Monday, December 3, 2018

{ PLAYLIST } THE HOLIDAY MIX & MINGLE!

It's that time of year... When I post the revived (and revived again) SUILTSOY playlist classic, "The Holiday Mix & Mingle." I've been posting some version of this playlist since about 2012, and every season I add and remove a few tunes to keep it fresh. You'll still find my all-time favorites like "Cool Yule" and "I'm Beginning to See The Light" as well as gems from The O.C.'s holiday album and our modern holiday crooning mascot, Michael Bublé. 

But wait, there's more! Spotify got a bunch of amazing artists to record new versions of holiday classics last year, so I put a few of them into the mix, like Sam Smith singing "River" (swoon!) and Yoke Lore's fun electro version of "Last Christmas."

Finally a quick PSA: I urge you to indulge in some holiday music whenever you get a chance, because, well, we could use it. It's really easy to fall into a state of despair over the news—from the fires in California to the crisis at the border and the dire predictions about climate change that came out last month. It has been a year. Again. I'm not recommending you tune out completely, obviously, because we have to stay vigilant and informed. But let yourself lean into the simplistic bliss of holiday music written half a century ago. It will make you feel delightfully out of touch with reality, if just for an hour or so. So close your Twitter feed, pick up a novel you've been meaning to read, brew up a mug of tea or hot chocolate, get under a blanket and chiiiiiiillll.


And on a much lighter note, don't forget that this playlist makes a great soundtrack for any upcoming holiday parties and cocktail hours you have on the calendar! It's fun! And festive! Have a yule that's cool!

// LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST BELOW OR FOLLOW ON SPOTIFY //



Image credit: Bailey and Martin (see the full post from this lovely party at Grace's apartment here, too!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

{HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE} FOR THE BEST GUYS IN YOUR LIFE...



Another holiday season, another shopping list with only one guy on it (Hi Dad!). But, gift guides aren't just about me, obviously. You guys have brothers, boyfriends, best friends or maybe even grandfathers you're shopping for. As uncomplicated as some men claim to be, they sure can be hard to shop for, right?

My best advice, as always, is to start with what they like to do—rather than what they need. Needs are fine, but wants are fun. Kitchen toys for enthusiastic home chefs, outdoorsy layers for hikers and campers, games for the guy who's always having people over... You get the idea. Oh, and whiskey. Most guys (and lots of women like me, too) love to find a good bottle of dark liquor in their stocking. (It's not pictured up above because you guys know what a bottle of whiskey looks like, but I'm pointing you towards Wyoming Whiskey, as it's my dad's favorite.)

The picks this year are crowd-pleasers. There are gadgets, art prints, games, fancy boots and slippers, plus a few fun things for the kitchen and his closet.

