Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday Favorites

It's been a really rainy, chilly, and gloomy this week, so I've been staying inside a lot more. I've been going out for a few minutes here and there when I can, but I've been really focusing on cozy sweaters and getting lost in a book in the evenings.

I think the weather plus the darkness at night coming earlier and earlier is just making me even more confused than I have been about time! While I'm still not sure how it's already the end of October, it also feels like it should be November by now. It just feels more and more difficult to keep track of the days and months. I've been relying heavily on my Google calendar and making sure it's up-to-date.

With all that being said... on to this week's favorites.

 


ONE - Pretty Pointelle Sweater
I picked this up during J.Crew's last sale - they've really been hitting it out of the park with their clothes lately! I love the color, I love how soft it is, and I love the details of the pointelle stitching and ruffles on the bottoms of the sleeve. And if you're looking for something more neutral, there's also a tan, black, and white version!


TWO - What the Constitution Means to Me
Since I've been spending more time inside, I've also been looking for good things to watch. Prime Video has a recorded version of the play What the Constitution Means to Me. It's a really great play on it's own, but my favorite part was the end, where the playwright has a quasi-improved debate with a high school/college student. It's so impressive! This was a great interview with the two student debaters.

 

THREE - Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright Home
I may have shared this before, I can't remember! But every time I read the story about how Frank Lloyd Wright designed a house for a man who started to use a wheelchair after a medical procedure gone awry, I get such chills. This quote really sums it all up (but you should still read the whole thing): “It was a very close collaboration between the Laurents and Wright, and that was very unusual for him. But Wright recognized that only Ken could tell him what his specific needs were before he could begin his design process to address them.”

 

FOUR - What AOC Does in a Day
I love this series, and AOC's is especially great. The mix of personal + political is perfect, and I'm always curious about what exactly politicians do with their days, whether they're at their home districts or in Washington. This is a nice little inside look.


FIVE - Everything in Michelle Obama's Assistant's Bag
I love a good "what's in your bag," and this one is definitely good. I aspire to be as prepared and organized as Chynna Clayton is! I can't imagine how exciting and yet incredible stressful her job must be.


 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Recent Reads

 Time for another monthly book round up! These are some of my favorite posts to write. As much as I love reading, it's a habit like anything else - and it can be all too easy to get lost in a Netflix re-watch instead of taking the time to get lost in a book! But knowing that I have these posts to write helps me keep my reading habit "active." Plus, writing a few sentences about each book helps keep the plots fresh in my mind!

 Oh, and a little note - if you follow the links to any of these books, you'll be taken to a really cool site called bookshop.org. It's a way to buy books online but financially support local bookshops! I also now have a "shop" there where you can find all of the books I've read in one easy place. I'm still working on getting all of my previously read books there, but September and October 2020 are up and running.

Here are the books that I've read over the past month.



They Wish They Were Us by Jessican Goodman
This book reminded me of both Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars - it's a twisted, young adult mystery filled with lots of high school drama. It follows the cool group at an elite high school, with all of the usual misbehaving... but also with a pall hanging over all of the good times by the murder of one of their friends (not a spoiler - you find out on the first page!). It's full of twists and turns as they (and I) try to figure out who was actually responsible.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this, because it's a bit more fantasy than I usually read. But the story was so beautiful that I couldn't stop myself from reading. It's all about a group of magical orphans, in a time where magic is feared and those who are magical have to be registered and watched. So there's clearly a very poignant social allegory, and there's also a little romance subplot. I ended up really loving it.


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
I've come to realize that I read a lot of books that split between two eras in time and two groups of characters who end up connected in some way - this is the first of two on this month's list. This book is set inside New York City's library, and I love a good book about books! There's also a mystery about lost rare books/manuscripts, and connections across generations. It also let me imagine what it would be like to be a library caretaker and live in a little apartment inside the library! What a dream.


My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I was inspired to read this after RBG's passing, but I probably should have looked a little more closely into what it actually was. It's less of a story/memoir and more of a collection of different speeches, decisions, and essays that she wrote over the years. Of course, it's an incredible testament to her life and her work, but it's also pretty dry and dense at times. I enjoyed it, and I learned a lot, but it was not an easy read.


