Friday, July 20, 2018

WEEKEND LISTENING: LORD HURON COVERS 'HARVEST MOON'

If, when you hear those first few cords of 'Harvest Moon,' you do not immediately feel a surge of romantic love (even if it's directed towards no one in particular) I don't know if I can trust your emotional range as a human. Seriously.

You want to kiss someone. You want to slow dance. You want to hold someone's hand and go for a walk on a warm summer night. It is one of those songs that, after you hear it the first time, you feel a bit changed. Neil Young can do that to you. And I know, this is not exactly a deep cut, but I do not care about unabashedly loving one of his most popular songs. It's beautiful and iconic and that's that.

Now, I wouldn't trust many bands or singers to cover this song in a way that pleases me, but lo and behold, Lord Huron has gone and done it.  I love them, as evidenced by their presence in past MWMM posts and playlists, so I suppose there's a certain amount of bias on my part, but give this cover, from their recent Spotify Singles recording, and then defy me.

Their version of the song has a lazy, dreamy Hawaiian-tinged vibe that's hard to resist, especially this time of year. (Is that a harp I hear?) It's the auditory version of swinging in a hammock with a Mai Tai in your hand and a breeze in your hair.

So do yourself a favor this weekend and cue up Lord Huron's cover of Harvest Moon while you're enjoying some happy hour drinks (maybe a Spritz?) with your friends. Add it to a happy hour playlist, perhaps? It will feel so right. Trust me. Also, not for nothing we're about halfway through summer right now... So don't forget to look around, feel the warm sun on your skin and enjoy it.

// LISTEN BELOW //


*If you're interested in another cover, Poolside has a good, super-peppy version too, that feels dreamy and escapist in a way all it's own.

*For reference, the above gif is Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

JUST SOME AUTHENTIC (AND AFFORDABLE) FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS


So I was talking about Father's Day over the weekend with Megan while we were recording a podcast. (Did you know we do a podcast? Well, we do and you can rate / review / subscribe right here!)

Anyway, we were talking about gift ideas, and how it's kind of a bogus "holiday" and spending more than $100 on a gift is just not necessary. That said, we both agreed that it's nice to get Dad a little something. 

Megan is a big believer in giving the gift of upgraded grooming, because it's something that won't go to waste. Nice shampoo and conditioner? A delicious-smelling soap? Just put those bad boys in the shower as soon as he unwraps them and they will be enjoyed, guaranteed. My vote is for a big, beautiful bar soap from a new brand on my radar, Commodity. My favorite scent (the one in my shower right now, actually) is called Orris, but I've heard good things about Tonka, too.

Speaking of things that smell good, I'd also like to tip my cap in the direction of this Armani cologne. I mentioned it in my own beauty post the other day because I've been wearing it, but I promise you it is a low-key, lovely, unisex scent. If you're looking for a Father's Day gift for the father of your child, this is a great pick because it's kind of sexy, and you get to reap the benefits of its use!

A few other ideas I like for younger dads include cool, stylish stuff for him to wear that he'll, you know, actually wear—especially this summer. First up is what might be my favorite men's shirt to ever exist, the Bonobos Riviera short-sleeve button up. It comes in tons of really fun prints, as well as three fits and three lengths—which is pretty amazing for an $88 shirt. I also, surprise to no one, feel like a pair of Allbirds would make a great Father's Day gift. They're $95 and they work on everyone. The new tree runners are fun and again, perfect for summer!

Now, most of the other gifts on my guide here are almost self-explanatory, so I'll go ahead and briefly explain them anyway:

A stylish $60 dart board, because darts is a really fun game, and one that you and dad can play together. (I stan so hard for all games-as-gifts, just as a reminder!)

A bottle of Bushwick Kitchen Bee's Knees Spicy Honey, because it makes almost everything taste way better, from salads to cheese boards, pizza, toast, crostinis with ricotta and prosciutto... I could go on.

