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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

things i’m loving lately: march/april

1. I could live in skinny jeans, but they have to be the right ones.  Cute, well made, and comfortable – that last parameter is usually the sticking point.  Well, I’ve finally found a pair I adore.  These denim leggings (I hate the term “jeggings” but I guess it applies here) from Madewell are awesome.  I’ve accumulated multiple pairs over the past few months because I love them so.  They have lots of rave reviews online and I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewers.  Worth the splurge – these are an absolute wardrobe staple for me.

2. I’m not really in the know when it comes to all things makeup/beauty, but I have read about Tarte Amazonian clay blushes on the few beauty blogs I follow and decided to try them out for myself.  I’ve been wearing them for over a year now and I have to say, I completely agree with all the rave reviews.  They have a beautiful sheen and are well pigmented so a little goes a long way. This peachy shade (blissful) is my absolute favorite of the ones I have.  So pretty!

3. Last month I gifted a luxe box subscription from Erin McDermott and the first installment that the birthday girl received were these amazingly gorgeous white lace druzy earrings.  Talk about a first impression!  We were both instantly smitten and I had to buy a pair for myself too.  They are white and bright and could go with just about every outfit.  And because Erin is kind, talented, and generous she graciously offered this coupon code for you: Use code annieseats at checkout and receive 20% off your purchase!  As if you needed another reason to buy something from her wonderful shop, now you have one!

4. I almost hate to even share these with you since they are nearly sold out, but I grabbed these studded ankle strap ballet flats from J.Crew on sale (and with an additional coupon code – score!) and I am loving them. Maybe if you’re one of the lucky few who fits the sizes that are left, you might like them too? Either way, the general look of these is great – another item that would work dressed up or down.  I love that they are a neutral flat that is work appropriate while still having enough pretty details to not be boring or drab. Even if you can’t find these exact shoes, maybe they’ll give inspiration for something similar?

5. Every spring/summer calls for that special dress that you can wear in any situation – a stroll in the park, a trip to the farmer’s market, a party with friends, dinner date out.  This halter maxi dress from Loft is that dress.  I am a shortie so I had to have several inches taken up off the bottom, but it is perfect – flattering, elegant, and soooo comfy. Add in pops of color with earrings and shoes, or keep it neutral with some simple metallic jewelry.  It works with pretty much anything.

6. Scarves aren’t just for winter time.  A light scarf with a vibrant print or bright colors can be a great accessory in spring and summer (especially if your workplace is constantly cold from air conditioning despite hot temps outside). I recently received this yellow print scarf from Boden as a freebie extra with an order I placed and when I found it in the package, it was so completely perfect for me I thought I had somehow bought it and forgotten about it.  Probably because I want to BUYALLTHEYELLOWCLOTHES.  But seriously, I love this scarf.

Okay, I can’t really decide whether this book should be listed as something I’m loving lately.  It is something that I was loving soooo very much for the first 80% of the book.  The story line is engrossing, the characters all highly flawed and highly interesting, and the writing itself is achingly beautiful.  I found myself highlighting passage after passage just because I loved the writing so much.  And then the ending happened….and now I just don’t know how I feel about it.  Feel free to discuss with me in the comments and if you haven’t read it yet, don’t read the comments yet because they will likely contain spoilers.  Bottom line, this book was still worth reading and I can tell it is one that will stick with me for a long time.

Okay, I can’t help myself.  I’m really proud of this rainbow blanket I made.  I mentioned it last August when I first started it, and I am so excited to have it completed now. This was a great project to work on when I was between my other knitting projects.  Each square took less than 30 minutes (once I got good at them) so it was an easy portable thing to do when I had time to kill.  The kids love it too – bright colors just make us happy!