The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
This is the second book that trades off chapters between characters and time periods. A young girl goes to Paris after her grandmother's death and follows clues to find out more about her grandmother's life, and the life of her grandmother's sister who she had never heard of. There are Nazis and spies, and of course, a romance or two. This wasn't my absolute favorite - some of the plot points were a little bit unbelievable to me - but it's still a good read.


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
This was by far my favorite book from the month. It's by the same author who wrote Homegoing, but it's a completely different type of story. The main character is from Ghana but has lived in Alabama for years, and this struggle between two worlds continues to play out in other aspects of her life - mainly, her pull between science and her childhood faith. The story isn't always happy, but it is raw and touching, and I didn't want the book to end.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Quarantine Beauty Update

 It's kind of still unbelievable to me how much my day-to-day makeup routine has changed in the last six months. I never was a full face of makeup person, but I wore foundation, blush, powder, mascara, and eyebrow gel pretty much every day. 

Now, I have my routine down to three very simple products. I've done a more elaborate version of my makeup (the version that I used to do every day!) only a handful of times since March, and it honestly feels kind of strange to do. I never thought I'd be comfortable with such a minimal makeup look, but I'm really learning to love and embrace it! So I thought I'd update you on my new makeup routine.

 

ONE - Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Fluid Powder Foundation
I should preface this by saying that I have truly very oily skin. This liquid-to-powder foundation works perfectly for me because of that, but if you have even slightly dry skin, it's probably not going to work for you. It's super, super sheer and very thin and liquidy - I just use my fingers to apply. Because it's liquid-to-powder, it sets super quickly, so I apply it to my face in sections at a time so it doesn't set before I rub it in. But once it's set, it really does last all day long. And because it's so sheer, I don't feel like I'm wearing makeup at all, which is exactly what I was going for.


TWO - Marc Jacobs At Lash'd Mascara
I've been using this mascara for months now, so this isn't a new product, just a favorite. It's great for lengthening without weighing down, and without flaking or clumping. It's not waterproof, so it comes off easily at the end of the day, and it doesn't irritate my eyes at all.


THREE - Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper
I was in the market for a new eyebrow gel recently - the one that I was using from Anastasia was great, but it was so heavy duty that it took real effort to take it off at tthe end of the day! I wanted something a bit more low maintenance and natural. I tried this from Bobbi Brown and also Boy Brow from Glossier. Both were great, but I prefer the slightly larger brush of the Bobbi Brown. I wear the shade "mahogany," and I think it's a perfect color match for me.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Perfect Oversized Sweater

 Now that I'm working from home, my day-to-day wardrobe has definitely changed. I always cared about comfort in clothes, but now I'm prioritizing it even more. I absolutely refuse to wear something that's not totally comfortable just to sit in my house all day! That means for fall, I'm finding myself wanting to wear only the softest sweaters that make me feel perfectly cozy.

As a petite person, I tend to shy away from things that are oversized or boyfriend fit, because they can end up swallowing me. But sometimes, when you're really looking for comfort, there's really nothing like something a little big and loose. And since I'm really embracing comfort right now, after I saw this sweater on Carly's blog I decided to give it a try!

 
 

And I'm so glad that I did. It's definitely a bit more oversized than I'm used to, but I'm into it. It's also so soft inside, which just adds to it's overall cozy feel! The "henley" style actually reminds me a lot of the style of tops that were in style when I was in middle school, but the fact that it's a sweater gives it a bit more of a grown-up feel. 

I also really love the blue color - surprisingly, even though I love blue, I didn't really have anything this color in my closet! But if you're more of a neutral person, this also comes in grey and cream (and a pretty pink too). I've been trying to add more color into my winter wardrobe (especially since all you see on Zoom is the top half of my outfit, ha!), and this blue was the perfect way to do it. I'm already daydreaming about wearing this sweater and being so nice and cozy while reading a great book.

As a bonus - this sweater (and many others!) is 40% off with code SNEAKPEEK through tomorrow!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday Favorites

Last week's big news was getting my flu shot, this week's is that I sent in my mail-in ballot so I can officially say that I voted! I triple checked to make sure that I had followed the instructions properly to make sure that my vote will be counted, and it was really such a simple process. I hope that you all have a voting plan, too - whether you're voting by mail, voting early, or in-person on Election Day. And if you're still not sure who you're voting for, check out my post from earlier this month about my reasons for voting here.

 

Now, on to this week's favorites!