  • Wallace & Barnes Sherpa Coat, $148: What can I say? Every design element of this sherpa jacket pleases me. The leather piping, the slanted pockets, the shawl collar. The price point is perfect for gifting and it's really a piece that works for guys of all ages, too. 
  • Patagonia Silent Down Shirt, $229: I am a little obsessed with down shirt jackets right now, and I can't quite tell you why, except that they just seem so cool and practical! He could wear this open as a jacket over his favorite sweater, or snap it up and wear it under a heavier coat for an extra-warm and extra-stylish winter 'fit. 
  • **Also, I can't resist pointing you to another Patagonia jacket I'm over the moon for—this denim jacket ($199) that has a cool work coat design that's rugged and sophisticated and I can't get enough okay bye.
  • Parks Project Minimalist Playing Cards, $14: Oh gosh, it this any surprise? I find a few decks of cards to include in my gift guides each year because I just think they make a great gift for anyone—and a cozy night with wine and a few rounds of Gin Rummy is the best.
  • LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle, $95: I've seen a few bloggers talking about this "smart" water bottle on Instagram—and it looks really nifty. It cleans itself and won't ever get that bad water bottle smell... Which makes it a great gift for a guy who is a little bit lazy with the dishes but does his due diligence at the gym.
  • Brunch Is Hell: How To Save The World By Throwing a Dinner Party, $17: Nights in over nights out! I love dinner parties more and more these days, especially when you get to bring together different groups of friends and obviously, drink a lot of wine. If you want to encourage a guy you know with a great apartment or house just begging for guests—get him this!
  • Sharply Mason Crewneck Henley, $64: It's not pictured, but I wanted to give a shoutout to a Seattle-based company, founded by family friends! They make amazingly soft menswear, and if you've read any of my stories for Style Girlfriend, you know I stan an henley, always.
  • The School of Life 100 Questions Cards, $30: Again, I love a night in! Encourage interesting and insightful conversations over holiday dinners with these question prompts.
  • Ember Temperature-Control Mug, $80: If you've got dudes on your list who love tech but also love their tea or coffee—I think this is a gift they'll find fun and useful. Using an app on your phone, you can control the temperature of the liquid inside for as long as you like! No more cold coffee you forgot about on the counter for 20 minutes!
  • Dark Horse Organics Umami Powder, $17: No-brainer herbs and spices are always fun for those who love cooking. This umami powder can be sprinkled on vegetables and poultry, added to soups—you name it, you can probably umami it.
  • M. Gemi Zolla Boots, $378: Ah, my love for M. Gemi truly knows no bounds. If you're looking for a splurge gift for a guy you love, dress up his feet in these rugged-meets-sophisticated suede hiking (well, hiking-inspired) boots.
  • Sonic Editions Framed Photos, $299 and up: Another splurge—I love all the vintage photos you can buy (already framed) from Sonic Editions. If Robert Redford isn't his thing, there are scenic shots of L.A. and New York, epic images of Jimi Hendrix and Muhammad Ali, and more.
  • Anova Sous Vide, $129: This was a suggestion from one of my best guy friends, who has and absolutely loves his sous vide. He says it's given him way more confidence and the kitchen and gets him and his girlfriend to cook at home more frequently. Nice!
  • Birkenstock Shearling-Lined Slip-On, $170: Okay don't @ me on this—I don't want to hear it. I'm not saying guys should be wearing these all over town. But I'm saying the make great around-the-house slippers that can also dash outside real quick to let the dog out, get the paper or take all the holiday wrapping paper out to the recycling bin. 
  • Wild One Dog Collar, $45: Getting something for your man's best friend is a sure way to get a little farther into your man's heart. Wild One makes really chic dog accessories and necessities in muted shades of navy, tan, pink and white... And if you're feeling a little more splurge-y, why not spring for the whole matching Walk Kit ($105)?


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

{HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE} FOR HUMANS, ANIMALS + THE PLANET


{ Vulnerable Polar Bears! You can adopt one through the World Wildlife Fund! }

This guide was first published in 2016 and has been updated today!

A lot of my freelance work this time of year and a lot of the content on this ol' blog is focused around gift guides, holiday style and all the things that are often on our minds right now. We're spending a lot of money, and I'm not here to say that's necessarily a bad thing. I certainly love giving and receiving gifts this time of year, I think it's a really lovely way to celebrate the season and treat the ones you love to something nice.

However, if you have the means, this is also a great time to give to causes that inspire you and touch your heart. I want to invite you guys to join me in pointing just a small amount of your holiday spending money towards causes that desperately need our attention.

There are literally thousands of amazing charities and nonprofits out there which are very deserving of our time and donations—the below are just a few causes I admire and feel motivated to help right now.

As you have no doubt heard and read, the situation throughout Syria is (still) beyond dire. CNN has a pretty comprehensive list of charities and nonprofits that are currently providing humanitarian relief to civilians there, including the Red Cross and UNICEF. Mercy-USA specifically focuses on "improving health, nutrition and access to safe water, as well as promoting economic and educational growth," but there are so many programs set up to help citizens and Syrian refugees that are worth your time and money.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO 
I have become a voracious consumer of NPR content over the past few years. I listen to their podcasts (TED Radio Hour, This American Life, RadioLab) regularly, and read stories on their website all the time as well. I think their point of view is important, and the stories they tell are both entertaining and educational. They're entirely funded by donations, so I think it's about time I contribute.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND 
If you don't feel particularly stirred to do something to support endangered species around the globe, I dare you to hit up Netflix and watch even one or two episodes of BBC's Planet Earth (and Planet Earth II!). We only have this one place to live, and we're not the only creatures on it. There are many ways you can donate to the WWF—you can even "adopt" a threatened or endangered animal. You don't get to bring an Arctic Fox or a Three-Toed Sloth into your home, but your financial donation will protect one in its natural habitat!

OCEAN CONSERVANCY 
Like the WWF, Ocean Conservancy is a broad-reaching global project that aims to protect the oceans around the world, as well as the creatures that inhabit them. From stopping arctic drilling to fighting for sustainable fishing methods and establishing protected marine areas, Ocean Conservancy relies on sound scientific ideas to create effective programs. Again, if you need a reminder of how important it is to look after our oceans, hop on over to Netflix and watch Mission Blue.