Another recent knitting project that I loved was this pair of leg warmers that I dip-dyed in an ombre effect.  I am completely smitten with the way they turned out.  I used undyed yarn to make this leg warmer pattern and then used aqua Rit dye to color them.  This pair was a gift but I love them so much, I’ll be making a pair or two for myself very soon.  Just in time for summer right?  Oh, wait…


I’m most definitely a cat person and I could watch funny cat videos all day and just laugh till I cry.  This short little video has made me laugh SO hard it is ridiculous. I could watch it over and over.  I guess it’s mostly funny if you already know/like the song “Sail” by AWOL Nation.  Every time I watch it, I just wonder how they figured out the unbelievably perfect timing of the music with this video.  It slays me.

Lastly, one other funny thing that had me in stitches last week.  Misuse of quotation marks = endless entertainment.

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with any of the products or companies mentioned above, and they don’t even know I’m writing about them (except for Erin, because  I gave her a heads up.)  I’m just sharing things I love with you, because I love them!

  • Karen Tobin Cole

    Annie, Little Brown and Company regularly contacts me to read pre-released copies of new books and review them. I received The Goldfinch back in August and I wrote pretty much the exact same review you did. I was absolutely in love with the book and then I neared the end and it just started dragging and was so drawn out and left me with disappointed. It was great for about 600 pages though so I try to overlook the end.

  • http://www.passthespork.me/ Lauren V.

    I’m with you on the Goldfinch. The character development was excellent and for the most part the prose was amazing. I particularly liked the beginning sections where she describes the aftermath of the accident and Theo’s grief over losing his mother. My heart actually ached at points reading all of that. But, she sort of lost me in the end section where Boris and Theo end up in Amsterdam. It just seemed rushed and then ended up being tied up all too neatly. I also thought that Theo’s long monologue to conclude the story could have been edited out. The writing became overblown and tedious for me at that point. I was surprised that it just won the Pulitzer–I haven’t had a chance to read much lately, but is the really the best book of the year?

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura @ Tide & Thyme

    I find that old people love to use quotation marks wrong. My great aunt would always send me birthday cards with “Happy Birthday”, or “Merry Christmas”…I never understood it.

  • http://www.melskitchencafe.com/ Mel

    Hi Annie – I’m completely smitten with that blanket ever since you posted about it a week or so ago on your instagram updates (your finished project is AMAZING!). I’m going to make one too, especially since I have several long road trips coming up and mindlessly crocheting small squares seems the right thing to do (I won’t be the one driving, obvs). I was curious if you used the Koigu yarn and if not, what yarn you used for it? I’ve loved the Koigu for other {smaller} projects I’ve done in the past but not sure if I can get away with something slightly less expensive for a project this big. Thoughts?

  • annieseats

    Oh my gosh, COMPLETELY agree! I can’t imagine spending that for a blanket. Here is the link to my project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annmarsh/bears-rainbow-blanket

    It talks about the yarn sub I used and I included a color chart with my substitutions (I used Knit Picks Palette because it has such a huge array of colors to choose from.) It’s not the softest yarn ever, but for buying that many colors, it works just fine. I also included my approach to sewing it together, which I think is important to make it look really neat. All in all, I probably included too much detail but thought it might be helpful for anyone else as OCD as me :) I can’t wait to see yours!

  • Jennifer Kendall

    Beautiful blanket! That’s one of my very favorites! Yours is gorgeous. :) Love these “favorites” posts you do (wait, did I use quotation marks correctly? :)).

  • annieseats

    Thank you! And yes, you totally did :)

  • Kaitlin

    I have those Erin McDermott earrings and I LOVE them… really I love all of my Erin McDermott – thanks for that introduction. And for me, she is local, which is even better! Her flash sale Thursdays make me happy. :)

  • Karen

    Thanks for including your link in the comments! I never, ever thought I would make a blanket because 1) I do not have enough patience for that (knitting a blanket would take me years), and 2) I hate seaming, and generally pick patterns based on whether they are one piece. However, I love that blanket so much, it may be my first crochet project! I love all the details! And I am afraid I may have to order a pair of those jeans…free shipping and returns if they’re not perfect. I have become a Fresh tinted lip balm convert because of a previous “Things I’m loving lately” post of yours.