ONE - Legally Blonde Reunion
Legally Blonde is one of my favorite rom-coms - I have seen it many, many times; it's just a classic to me! I loved watching the cast virtually reunite, and loved hearing the news that we'll be getting Legally Blonde 3 (eventually) even more!


TWO - Nespresso on Sale
My Nespresso machine is on sale at Williams-Sonoma (I talked about it in this post)! I know it's still pricey, but having it has made my pandemic life so much better. It's the little things like a tasty cappuccino that just makes my day a little bit better.


THREE - Students on Zoom
I love this cute video of kids when their teacher drops off their Zoom accidentally. Their stream-of-consciousness conversations had me cracking up!


FOUR - Lo & Sons Sale
I have wanted an O.G. bag from Lo & Sons for a few years now, but just couldn't stomach the price. They're having a major factory sale on certain colors/styles right now, though, and I got the O.G. 2 in grey for 70% off!


FIVE - Biden + Voters with Disabilities
Last, but definitely not least - I absolutely loved this op-ed written by a woman with Down Syndrome about why she's voting for Joe Biden. It's another great reminder of what people with disabilities lose risking if Biden isn't elected.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Perfect Swing Dress

 I'm definitely dressing a lot more casual this year than most, but I still find myself reaching for a dress every so often. There's something about getting a little more done up that makes me feel a little more normal, at least for a short while! I'm usually a big dress person, so it's nice to revisit even if I'm just getting dressed up for me.

Not all dresses are ideal for sitting - some of them are too tight on the legs and tend to ride way up when you're seated. So I try to look for something that has some flow or swing at least on the skirt of the dress, both for looks and comfort.

 


As soon as I saw this dress online, I knew that it would be perfect on me.  Not only is the skirt flowy and swingy - the whole dress is! It's loose and flowy without making you look like a shapeless paper bag. The v-neck exposes just a little bit of skin and helps to balance out the shape of the dress. I love the way the pleats add some fun texture to the dress, and I like that it's fully lined, too. And because it's 2020 and I now require this of all my clothes - it's SO comfortable.


 

I know that the holidays are going to take a different form this year - I hope that no one has plans for huge, in-person gatherings. But I still think this dress would be perfect for Thanksgiving, even if you're having a low-key day. Dressing up for the day might even help make you feel a little more festive. And of course... having a waist-less dress on a holiday with a big meal never hurts!

Also - can we talk about the color?! It's also offered in a black and a deep red, but I really loved this metallic tan/bronze color! It's so perfect for fall, and the metallic really takes the dress to another level. I felt so chic wearing it, even though I had nowhere to go. It's definitely a new favorite!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Lift the Limit Update

Almost a year ago (wow - I can't believe how time flies!) I shared a post about Lifting the Limit. You can read that post here.

 

As a quick refresher/recap of what that means - my personal care attendants (PCAs) who help me get out of bed, use the bathroom, take a shower, get dressed, etc., are paid through a state program called Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD). People with disabilities who have a job pay into MAWD each month to receive these services - it's basically like paying an insurance premium each month. The amount you pay is dependent on your income; it works like a sliding scale. 

However - and this is a big caveat - that sliding scale currently tops out at $62,500. Once you make over $62,500, you're no longer eligible for MAWD, and you're responsible for paying for all of your PCAs out of pocket. For someone like me, who needs hours of care each day, it would be impossible to pay for my care plus my daily needs on a salary of $63,000 (or even $70,000 or $80,000). So people with disabilities are forced to remain unemployed or underemployed to keep their care.

This sounds abstract, but it has had very real implications in my life. When I was searching for jobs earlier this year, I had to look at the salary range listed... not to make sure they were high enough to fit my experience level, but to make sure they weren't too high. And recently, my sister had to negotiate down a raise that came along with a promotion, because it would've put her over the limit. I'm pretty sure that these are concerns that most people without disabilities never, ever have to think about.

That's why I've been working with the United Way to ask Pennsylvania legislators to "lift the limit" on how much I'm allowed to earn and still keep my PCA services. Things were going well with our advocacy efforts... and then COVID hit. Obviously, there were pressing public health issues for legislators to deal with in March. Now, while COVID is still very much a part of our lives, legislators are also getting back to some other regularly scheduled programming. News versions of the bill have been making their way around the state House and Senate.

