Monday, May 1, 2017

IT'S MAY SO HERE ARE 7 SPRING THINGS I'M INTO RIGHT NOW


Every year when March comes around, people get really excited about "spring." Your coworker Karen complains endlessly about how it's "still" so cold. I don't know what type of amnesia Karen has but March has always been the worst. You and I know that. We get through it.

Then April comes and we feel more optimistic. Days of bright sun and temperatures in the mid-sixties are more frequent. However, you can't get too excited because everything is still brown—no leaves on trees and the only blooms to be found have been flown in to your local bodega.

Then suddenly—like the whole city is waking from a deep, dark sleep—everything is awake and alive. You look up as you walk down your street and you see the most lush, electric green bursting from the branches of those formerly sad trees. Seemingly overnight branches are sagging under the weight of thousands of cherry blossoms. The pink petals litter the sidewalk. Karen is Instagraming up a storm and you know what, you kind of want to join her—what the hell, we deserve this!

May is, objectively, one of the most beautiful months of the year. It's high spring and it's glorious. New York can't lay claim to this title alone, I'm sure wherever you are you're feeling me on this. And we have to cherish it because the truth is, while summer is fun, it gets a little bit oppressive when the heat and humidity turn the city streets into a hellish swamp from which there is no relief. But let's stay focused—right now is awesome. May has me feeling optimistic and excited about all kinds of things, so I'm going to share them with you.


// CLICK THROUGH FOR ALL THE GOODIES //



1. A PRETTY SILK TOP FOR DATE NIGHT & BEYOND
It probably won't surprise you to know that I fancy myself to be a somewhat savvy dresser, with a passable closet containing outfit options to suit most occasions. Naturally, I hate when I'm wrong about that and naturally, it happens all the time. Case-in-point: The other night I was utterly beside myself when faced with that most annoying of fashion problems—I knew exactly what I wanted to wear, but I didn't own it yet.

This hole in my wardrobe was instantly obvious. I needed a pretty and simple slip-on silk top with a forgiving silhouette—not too long, not cropped. I imagined something either short-sleeved or sleeveless, with a cool-girl crewneck or more feminine v-neck. I wanted this type of top especially to wear with cropped jeans and these sandals for dates, but also for work and travel.

And then like magic, Everlane dropped a newsletter in my inbox a few days later with a whole array of new silk things—like this double-lined sleeveless top that's just $70. I also found this gorgeous navy silk T-shirt from Cuyana ($155) that comes in the most playful creamsicle stripes. I think I'm going to spring for the Everlane top, but if you're feeling frugal, I picked up this H&M "creped" top ($15) that comes in nine colors and it will certainly do the trick for now.

2. TRYING TO HELP MY $4 PLANTS FROM HOME DEPOT THRIVE IN OUR GROUND-FLOOR APARTMENT
I'm sure that those of you reading this outside of the greater New York City area are going to be like, "Duh, Taylor!" when I share this news. But did you know that Home Depot is actually the best place to begin your journey as a plant parent? It's true.

I had a bad day a few months ago and decided, for some reason, that the only thing that would cheer me up would be to go to home depot on my way home and spend $20 on plants. In a move that didn't surprise me in the slightest, I was in the basement of Home Depot carrying little plastic pots around for over an hour. I couldn't decide. I didn't know how much light my apartment actually gets in a day. I ended up with a funky little succulent called Haworthia (that is thriving on my bedside table) and two slightly more needy plants—a Pothos and a Dracaena that were $4 each.

Keeping these plants alive has been my crowning achievement so far in 2017, I swear. They were being fussy in the low light of my bedroom, but now they're quite happy and slowly growing on the windowsill in our kitchen. Unfortunately, I can barely speak about is the $3 Rosemary plant that I bought at a street market on the Upper West Side that died within a week—but man did it smell good while it lived. Anyway, I'm feeling so confident about my little indoor garden that I think I'm going to repot my plants in more attractive vessels—like these metal planters from Urban Outfitters.


3. A STYLISH ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH FOR THE INSTAGRAM SET
When your life involves straddling the fashion world from both the blogging and freelance writing sides, your inbox feels the weight. I get a lot of emails from various PR companies and brands touting this and that—and when I'm lucky, I get to try a lot of it out for myself. The Goby toothbrush is one such product, and I'm pretty obsessed. 

I've was one of those people that bought battery-powered sonic toothbrushes at the drugstore, used it for three months and then threw it away—for years. That's wasteful, no? Well, Goby has helped me change my ways.

You can buy the brush online with one brush head and no subscription for $65, but for $50 you can add in a subscription to get a fresh brush head sent to you automatically every month or so for about $5 each. (That's what the dentist, recommends, guys.) The point is, now my toothbrush is not only chic, it's super cost-effective, too. If your parents didn't get you a Sonicare for Christmas six years ago or something, I can't recommend Goby enough.