Rescue animals are the best, and rescuing animals is also the best. My family has adopted dogs and cats in both Seattle and Sun Valley, and we have had the best experiences loving and caring for all of them. (That's Zooey, our rescue, on the right!) If you don't have a local animal shelter that you love, or don't have the capacity to open your home to an adopted animal (I don't in NYC!), consider making a donation to broad-reaching programs like the ASPCA and the Humane Society. Here in New York, you can even foster a dog or cat for a few weeks while a "forever family" is found, via Social Tees.

Here in America, 1 in 8 people faces issues with hunger. One way you can help is by donating to Feeding America, where they note that every $1 donated provides 11 meals for people in need. Another way to help is to use Feeding America's zip code tool to find a food bank in your area. You can donate food or volunteer your time.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD  
Thanks to the election of both Donald Trump and his VP Mike Pence, Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight a lot lately. As a woman, a feminist and an open-minded human, I believe that making sure women have access to the resources provided by Planned Parenthood is essential. Abortion talk gets the majority of the attention now, but remember that PP provides cancer screenings and important information on birth control options, sex education, gender identity, STDs and more.

Do you donate money or volunteer your time for causes you care about? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Friday, November 23, 2018

{HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE} FUN GIFTS FOR EVERYONE UNDER $50


Oh boy... It's finally time to kick off my holiday gift guides! I know I've been quiet on the blog lately, and what the future holds for SUILTSOY, I'm not really sure. But I love doing gift guides, I love creating them, and I love helping people get through this stressful time of year with fun and playful gift ideas that are easy to find and dun, dun, dun—affordable!

Every year this is probably my favorite gift guide to create—mostly because this is the wheelhouse I live in. I rarely if ever spend more than $50 on a holiday present for anyone other than my parents, so I pride myself on thinking of clever, useful and enjoyable presents that won't break the bank. Naturally, many of this year's selections will make great stocking stuffers (in the $10 to $30 range) and then there are a few things that skirt the barely-under-fifty mark, too.

Since I rather painstakingly sussed out each of these by hand (because I love you guys!), I'm going to walk you through each one and give a little explainer on why it'll make a great gift!

Then again if you don't have time for that, you can scroll down to the shopping widget at the bottom and click through to find most of these items and a few extras in case you need even more ideas! (I know, I'm good to you.)

// MY FAVORITE GIFTS UNDER $50 //

  • Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Maker, $17: I own this cold brew coffee maker and can't say enough good things about it. It's easy to use, the brew is strong and more than one person has remarked, "this is the best cold brew I've ever had." I'm not kidding! 
  • Flight 001 5-in-1 adapter, $35: Listen, I know this isn't the sexiest gift you've ever seen, but if you have a friend or family member who travels a ton (internationally), they will love this!
  • Tryone Tablet Mount, $20: Listen, this is a very specific gift for a very specific person—if you don't know someone who uses their iPad in bed like a TV, just move on. If you do... Change their life with this flexible stand that can clip to the bed frame or a bedside table.
  • Thera Cane, $31: The first time I saw this thing, I laughed. Then I used it. It's a funny gift—not quite a gag but definitely a little silly... But everyone will be passing it around and using it to massage their aches and pains on Christmas morning.
  • Spode Set of 4 Christmas Tree Old Fashioned Glasses, $40: I've definitely featured Spode on my holiday gift guides before, and perhaps these very glasses. They just make me feel so nostalgic and happy (my family has tons of their sets) and I know I'm not alone in that! 
  • Monikers Party Game, $30: I am a sucker for a good party game and I've heard this one is really fun—I think I might pick it up for a little entertainment with friends and family while we're out in Sun Valley.
  • Chill Out Stumbling Block Game, $25: This fun drinking game has little challenges on every block. Like Jenga, but for the over 21 set.
  • Areaware Little Puzzle Thing Mini Jigzaw Puzzle, $15: These food-themed puzzles are apparently meant to be completed in 20 minutes or less—so challenge your gifted friend to give it their best shot. (I'm particularly fond of the pizza and ramen puzzles, no surprise.)
  • GoldBelly Gift Certificate, $25 & up: I wish I had invented Goldbelly. This genius company sends specialty foods and treats from your favorite spots pretty much anywhere in the country. I'm talking a full spread from Ess-a-Bagel, pies from Daily Provisions and sweets from Milk Bar. An electronic gift certificate printed out and tied to a Mast chocolate bar makes a perfect last-minute gift.
  • Sur La Table Cheese Board, $45: If you know someone who likes making cheese and charcuterie plates for dinner on the regular like me, this would be a nice gift. 
  • BaubleBar Snow Drop Earrings, $48: These earrings are silly and sweet and I just love them! But remember that statement earrings can stretch out your piercings, so I suggest adding these genius little stickers (that support your lobe) to the gift to really make her happy.
  • Viski Gold Champagne Pull, $26: Listen, until I saw this year's Goop gift guides I didn't even know a champagne pull was a thing. But it's beautiful and unique, so I'm supportive.
  • Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, $26: I tried these much-Instagram-ed eye patches recently and I gotta say—I loved them! Then again, I am a mask-a-holic at this point, so maybe only give these to a woman like me who believes they work and then—they do.
  • Native Union 10 ft. Power Lightning Cable, $40: If you want to change someone's life this holiday season, gift them a 10-foot-long lightning cable to charge their iPhone. They will never be the same, they will sing your praises, you will be the hero of the day.
  • Christmas Vacation Playing Cards, $9: These cards aren't pictured above, but I am extremely into playing cards these days and think everyone else should be, too. And who doesn't love this Christmas classic?!
  • High Beauty Cannabis Facial Moisturizer, $40: CBD, so hot right now. CBD on your face? Truly helpful in calming skin, putting acne at bay and treating fine lines and wrinkles—not unlike retinol!
  • Chanel No. 5 Bath Soap, $26: It's Chanel! It's soap! It's affordable!
  • TriggerPoint Foam Roller, $28: Another not-that-cute life-changing gift? A foam roller. They cure what ails you from head to toe, and we should all have one.
  • Hanky Panky Low Rise Thong, $22: It's a classic, okay?
  • Kikkerland Elephant Corkscrew, $14: This is a corkscrew shaped like an elephant. That's adorable, okay?