But here's where you all come in- we could use your help! We need to make sure that things keep moving forward. For that to happen, we need Representative Rapp to bring the bill forward for a vote. The more people who tell her that this is an important issue to them, the more likely she is to move it forward! So if you have a moment, I'd love for you to e-mail Representative Rapp (klrapp@pahousegop.com) to make this happen. 

You can say whatever you'd like in the e-mail, but if you'd like a script of sorts, you can use this:

Dear Representative Rapp,

I'm writing to ask you to move SB 890 forward for a vote. I think people with disabilities deserve the right to work in fulfilling jobs just like everyone else, and this bill would help them do that. I know that the people with disabilities in my life would greatly benefit from this bill being passed.

Thank you all so much in advance for your help. It means so much to me that you are all so supportive for my passion for disability justice!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Where I Buy My Cashmere

The minute that the temperature drops, I pull out my cashmere and basically wear it nonstop until it's time to put away my sweaters. It's the ultimate comfort for me - there's nothing like dressing cozily when it's chilly outside. Personally, I also really appreciate how thin but yet still warm it is... with my limited mobility, adding on bulky layers can make it hard for me to easily move my arms! I definitely don't have that issue with cashmere.

 


Since I've done some cashmere "research," and found my favorite brands and styles, I thought I'd share where I buy my cashmere.


ONE - J.Crew
I hadn't ordered cashmere from J.Crew before this year, and now it's one of my favorites. It's super soft and cozy - I think it's the softest of all the cashmere that I own! It's a bit thinner than some of the other brands, but definitely still warm. The leopard sweater in the picture above is J.Crew! I know J.Crew sizing can be all over the place, sometimes, but I've found their sweaters to be more consistent - the XXS fits me really, really well.


TWO - Everlane
This is my tried-and-true favorite place to go for cashmere. The quality is consistently high, I love how many colors there are to choose from, and it's warm. It feels a bit thicker than the J.Crew for sure, which makes it ideal for slightly chillier days. The sweaters really hold up well year to year, which is important to me. Again, the XXS fits me basically perfectly. As a bonus - it's on sale for $25 off today!


THREE - Bloomingdale's AQUA
This is Bloomingdale's in-house cashmere line - the quality is great, but it's definitely on the pricier side. This is where I get my drape-front cashmere cardigans - it's unbelievably warm, and super soft. It's great for layering and keeping cozy! I have the black, but I really love this Heather Brown color. Also - the AQUA line has lots of other style options if you're not a cardigan person.


FOUR - Uniqlo
The cashmere from Uniqlo is super warm, but probably the least soft and cozy of the four stores. Uniqlo cashmere tends to go on sale a few times throughout the year, so if you watch their site you can get a really amazing deal on cashmere! And while you're there, pick up some heat tech, too!


Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday Favorites

The big news from my week this week is that I actually left my house! I got my flu shot at a drive through flu clinic - I didn't even have to get out of the car. Getting a flu shot is so, so important this year more than ever. I'm really glad that I was able to get one without having to worry about COVID exposure.

Enjoy this picture I took through the car window to commemorate my first car ride since March.

 

Now, on to this week's favorites.


ONE - Mandy Patinkin
I love Mandy Patinkin so much - you might know his as Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride (and if you don't, you should!). This is a great interview, and has some really great wisdom in it about appreciation and not focusing too much on things that have gone wrong.


TWO - Dolly Parton Autocomplete Interview
I'm not a huge Dolly Parton fan - it's not that I dislike her music, I just haven't listened to much of it! But I watched a documentary about her on Netflix and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. And then this Autocomplete interview popped up on my YouTube, and now I think I'm a new Dolly fan!


THREE - Vote Necklace
I've really been into supporting small jewelers this year, and this is a new-to-me small business that I now love! They made the vote necklace that I'm wearing in this post, but they have so many other cute options, too.

 

FOUR - Kamala Harris Interview
I really love this interview that Elle published with Kamala Harris. It's a great read overall, but I especially love the emphasis on optimism. I think we could all use more of that right now!


FIVE - Ranking Kirk's Jobs
I'm ending this post on a very lighthearted, happy note. Sean Gunn, who played Kirk on Gilmore Girls, ranks the jobs that Kirk held in the show - and there are a lot! I kept giggling to myself reading all of the silly jobs they had him do.



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Who I'm Voting For

I've been sharing a lot on Instagram about the importance of voting, and I've been posting about it here, too - but I wanted to talk a little bit more about the specifics. I want to talk about who I'm voting for, and about the why.