  • http://www.melskitchencafe.com/ Mel

    I want to cry, your inside look into your project is SO helpful (and well worth signing up for a ravelry account – I have a feeling I’m going to get lost in there for good!). Last night I spent hours pouring over the color selection at Knit Picks to get similar colors to the original project and totally scrapped it this morning to follow your recommendations. Our OCD brains think too much alike (I have several photoshop layouts of this darn blanket to prove it, sadly). Thank you, Annie – I appreciate you sharing all the ground work you put into this blanket! Can’t wait to get started.

  • Diana

    That “misuse of quotation marks” was “hilarious”. Seriously almost spit out my tea.

  • annieseats

    I know, right?! I made the mistake of reading it the other day in our communal workroom in my cubicle. Lots of studying and working going on around me but I couldn’t stop myself from cracking up out loud!!

  • annieseats

    Well good! I’m so glad that my inner obsessiveness (or not so inner, I guess) was helpful to someone :) That makes it worth it!

  • annieseats

    I am with you on seaming. I normally avoid it, especially for a project of this size. However, for this blanket it was completely worth it! Just take it slow and steady and you will end up with a blanket you love. Plus when you are making it for yourself, there is no deadline and you can work at your own pace.

    The jeans – do it! That free shipping/free returns was also the incentive for me to try them out the first time and now four (!) pairs later, my wardrobe is so much happier :)

  • annieseats

    I know, I love the flash sales too! You are so lucky to be local to her. I fear if I was local, I would have a hard time resisting all her beautiful pieces. It’s hard enough online! I love it all.

  • Tina

    If you don’t have Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy, BUY IT NOW!! It is so pretty. I love coral shades for spring!

  • Aimee

    I also love cat videos. If you haven’t seen Bane Cat yet, here is a link. It is my latest YouTube obsession. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ywjpbThDpE.

  • Joy Warren

    Would you mind sharing where you got Caroline’s bed?

  • annieseats

    It is from Pottery Barn Kids :)

  • Amanda Ferraioli

    Hi Annie! I love these posts! I always look forward to what you’re reading, so I’ll have to check out that book. A strange question, but I’m looking for a lamp just like the one in the picture with your kids for my nursery. Would you be able to share where you got that? Thank you!

  • kim

    Hi Annie…would you mind sharing your opinion about the fit of the madwell jeans….are they true to size, or do you recommend going up a size….i really like the look of skinny jeans, but feel self conscious if they look painted on….and unfortunately i don’t have the convenience of going to a madwell store to try on….thanks for the advice!!

  • annieseats

    I felt that they fit true to size. But keep in mind (and I probably should have highlighted this), they have free shipping and free returns on jeans so it’s sort of like your virtual fitting room even if you don’t have a store near you.

  • annieseats

    Hey Amanda! So the lamp was one I actually already had in Caroline’s room. The base is from Pottery Barn Kids and was originally their dark wood finish, but when we bought the white bed, I spray painted the lamp white to match (I felt ridiculous for painting such a beautiful lamp base, but it made more sense than buying a new one.) The shade was one I bought on clearance from Target a few years ago. I don’t know if they have something similar right now, but they do have a lot of really cute lamp shades there.

  • maggie

    Okay, I’m not reading the comments because whenever you recommend a book I end up loving it, and I don’t want spoilers! Do you have a goodreads account that folks can follow you on? I LOVE when you have book recommendations (and I also love these posts in general…you find the best stuff).

  • Steph in Lex

    Oh Annie, you have made my day with alerting me to the misuse of quotation marks article. Just when you think you’re the only one who notices crap like that and is amused by it, you find that the internet is alive with others just like you!

  • http://arhubarbrhapsody.blogspot.com.au/ Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    That is such a beautiful blanket! It would make a wonderful family heirloom, if only I had the skill to make it. I had a pretty decent laugh at the misuse of quotation marks, some very cringe-worthy ones in there!

  • Erika Robinson

    you finally did it, you convinced me to order some jewelry! I got the luxe box for my mom. I’m so excited, all the jewelry is so beautiful! Thank you for the recommendation.