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

FALL FINDS CURRENTLY IN MY SHOPPING CART...


As we barrel ahead, full-steam into November, I think it bears repeating that fall lasts until December 21st. Once Halloween is over we aren't resigned to thinking about nothing besides the impending winter. That said—I still have quite a few "fall" finds in my digital shopping carts right now. I'm kind of obsessed with altering my "neutral" cool weather wardrobe from grey/white/black to more of a camel/mustard/white palette, which is thanks especially to these investment-worthy M. Gemi snake boots and this extremely affordable men's sweater from Uniqlo. So in case you too are still looking to update your seasonal wardrobe, I've rounded up a few of my favorite things of the moment.


I have extolled my love of Uniqlo's menswear sweaters season after season and there's no stopping me now. I just purchased this lambswool turtleneck in grey, and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on the crewneck in both this rich mustard color and a bright, cheerful red. These sweaters are soft enough to wear without a slip or a tank underneath, and I love the slouchy fit and longer sleeves of the men's styles. I'm already envisioning the perfect outfit of the yellow sweater, blue Levi's, snake boots and white teddy coat. So simple and cozy, right!?

Okay so all these small, structured bags are driving me crazy right now—because I want them all. If you can't invest in the designer originals, Mango is an amazing resource for bags inspired by big trends. I especially love the snakeskin look (of course) because it will work as a neutral all winter long, and the metal ring handle is so of-the-moment, too.

So one of my darling friends who works in PR and represents Arno sent me these mules last month. And I just had to share them here because I love them so much, and they are such a stylish, high-quality shoe for under $200! They're crazy-comfortable, and the leather-and-suede star design comes in this rich camel hue, as well as black and a white-and-silver combo!

I never thought I'd say this, but I guess belts are back. I've been really happy to give them up, but with all the influencers on the face of the earth having worn that black leather Gucci belt, I suppose I must surrender. At this point, I'm more interested in using one to synch a jacket or blazer closed, like Alicia did here, or like I did with this camo jacket recently. Since animal print is a major player again right now, this Zara belt feels like the perfect piece to give it a go with with belts in 2018.

I don't know about you guys, but I haven't worn a watch since the days of the giant gold Michael Kors watches we all had like 10 years ago. But I was recently gifted this Daniel Wellington watch, which feels like jewelry and goes with everything I wear already. Plus, the black dial makes it feel low key and feminine enough to wear every day.

In a post earlier this year I went on a bit of a tangent about how expensive my beauty routine had become thanks to being lucky enough to try a lot of really nice stuff. Well I honestly hate to come at you again, but I have to add another product to that list—this CC cream from It Cosmetics. It's opaque enough to be a great foundation, it's got sunscreen, plus it really does mattify and stay that way all day.

Okay so, my seemingly never-ending search for a second pair of Levi's 501 jeans to compliment the ones I already have... Is still happening. I am on a quest for a pair of solid, mid-wash blue jeans with no holes or distressing that I can wear with all my ankle boots and sneakers all year long. This is a  denim look that can be dressed up or down, and if I don't find a pair with this look that fits me soon, I might die.