Bodum's 51 oz Iced Coffee Maker will be a game-changer for Dad's morning routine if he, like any normal human, loves cold brew. Prep the night before, leave it in the fridge to do magical things, and in the morning, voila, you're flying to the moon. (In your mind. It's strong.)

Okay so, technically the Yeti Roadie cooler is closer to $200, but it's an investment for the whole family! These things are basically indestructible and does all your favorite things—road trips, picnics, backyard events, fishing trips, pool parties... You get the idea.

Speaking of the great outdoors, if Dad loves any of the above activities, or you know, camping, he'll get a kick out of Burton's camping table. It's lightweight and packs down super-small, plus it's got two cup holders so you can crack open a cold one with your father and play some cards or something, because it's the quality time that he really wants!

My dad likes sipping Casamigos tequila. If yours does too, follow my lead and get him a bottle of the brand's new Mezcal! It tastes like the sophisticated love child of scotch and tequila, which is kind of fitting for the holiday, no?

And finally, a slightly unexpected gift idea I am very, very here for: a plant.

When the really nice folks over at Bloomscape sent me a pitch email about giving the gift of in-home horticulture for Father's Day, I was intrigued. I've only recently become obsessed with filling my tiny East Village apartment with plants-as-decor, and the last time someone gave me an orchid as a gift, it felt like more of a responsibility than a treat.

I asked Bloomscape's founder, Justin Mast, who comes from five generations of greenhouse growers and florist industry innovators, to sell me a bit on the benefits of plants-as-gifts. And I gotta say, he pretty much nailed it:

"People tend not to look beyond the necktie for a Father’s Day gift. A plant is unique, healthy for the whole home and something a family can bond with that doesn’t need to be taken for walks or can’t be left home alone. Bloomscape’s living room ready plants make the process easier, because dad’s plant shows up at the doorstep ready to go. Bloomscape takes care of the hardest part - growing the plant. Unlike a necktie, a plant is something the whole family can enjoy."

Why should you believe Justin? Because horticulture is in his blood. Also, he genuinely just loves plants and cares about helping other people love plants, too.

"Bloomscape wouldn’t exist without the knowledge my parents gave, and continue to give, me about how to be successful in this industry. The gift of a plant affords that same opportunity for a father and his children to bond over the responsibility of caring for a living thing and watching it grow."

Aren't you so sold? I am. I love the idea that growing and caring for a plant can be this sort of nice, low-key way for some parent-child bonding. Plus, when you shop on Bloomscape, they give you all the information you could need, including how hard it is to take care of and whether you can have it around pets!

There you have it! Father's Day is just a nice reminder to make sure your dad (or the father of your children, or your grandpa, or your brother who's a dad now) feel appreciated. So get him a little something. Or at least call him on the phone.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

OH NO, MY SKINCARE & BEAUTY ROUTINE HAS BECOME... EXPENSIVE

The first thing I have to say as I start this post is that I am a lucky woman. I have a bunch of friends who work in the skincare and beauty world. One of my freelance clients is Bobbie Thomas—a woman who has access to the newest, latest and greatest of everything in those industries, too. And as a blogger, I get brand swag from PR gifting from time to time. This is a rarified space to exist in, and it has given me access to products I never would have dreamed of spending money on, say, five years ago.

As a culture, we are pretty obsessed with beauty and skincare right now, and thanks to these personal and professional connections, I have taken a big, drunken gulp of the Kool-Aid. I am on a mission to have "perfect skin" just like Allure and Into The Gloss tell me I should be. It's a bullshit idea and I know that, but being someone with problematic skin, I don't see my desire to improve it's overall condition as a bad thing, as long as my efforts are safe, reasonable and not likely to bankrupt me.