4. A FANCY FRENCH FACE WASH THAT FEELS AMAZING & DOES EVERYTHING
I will be the first to admit that I have a complicated relationship with the skin on my face. It seems to demand different things from me from year to year, season to season and sometimes week to week. At 31 this is really annoying. However, in an effort to wrangle my pores into good behavior, I recently started taking a DIM supplement (I was inspired by this article), but I certainly wouldn't come out and recommend that to everyone. The results are TBD and I'm not a doctor, so, yeah.

More applicably, I was also #blessed to discover La Roche-Posay Toleraine Purifying Cleanser ($15), thanks to my pal Meghan. After a few weeks of using both, my skin and I seem to have reached a cease-fire, at least for now. I'm loving this cleanser because it actually removes my face and eye makeup while leaving my skin feeling soft and not totally dried out. (Also at $15 it's not even all that fancy!) I suppose all those people who rave about French pharmacy finds might be onto something...

5. A SILKY FULL-COVERAGE FOUNDATION THAT'S CHANGING MY LIFE
I have never been one of those girls to whom makeup knowledge and application comes naturally. Spending big on beauty products has never been a priority either, since I didn't know enough about them to justify paying more than drugstore prices. Once I started working, however, I learned what it's like to befriend a beauty editor. Suddenly your world is expanded. Very fancy face oils and serums and masks become commonplace. You get spoiled. It's pretty nice.

Well now that I'm working for myself the beauty freebies have slowed and I've been left with expensive taste and a budget that doesn't quite match up. However, Meghan (once again!) introduced me to Clinque's Super Balanced foundation ($25) and now I'm hooked. There's no escaping and I'm just going to have to factor this into my life.

I've struggled over the years to find a foundation that matched my skin tone (I'm just bad at it), stayed put through most of the day and truly did it's job—hiding my skin's imperfections. I've had more than one person actually say, "Your face looks great!" while I'm wearing it, which is always nice to hear and shows that the Clinique is making a noticeable difference. I feel like I look better in photos, too, which is also a serious plus because Snapchat. Lastly, it comes off easily with the above fancy French face wash so I gotta tell you, I'm just praying this combination keeps working!

6. A COLD BREW COFFEE MAKER TO GET ME OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING
We all spend a lot of money on coffee. That ain't new. In the winter I'm better, I buy grounds and fire up the drip coffee machine when I get out of the shower. It's fine and honestly probably saves me quite a bit of money. However, once the temperatures start hovering around say, 55 degrees, I practically wake up salivating for an iced coffee. I'm dubious of the methods at places like Dunkin Donuts, but even at "fancy" coffee joints I find myself wondering why this cold delight is so much more expensive than its hot counterpart. 

So! In preparing a fun graduation gift guide for Today.com recently, I discovered that there exists a $15 cold brew coffee maker on Amazon that is their #1 best seller, has nearly 1,500 reviews and a 4.5 star rating to boot. All you do is put the grounds in the filter, fill the pitcher with water and leave the whole thing in your fridge overnight. The next morning you have four or five cups of delicious, powerful cold brew coffee to last you through the week. I found the (iced coffee) pot of gold, guys. You're welcome.

PS: I'll be making mine with grounds from my favorite people over at Atlas Coffee Club. I mentioned them in a gift guide last year, and their coffee—that comes from all over the world—is just so good. Also, if you're a hot coffee purist (no shame, I guess) check out their handy brew guides for making a perfect cup at home.

7. THE SNEAKERS FASHION EDITORS (AND MY MOM) LOVE
Remember when you were in high school and your crush drove a navy Subaru wagon, and then suddenly you started seeing them everywhere? (No? Just Seattle?) Well, shortly after my friend Andrea, a former coworker at InStyle, told me about Allbirds, I got that sensation. I started seeing these sneakers like, multiple times a day. Now I cannot walk down a street in Manhattan without spotting a pair—soft yellow, heather grey, all-black... They're on my radar and my shopping list and therefore cannot be escaped.

Since she's quite hip, I quickly told my mom about Allbirds and suggested she get a pair. I thought they'd be perfect for running around Sun Valley in the spring since they're reported to be really adaptable for varying temperatures.

"They're wool and you can wear them without socks!" 

"They're so popular in New York!"

"You'll wear them everywhere!"

It didn't take much to sell her on these $95 kicks actually, and once she sent me an Instagram-worthy shot of her wearing them with ripped jeans, I knew I had to have them. (I told you she was cool!)



Photos by: Me, Bekka Palmer, Everlane, @Clinique on Instagram, @Goby on Instagram

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