I saw the hashtag #ImVotingFor on Instagram - prompting you to talk about not only which candidate you're voting for, but about who you have in mind when you're casting your vote. Are you voting for your retired parents with health conditions, for your young child,  for your unemployed friend? 

Yard sign here

 

VOTE Necklace here

 

If you've read any of my posts, I don't think it's a secret that I'm voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But when I'm voting, I'm not voting just for myself - I'm voting for each and every member of the disabled community. I'm thinking about healthcare, about employment, about housing, about long-term care, about transportation, about income and salaries. It's all of these issues and more that affect my day-to-day life, and the lives of so many others with disabilities, in a very specific way.

The Biden campaign is the first time that I feel like my identity as a disabled woman is recognized as important. We're officially recognized as a group - the "Team Joe Disability Coalition, there's a page on his website specifically addressing his disability policy plans, and there have been so many excellent Disability Coalition virtual events. His team has engaged a number of disability advocates, and it's clear that he's listened and learned and really wants to make changes that will positively impact the disability community. 

Disability issues go beyond just access to healthcare (although, of course, that's important too). During a time right now where I keep hearing over and over that people with disabilities and other health conditions should "just stay home" during the pandemic so that the world can get back to "normal," seeing that Biden specifically lists supporting people with disabilities during with COVID-19 pandemic as a key policy issue is so, so important to me. It's recognizing the specific needs that people with disabilities have - during a pandemic or not - and addressing them.

So when I cast my vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I'm thinking about who will best protect and promote the rights of the disabled community. And when you make your list about the people in your life that you're voting for, I hope that you think of me and the disability community too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Amazon Prime Day 2020

 Happy Prime Day! Today and tomorrow is Amazon's annual Prime Day sale. I was going through my orders to figure out what I wanted to share today, and realized that there was... a lot. So I'm going to split it up into tech things, and non-tech (and pretty random) things.


Tech-Related Products

Prime Day is a great day to pick up the tech you've had your eye on, but haven't been ready to bite the bullet and make the purchase. Amazon always has great days on Prime Day (especially on their own products), and it's the best time to buy. I'm including a lot of smart home things, which (I think) only makes sense since we're all at home so much.

Echo Show
I love my Echo Show! We actually have a few all over the house. I have one in my room, but it's also great for in the kitchen, because you can watch/read a recipe on the screen. I also love how many other smart home devices I can control with the Show and my voice. I can't recommend this enough!


Fire Stick
A great, easy to use device to make any TV a smart TV. I have both the Apple TV and the Fire Stick, and the Fire Stick is way more affordable without losing much functionality. Plus, you can easily move it from TV to TV without much setup.


Ring Doorbell
We only installed this a few months ago, and now I can't imagine not having it. In the age of contactless delivery, this makes things SO much easier - I get an alert on the Ring app whenever Postmates/groceries/etc. are delivered, so I can be sure the food isn't sitting outside for too long.

 

Echo Dot
If you want an Echo but don't want something as big as the Show, the Dot is the perfect alternative. It's small and unobtrusive, but still controls all your smart devices and lets Alexa answer all of your questions (like when I ask her what the weather is 10 times a day).


Smart Plug
An easy way to upgrade things you already own and make them "smart." You can plug a lamp, or a space heater, or whatever you want directly into this plug, and then they're controllable through the Alexa or the app. Super convenient!


Projector
I wrote a whole post about this, I love it so much! While I bought it for outside use, it can totally be used inside, too - perfect for a cozy movie night.


Non-Tech Products

 This is really just a collection of my favorite things from recent Amazon purchases. There's not much rhyme or reason to it!


 

Airtight Coffee Canister
When I started buying my coffee beans locally earlier this year, I realized I needed a convenient way to store them. This little coffee canister is perfect - simple, but airtight so the beans stay fresher longer.


Cheese Board
Another item that I have a whole post about! Love this cheese board - it's so fun to be able to label the cheeses/spreads/meats, and it holds a decent number of things. Plus it just looks so chic!


Cedar Rings
I learned first hand how important it is to protect your cashmere from moths (an expensive mistake!). Some people use mothballs, but I like these cedar rings - I just scatter them throughout the boxes that I use to store my cashmere in. It's a lot cheaper than a cedar chest!


