually doesn’t love belts, I could not love these more! And again, they are on sale now. Score!

5. As with almost every Sephora item I fall in love with these days, it all started with a sample. I got a mini bottle of this Fresh soy face cleanser with some of my Sephora points mainly because I am such a big fan of Fresh products in general. This cleanser is wonderful! It leaves my skin clean and smooth without drying it out, but my favorite feature is that it is so mild you can use it to remove eye makeup as well. I am such a fan of eliminating that extra step before going to bed each night. Needless to say, I have since purchased the full size bottle.

6. Since you all didn’t mind my sharing with you last edition about excellent underwear, hopefully you won’t mind me sharing this time around about what I am convinced is the most comfortable bra ever. My impractical fashion conscious side prevents me from buying boring yet functional bras and I’m always looking for something that is pretty. This is both pretty and exceedingly comfortable. How often can you really say that about a bra? Especially if you are top heavy as I am, I’m sure you understand what a rarity this is. I wish it came in 20 colors because I would buy them all!

7. It’s been a minute since I added any new shoes to my collection but I had some coupon codes and rewards to use that got me these navy gingham pumps from Sole Society for cheap. I have had my eye on them for quite a while but wasn’t sure how much wear I would get out of them, being such a statement shoe. As it turns out, I have already put them to great use. The gingham is perfect as a statement print because it is eye catching but mellow enough that it can work with so many different outfits. I LOVE these shoes!

I don’t feel like I’ve had much time for crafting lately but now looking back through my photos, it seems that I have been fairly productive after all! Also I have been slowly working on bringing together a dedicated area in our house for my sewing, knitting and other crafting and it is finally close to being finished. Can’t wait to share that with you all! Here are some notes on the projects pictured above.

We have been loving rompers for Caroline this summer, so I was SUPER excited when I came across an adorable free pattern from Purl Bee for sewing your own. I had bought this pink polka dot fabric months back knowing Caroline would love it, and was waiting for the perfect project to put it to use. This was my first time sewing with elastic. I was nervous but the whole thing was a breeze! It probably only took a few hours total from start to finish, and we absolutely love the finished product. I’m definitely going to make at least one or two more to get us through the end of summer.

For most of the parties I throw, I buy fabric to cover the table as a cheap and easily customized tablecloth option. Afterward, I end up with a huge swath of fabric and no plans. Not so anymore, now that I can sew! This time I used the tablecloth from Caroline’s rainbow party and made the women’s robe pattern from Purl Bee (it is a paid pattern but is one of the free options you can get if you sign up for their email list. That’s how I got mine.) I wasn’t sure how well the whole tablecloth to robe thing would work out but I love the finished project! It is so cute and comfy. I’ll definitely be making more of these to gift! I made the above the knee version but on short little me it still went below the knees, so I ended up modifying it and cutting a few extra inches off the bottom before hemming. It’s a much better length for a light summer robe now.

For our recent trip to Maine (coming soon to the blog!), I had the urge to knit something navy and white stripes. The nautical leanings and lighthouses inspired me, I suppose! I chose this free aptly named pattern On the Beach. I loved the way this turned out and it was a good thing I brought this sweater because our first couple of days there were a bit chilly. I would definitely make this project again.

I’ve been trying to sew a few new things for Caroline to wear with the start of the school year and the Mara blouse from Compagnie M was one of them. However, I sewed a full size too big to extend her wearing time and she ended up with basically a tunic dress. It’s SO cute though! With the pin tucks and (in this case) a contrasting chambray yoke, this J.Crew lover is feeling pretty proud of this project. I will probably make this pattern again soon, a size or two down, to get an actual blouse out of it and maybe try one of the other sleeve options (the pattern offers several.)

With all the traveling I have been doing lately, I haven’t had quite as much time for actual book reading and some recent books I have read, I don’t like enough to recommend. However, I did listen to a couple of audiobooks during flights, etc. and those were great. One was Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I don’t think I could love Amy more given her creation of Smart Girls and this book was a really enjoyable, funny and down to earth peek into her life. She’s going to keep rocking for a long time to come, no doubt. The other book I listened to while traveling and LOVED was Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. It’s hard to articulate just why or how much I adore David Sedaris but if you have listened to him read any of his essays, you probably understand. And if you understand, then you get me and we should probably be friends. Though I generally prefer the act of reading to listening to an audiobook, hearing David read his work is exactly as it should always be, in my opinion. (Hoping to have more regular book recommendations soon – love the book I am reading currently but it is quite long and I’m only part way through.)

Okay, last thing. For all those fellow Serial lovers who have been jonesing for a fix of the case of The State vs. Adnan Syed, have you been listening to Undisclosed? Is it BLOWING YOUR MIND?! That’s what it does for me each and every week. I must admit that when I first heard about it, I was super skeptical, particularly given that Rabia Chaudry (Adnan’s most avid supporter and champion) was one of the driving forces. The first couple of episodes I was still unsure how I felt about the whole thing. However, the incredible detail and investigative work that has been put into this podcast is pretty astounding. If only the original murder investigation had been given the same time and effort, right? Each week it seems the Undisclosed team blows gigantic holes in another portion of the state’s original case. If the motion Adnan’s attorney filed is successful and if Adnan is granted a new trial, I would be amazed to see what would happen with competent legal counsel and proper investigation on his side. Are you listening? What do you think? What will Jay’s next version of events be?

Disclaimer:  These posts are a way for me to share the things I love with you, simply because I love them!  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This helps to offset the costs of running this site and allows me to continue providing you the content you enjoy.