I've had the good fortune to be able to try out tons of high-end beauty and makeup products in recent months, and some of them really have improved the look and feel of my skin (and how my makeup looks on it). So I thought I'd take some time to share the winners with you guys. The ones I've actually loved. The ones that, once they run out, I will be purchasing with an allocation of my own disposable income. The ones that I would tell you it's okay to spend your disposable income on if you want. Because listen, some products are pricey for a good reason—they're made from sustainable ingredients, they're all-natural, or they're just really, really effective—and some are expensive because they've got a huge brand name that says they can be. 

Ahead are the beauty, skin and hair products I've been using lately that are somewhat expensive but in my opinion, truly worth the spend.

Monday, June 4, 2018

THE VC POLO CLASSIC IS THE OFFICIAL START OF SUMMER


If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I truly love having friends in high places. For the second year in a row, my girl Megan received an invite to attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic as a VIP guest—with a plus one. Like a new boyfriend eager to impress his girlfriend's friends at a wedding, I do my best to make her look good and be a welcome addition to the party. We dress up, we show up, and we drink a lot of really good champagne.

This year it was... Hot. And not just because of the dudes below holding very large bottles of Veuve. It was 80 degrees before we'd even boarded the ferry, and the sun was out all day. As per tradition, and despite the soaring temps, we had long, wonderful, bubbly rosé-fueled day. We posted a lot on social media (natch, and also #sorrynotsorry) and got to catch up with our other fabulous celebrity-adjacent friends. (As in, we were all hiding from the blazing sun under the same gigantic tent as beautiful people like Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz.)

This event always feels like the official kick off of summer in the city because it's just so damn fun. People get dressed up, they get a little tipsy, they eat tuna tar tar out of tiny ice cream cones and mango sorbet out of tiny lipstick cases. They also may or may not try to become friends with Gale King and B-level cast members of This Is Us while everyone else is stomping the divots... (What? That definitely "wasn't Megan.")

Anyway, we had a lovely time, I will admit that I was pretty hungover at about 11 p.m., once I'd already been home for five hours. I hope I get to keep my status as a professional +1 next year! And in the meantime, here are a few more photos from the day that are honestly for my own enjoyment as much as yours... 



This look combo is called "Destiny's Childing" and it's a term that Megan introduced to me. It's when you're excellently coordinated but not quite matching. We actually both ended up having wardrobe panic attacks the night before the event (we had a sleepover) and the resulting outfits we landed on also happened to be excellently coordinated in shades of red, white and blue. Go America, go us.



I'm wearing an outfit almost entirely shopped from my own closet. The dress is Zara from last year, the shoes are Aldo, also from last year. My sunglasses are those extra-large Wayfarers from Ray-Ban, the earrings were a loan from Mignonne Gavigan and the bag was a gift from a very cool accessory brand, GG Maull

Photos taken by: Me, Megan and one of those dudes holding those giant bottles.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WAIT SO... THE MET GALA RED CARPET WAS SO MUCH FUN, FINALLY!



{ Zendaya in custom Versace }

On my Instagram stories last night, I captioned Zendaya's look, "Joan of Chic!" And truly—just look at her! She took the theme of the newest costume exhibit at The Met (Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination) and the dress code ("Sunday best") to a very cool and just barely flirting with costume-y place. Her head-to-toe aesthetic is glamorous, interesting, thematic, and just plain striking! And so, she gets my vote for best dressed.

While Kim Kardashian also wore custom Versace chainmail (and looked so bodied it was almost ridiculous), Zendaya actually managed to have a little fun with the theme of the night. (Joan of Arc is a heroine of France and a Catholic saint, if you need a refresher.) 

And here's the thing—Zendaya wasn't the only one! This was a really, really exciting and whimsical red carpet overall. I haven't felt inspired to write anything about the Met Gala since 2014, and it was only just okay that year. Well, it's 2018 now and I am back on it with many thoughts and feelings.

Why? Because in a year that has felt like a never-ending onslaught of bad news, tragedy and political scandal, it was nice to shelf all of that for a few hours and ogle some truly outrageous fashion. How refreshing that we got a little dose of the good kind of crazy, right? Rihanna came dressed as a literal pope, and Lily Collins could best be described as a sexy, gothic nun—but like, in a chic way. 