Roxy The Last Unisaurus Rex
I think all of Eva Chen's children's books are so great - I gift them to all my friends' kids! This is her most recent release, which I shipped directly to a friend for her son. I love sending books as kids gifts, because honestly I don't think you can ever have too many.


Chom Chom Pet Hair Remover
Okay this has a super strange name, but it really works. It's a lint roller, but instead of having that sticky paper, it collects the hair and then you empty it. It's so easy to use and works SO well - we have two long haired cats, and we always have hair everywhere that we need to deal with.


Corkcicle
I've been using this basically daily when I take my coffee outside, because it insulates it so well and keeps it warm for hours. It also works on iced drinks (and cocktails!) too.

Monday, October 12, 2020

A Fall At Home

 I feel like I've written quite a few posts now about how much I'm dreading the change of seasons. The weather has been so beautiful lately, though, and the colors of the leaves changing have been so gorgeous that I'm really trying to embrace the season. I've been adjusting and adapting, and figuring out how to continue to enjoy my time at home and keep myself from feeling too cooped up.


 

For me, this means finding ways to keep spending some time outside, even if it's not exactly how I did it during the summer! I have bad circulation, so I'm basically always cold - that means that I've really focused on ways to stay warm even when the temperatures drop. Here's what I've done to adapt so far.



ONE - A Cozy Blanket
There is nothing I love more than being wrapped in a soft, fuzzy blanket. It just takes the chill away perfectly, and makes me feel so much warmer and cozier. I have a borderline blanket obsession, so I've tried lots of them, and my current favorite is my new ChappyWrap. It's soft, but holds it's shape surprisingly well. I can already tell I'm going to be using it all the time! Because I wanted to be able to use it on my lap while I'm in my chair, I got the "midi" size (one of the kids sizes). But for most people, the original size is probably the right choice.


TWO - A Heater
We have had an electric patio heater on our deck for a few years now, and it makes SUCH a difference in making me comfortable outside. It looks like it's almost impossible to find one outside right now (not a sentence I ever would have thought I'd be writing!), but I found a few propane heaters online. This one is sold only in stores at Home Depot, so you have the check for your store's availability, and this one is on Amazon.


THREE - A Fire Pit
Since it's too cold for distanced outdoor movie nights, we've moved on to having (small) bonfires. We're keeping it very, very small, because it's hard to stay 6 feet apart around a fire without getting chilly! But this is a great way to safely gather with friends outdoors in the fall. I'm so glad to have a way to keep seeing people that don't live with me even though it's not summer anymore!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

J.Crew Favorites + A Sale

 I haven't always been a huge J.Crew shopper, but this year it seems like I love everything that they're putting out! It definitely hasn't hurt that they're having lots of sales, either. I thought I'd pop in with a quick post today because all of my current favorites are on major sale - between 40-50%, depending on what you buy.

Use code SALETIME for 40% off full-priced items and an extra 50% off sale items!

 

Ribbed Cashmere Sweater
This sweater is so, so soft it's almost unbelievable. I've been wearing this almost weekly since I bought it! Not only is it perfect for the fall, but it's also lightweight enough that you could layer it when it gets even colder. It's final sale right now, which I'm guessing means that it won't be in stock for much longer.


Leopard Print Dress
I wrote a whole post about this dress recently! It's the perfect thing for looking a bit more dressed up while still staying incredibly comfortable, because it's so loose and flowy. And who doesn't need more leopard print in their lives?!


Supercozy Puff-Sleeve
I've bought this in multiple colors now because of how much I love it. The puff sleeves are so fun, and it really is "supercozy." It's the perfect top for our home-based lives right now.


Silk-Blend Sweater
This sweater really does feel silky - it's so slinky and lightweight. J.Crew describes it "like an extra-special T-shirt," and I think that's the perfect description. It looks a bit dressier than a t-shirt, but is just as comfortable as one.


Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday Favorites

I know that I've mentioned (more than) a few times how sad I am for summer to go, but this was week was really beautiful. The weather was really nice, and the fall colors just seemed especially gorgeous. In a week where it feels like there's a lot of chaos going on in the world, taking some time to be outside just made things feel a little more still. A friend and her son also stopped by for a socially distanced outdoor visit, and that little afternoon of semi-normalcy was also such a bright spot in the week. I'm focusing hard on all the little things that I'm grateful for right now!

Seriously - how beautiful are these colors?!


 And now, on to this week's favorites.