  • Meghan Jenson

    I love your leg warmers and blanket. You are truly amazing to write this blog, finish up residency, and knit (plus all the other things you do). :-)

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    Your rainbow quilt is the best thing EVER!! And I’ve been meaning to read The Goldfinch…hopefully soon!

  • Angela

    These posts are my favorite. I love all the things posted, but the picture of your sweet kids and that amazing blanket is my favorite. Cheers!

  • Patti

    Annie: Which beauty blogs do you follow? I think I need a change or an update or something and I get overwhelmed on Pinterest. Thanks!

  • Annie Song

    Hi Annie,
    How funny – I recently purchased my first pair of Madewell jeans, as well! I purchased their “skinny skinny” jean and I have to say I really love them! They’re technically not “denim leggings” but they’re so comfortable that they almost feel like leggings! Another thing I love about Madewell jeans is that they do not sag at the knees and rear. They are a but pricey but I agree they are worth the investment.

  • Angie_R

    I just purchased the Tarte Amazonion clay blush from Sephora when they had the 15% off, it arrived yesterday and I wore it for the first time today. I really loved the way it wore, and I may have to pick up some more colors! I’m always looking for good beauty blogs, do you mind sharing which ones you follow/like?

    P.S. Misuse of quotation marks is hilarious! I had tears from laughing so hard. I do a lot of proofing at my job, so I think that made it even funnier for me!

  • annieseats

    Good to know! I am definitely set on several pairs of these legging jeans for now, so maybe I’ll try those next.

  • annieseats

    Thank you!

  • annieseats

    Woohoo!

  • annieseats

    Haha! Great minds “think” alike ;)

  • annieseats

    Hey Maggie! If you email me at annieseats at gmail dot com, I can give you my Goodreads info. I do also have a Pinterest board dedicated to books, though I update that only after I have read them.

  • Elizabeth Fitzpatrick

    I will definitely give The Goldfinch a read. I read Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” back in high school and I loved him, I didn’t read “The Little Read” because I heard mixed reviews.

  • Tricia Loy Kritikos

    Erin McDermott makes “Tricia” earrings! I think that’s a great reason to buy a few items from her…

    http://www.erinmcdermott.com/collections/earrings/products/tricia-earrings

  • annieseats

    Totally justified!

  • annieseats

    I have The Secret History on my to-read list now. It seems that that was a bit more well received than The Goldfinch by people who have read both.

  • Jaime Szajna

    OMG, the quote thing on the cake, is something that my inlaws do on cards. So, on the inside, it will say, Happy Birthday “Carter”, and I’ve had to bite my tongue to not correct them, as Carter isn’t a nickname, it’s my son’s actual name. SMH :P

  • annieseats

    Ha! That would drive me insane.

  • Shannon

    I’m adding that blush to my shopping list! Can I ask what beauty blogs you follow? I’m always on the lookout for ones that give good product recs. :)

  • annieseats

    I guess the main one is the Small Things Blog. There are a few others I visit from time to time, but not often enough to even know their names off the top of my head. Love hers though! Her sister also has a blog and it is pretty good too.

  • Anne Schofield

    Annie, I am wondering how long your discount code on Erin’s site will be good for. I would love to work a LUXE box into my budget somehow…or at least those Druze earrings – they are beautiful. And that blanket is so lovely! When in doubt, rainbow colors always win.

  • annieseats

    She said it will be good until Wednesday. I hope you are able to get something.

  • annieseats

    Meant to reply to this earlier – not sure what happened! I guess the only one I follow very closely is The Small Things blog. I love her. Her sister also has a beauty/fashion blog and I occasionally look at hers as well (The Lauren Elizabeth). There are a few others I check infrequently, so much so that I can’t recall their names off the top :)

  • annieseats

    Hey Patti,
    Sorry for the delayed reply. See my reply to Angie R in the thread above (or maybe below). Thanks!

  • Patti

    No problem – thanks!

  • annieseats

    I do still love them! I’m considering trying some other pairs of their more structured jeans as well mostly out of curiosity, but I have no complaints about the leggings and still wear them all the time!

  • Cara

    Awesome…thank you :)