// Indulge me, if you will (by clicking through below), while I wax poetic about some of my favorite looks of the night... //

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: LEON BRIDGES DOES HIS BEST VAN MORRISON

Gotta send up a tremendous shout out to my girl Amanda, who sent me this song sort of late on Monday night. I had been having a day, and as soon as the jingle-jangles kicked in and I heard the sweet voice of our boy Leon Bridges, I instantly felt better. You guys, this song is romantic as hell. Like, almost overwhelmingly so. 

The first thing I noticed about "Beyond" is that it borrows heavily from one of my absolute, all-time favorite songs. Listen to it all the way through, and then put on Van Morrison's classic, "Into The Mystic." You'll notice the similarities right from the start, to such a degree that I really wonder if Leon paid to sample our man Van.

Either way, "Beyond" stands on it's own because of Leon Bridges' distinct vocals, and the much more layered, produced sound that modern music has. My favorite part? The ringing that sounds like it might be sleigh bells, but could just be really good tambourine playing. If you're in a vulnerable place emotionally, I'll warn you now that the lyrics will make you feel things.

Anyway, between this, that Lord Huron song I chirped about in my last MWMM and yes, almost all of Kacey Musgraves' new album, it's safe to say that I'm in a pretty sonically romantic mood this spring. Whether or not that translates to my real life honestly changes by the day and the week, but whatever. In the meantime, let's all just feel blessed by this tune until the full EP, Good Thing, comes out on Friday!

// LISTEN TO "BEYOND" BELOW //


Oh me oh my I can't explain / She might just be my everything

Friday, April 6, 2018

WEEKEND LISTENING: KACEY MUSGRAVES AND HER 'GOLDEN HOUR'


And you can have your space... Cowboy

Not since Carly Rae Jepson dropped E.Mo.Tion have I felt this many types of ways about an entire album from beginning to end. Since it came out one week ago, I have listened to Kacey Musgraves' third album, Golden Hour, at least a dozen times. This album is getting great reviews around the interwebs, and perhaps most especially from all the people I follow on Twitter, which gives me comfort because, well, I am not a "country fan" and most of my "people" aren't really either.

Before I heard "Space Cowboy," Kacey Musgraves was in my head as a modern female country singer that I had no interest in knowing more about. On the whole, I don't love modern country music, or so I thought. And I'll admit, I had a certain pride point in labeling myself as someone who was too cool for country music—unless it was vintage and classic, like Johnny Cash, John Prine or Bonnie Raitt. But back in September I wrote a whole post about Midland, a new country band with an old school sound, whose entire album, On The Rocks, I am also obsessed with.

So anyway, I've gotten off my "High Horse," (sorry, it was too perfect) and am willing to just be real and say hey, I do like some country music, a lot of it in fact, so here we are. Me, Kacey and now hopefully, you. This album is pleasing from beginning to end, and while it does have a lot of country roots, the songs vary from heavy pop to disco, slow ballads and psychedelic wanderings. The lyrics are modern, sassy and smart, and damn if they don't get stuck in your head. I've been walking around for days singing to myself, "Baby I ain't WonderWoman / I don't know how to lasso the truth outta you / Don't you know I'm only human?"

While I think people are going to keep talking and raving and tweeting about this album throughout the spring, and I think it's going to be on repeat for me into the summer too, I still don't see a #SongOfSummer in it. And that's okay. But I need you to listen to this album all weekend so we can be on the same wavelength, which is: If we can't see or feel spring yet, at least we can listen to it. Golden Hour is warm with a chilly breeze, sunny, crisp and blooming with color—but not the hot, sizzling fire of summer. Does that makes sense? Maybe I should be done now. Listen below please, now.

// LISTEN TO THE WHOLE ALBUM BELOW OR ON SPOTIFY //




Image credit: NPR