 

ONE - Caring for Cashmere
If you're anything like me, you're reaching for your cashmere more and more frequently. This a great guide on how to wash, dry, and store your cashmere to help it last. Also - I just bought this detergent ("shampoo") to use to wash my cashmere and wool.


TWO - Preparing for a Pandemic Winter
I love this post about what you should do NOW to make your future pandemic winter more bearable. Definitely recommend getting a flu shot! And I've been doing exactly what the article recommends - figuring out now what I'll be wanting come December, and making sure I'm prepped.


THREE - Song Association
I always love Elle's Song Association videos - it's so fun to hear what songs pop into different people's minds when they hear a certain word. It's great to see that Lily Collins and Ashley Park get along in real life just like they do on Emily in Paris!

 

FOUR - Ina Garten in Quarantine
I haven't been as into cooking in quarantine, but I have been experimenting with some new recipes, and they're often Ina Garten ones! I loved this interview with her. I don't buy a lot of cookbooks, but I'm really tempted to buy her new one.


FIVE - A Q&A... with Me!
The Carnegie Magazine did a short little Q&A with me about my advocacy and my time on the Board of The Warhol. I had a great time chatting with the interviewer, and it made me so excited to go back to the museums when it's safe for me to do so!



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

What I'm Watching

It seems like the perfect time to cozy up under a blanket right now and watch a good series or movie! I did a post a few months ago with some of my favorite things to watch, but I thought that I'd do an update with a few new things that I've watched lately and enjoyed. Make sure you share your recommendations in the comments, too!

 


Emily in Paris (Netflix)
This is such a cute, fun show by the creator of Sex in the City about a woman (Emily) who gets sent to France for work, where she knows no one and doesn't speak the language. I actually binged it in one day (oops!) because I couldn't get enough. Not only is the show itself great and fun, but the views of Paris and the incredible fashion in the show were such eye candy! Since my views are very much all the same right now, it was a great treat.


The Vow (HBO)
I had been following the news about the cult NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-um) since it hit the news a few years ago, mostly because I was a huge Smallville fan and one of the actresses was actually indicted for her involvement. The documentary is really well done and fascinating, with lots of insiders going into detail about all the different aspects of their experiences and how they managed to escape. If you're interested in cults at all, it's an amazing watch.


Boys State (Apple TV)
I mentioned this documentary in a Friday Favorites post, but I loved it so much that I wanted to include it here. It's about a program in Texas called Boys State, which brings together about 1,000 17-year-olds where they run mock political campaigns, hold mock elections, and then try to pass mock legislation. Some of it is exactly as you expect - they're high school boys, after all - but some of it is kind of surprising! It's definitely worth a watch.


Schitt's Creek (Netflix)
This is a re-watch for me, but it's just so good. The final season just dropped on Netflix, so if you haven't seen it yet, now is the time. For anyone who hasn't heard of the show, it follows a wealthy family who loses all of their money and has to move to a small town that they own. Not only is the cast absolutely incredible, but it's such a genuinely kind and heartwarming show. It's exactly what we all need right now!


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

My Nighttime Routine

 I've been increasingly invested in perfecting my bedtime routine. I think since I'm spending so much time in my house, it's nice to have some sort of evening routine to help me wind down, since there's not much else to delineate time for me right now. Plus, the new iPhone update included a new built-in sleep tracker, and part of that includes some built-in reminders to wind down (for example, dimming the phone screen for less blue light) in addition to actually tracking the hours I sleep while I wear my Apple Watch.

Because I tend to get obsessive about things like meeting my sleep goal, as Apple calls it, I'm trying to focus on the wind down aspect of it. It's really a nice way to end the day, and now because I'm used to this routine, I fall asleep SO quickly. It helps me to feel like I'm ending the day on a good note, and like the next morning will start on a good note, too (and I am NOT a morning person).

 I thought that I'd share with you what I've been doing each night.



ONE - Get Cozy
I seriously love cozy, comfy pajamas, and I'm constantly in search of the perfect set. There's nothing worse, in my mind, that PJs that just don't quite fit right or are itchy or just not right in some way. I've been eying Lake pajamas for a while, but I just can't quite justify the price tag (even though every review is a rave). I found this set, though, from Honeydew Intimates, and they're my current favorites. So soft, and not too heavy to sleep in comfortably. Plus, the pattern is so cute, it's perfect for the days that you don't quite make it out of your PJs and into "real clothes."