If there's one outerwear trend that has grabbed hold in fashion this season and won't let go, it's the teddy coat. You can have your absolute pick of colors and silhouettes and price points—they are everywhere. But If I had to play favorites, I'd go with this menswear-inspired one from Mango in a soft white, and this similar white one from & Other Stories.

Speaking of my favorite store, I feel the need to share my love of the crewneck t-shirts at & Other Stories. I have this very French striped version, which is just the right proportions of boxy and short (aka not too much of either of those things) to go perfectly with all my high-waisted jeans. So naturally, I want an everyday black (and white) version to wear... You know, all the time, basically.

Before going out to an event the other night, Bobbie Thomas had me put on this thick lip crayon. Ugh, you guys I fell in love. I know $37 is extreme for lipstick, but the color was so pigmented and pretty and stayed on for hours!

And finally—the centerpiece around which I am building my whole wardrobe this year: M. Gemi's Cavallo snakeskin boots. They're a little bit urban and a little bit western, which is right on trend and also extremely my personal brand. (Hello, Idaho!?) I want to wear these with everything from jeans and sweaters to the extremely extra Zara sequin dress I bought off of ebay for my birthday last month. (Can't you see that combo being so fun at the January wedding I have in Tennessee??)


Monday, October 22, 2018

ALL THE GOOD OUTFITS I'VE SAVED ON INSTAGRAM LATELY


Image credits from left to right:

The "save" feature on Instagram is my favorite thing right now. It's not as glorious as the heyday of Pinterest, but it gives me that fix of organized outfit porn that I often crave. And this fall, I've developed quite the little archive of inspiration—from a variety of stylish gals I follow. 

On one of my recent Instagram deep dives that started on the explore page and ended in an obsession, I discovered Leia Sfezwho is French and has perfect hair and perfect style, I have determined. She has me deeply, deeply considering growing my hair out and cutting bangs (again) and has reignited my hunt for the perfect pair of stiff, skinny-ish high-waisted Levi's. (I think these are the ones I need, by the way.)

Also worth noting is that top right corner look from Giovanna Engelbert—who usually dresses so delightfully and whimsically over the top—in a simple, billowy shirt dress with a delicious oatmeal-color sweater tied around her shoulders. With her hair down and that little white bag, it's so casually glam I can't get over it.

Here's what else I'm feeling inspired to try, thanks to these ladies...
  • A belt around a menswear blazer à la Alicia and Aimee
  • Julie's white turtleneck sweater with hoop earrings pairing
  • Fleece and slinky silk like Anine Bing
  • Jen's perfect crewneck t-shirt and cozy teddy coat
  • Caramel, tawny browns and white worn together à la Leia
  • Blair's sophisticated-prep approach to denim
  • An oversized teddy coat like @figtny (who doesn't share her name anywhere easy online, ha!)


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A TINY PATIO IN NEW YORK CITY


Guys! I recently wrote an expansive piece for Style Girlfriend on transforming my small patio space attached to my East Village apartment. It's really fun and helpful, and I want you to read it. To whet your whistle, here's an excerpt:

Have you ever wondered, “How can I turn the prison yard attached to my apartment into a paradise?” Well I have! That’s right—your girl has finally reached one of New York’s golden rings. I have outdoor space. But when I moved in, it looked more like an elevated cage than a coveted patio space beckoning to host a sunset happy hour or cozy spring nightcap after a perfect third date.

But no amount of chain link fencing, pigeon poop or mysterious detritus could dissuade my dream. I was determined to She’s All That the space—hoping that taking off the glasses (so to speak) would reveal a beauty that had been there all along.

Now, as with any good cinematic arc, the transformation has been a journey. I learned… A lot. For example, if you do not use a base, your beautiful 6-foot-wide bistro umbrella will, during a particularly windy storm, levitate out of it’s hole in the middle of an outdoor table, take flight over a 6-foot-high fence and fling itself onto the roof of a dim sum restaurant four stories below.

Are you curious now or what? I'm really proud of the progress I've made in this little dream of an outdoor space, so I hope you go read the story! Plus, if you want to see the "before" photos (and trust me, you do) you're only going to see them on SG with the full piece. Ha! Clickbait!

See more photos below!
Listen to the playlist too!




Again, if you want to see the full transformation plus my recipe recommendations and best tips for how to throw a truly great "peak outdoor season" party in your outdoor space, you gotta read the full story over on Style Girlfriend.