I'm such a pajama person that this step in my routine often starts well before actual bedtime, ha!

 

TWO - Set the Mood
I love my Hue smart lights, and one of my favorite things about them is the ability to change their color from white light to yellow light and anywhere in between. I typically prefer white light, which seems much brighter to me, but when it's time to start getting ready to sleep I change the lights to yellow. It's a much less glaring light for nighttime, and much less harsh on my eyes.

If you don't have smart lights, something like switching from overhead lights to a lamp can do the same thing! It just helps make it feel a little more like "night time" in your bedroom.


THREE - Daily Drops
Next up is my Equilibria CBD drops! I talked about them a lot more in this post, but I take 1/2 a dropper before bedtime. They don't make me sleepy instantly at all, but they do seem to help me fall asleep very quickly once I'm ready, and just make me a little bit calmer and more peaceful overall. I typically try to take them 30 minutes or so before I'm ready to sleep, so that they have time to take effect. I think they also help me stay asleep, too, which is great for making sure that I actually feel rested.

Don't forget to use REFHEATHER.TOMKO at Equilibria for $20 off your first order!


FOUR - Get in the Right Headspace
Finally - when I'm under my blanket and the lights are off, it's time for my Headspace sleep meditation. I genuinely find myself looking forward to this each night because it's so relaxing and peaceful. I rotate between the "Sleeping" wind down, the "Goodnight" wind down, and a few different sleepcasts. I fall asleep within minutes - only once or twice have I ever actually heard the end of either of the wind downs! It really puts me in the perfect headspace (pun very much intended) to drift off to sleep peacefully.

Monday, October 5, 2020

All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

 I've been leaning in hard to relaxed, comfortable clothes. Lots of cozy sweaters and super soft tops just feel like the right thing to be wearing at home. But every so often, I get the itch to dress up a little bit more. I still don't want to wear anything tight or uncomfortable, but I just want to wear something a little nicer, even if I'm just wearing it around the house. It makes me feel a little bit more normal, even if it's just for a day.


I saw this leopard dress from J.Crew and knew it was exactly what I had in mind! It's so cute - I basically love anything leopard. It was the "nonwaisted" part of the description that really made me excited - I knew it meant it would still be comfortable while being cute! (Although, technically, this dress does have an elastic band right under the best, so there is some shaping to it.)

 

I love everything about this dress, basically. I love the flowy shape of the dress, I love the sheer chiffon sleeves, and I love the cute tie-neck detail. It's everything I want in a dress! Obviously, it would also be a great wear-to-work dress, and is one of those that works equally well during the daytime as it does at night - you can easily dress it up or down. 

I highly recommend getting dressed up just for yourself every now and then - it's been a fun little thing for me to do to change up my days, especially when everything right now feels like so much of the same.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Friday Favorites

I'm basically still in shock that it is somehow October. It's been feeling like it around here, too - it's been much chillier this week. I've definitely been cozying up inside with blankets (but honestly, I'm a blanket-year-round type of person).

 

This week had one small but shining moment for me - I painted my nails! I've been dealing with a nail issue for a few years at this point, but for the last year-ish I've been keeping them bare to try to let it heal. It has been a slow process, but it's finally back to normal! I know we're in a pandemic, and I'm painting my nails for no one but myself, but I don't care - it's the little things sometimes that bring joy!

This week's favorites...

 

 ONE - Judith Heumann's How I Get it Done
I love this series from New York Magazine, where different people describe their days and how they, quite literally, get it done! Judith Heumann is an iconic disability activist, so I was excited to see her included.


TWO - How To Check In
This is such an important article - I think everyone should read it! So many people are dealing with heavy things right now, and it can be difficult to know the right way to check in and be there for them - you never want to make things worse rather than better. It's great advice for both right now and for always.


THREE - Father of the Bride Part 3ish
Father of the Bride is such a classic, nostalgic movie for me - the casting is really impeccable, and it's hilarious and charming all at the same time. This most recent revival was a fundraiser, and it was fun to have a 30 minute Zoom video update for all of the Banks family members and their friends!


FOUR - Gel Effect Top Coat
Krista mentioned this on her Instagram stories and I purchased it immediately, and I used it in my mani this week! I love the Essie Gel Couture polishes, and this Seche Vite top coat really does give your nails the effect of a gel manicure.