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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: july edition

What’s that?  It’s already time for another Things I’m Loving?  Yes indeed!  I always wait to write these until I have enough things to talk about that are truly worth mentioning, but lately there have been a lot of good finds that I just couldn’t wait to share with you. Without further ado…

1. I fell hard for this J.crew linen lace trim tank the moment I saw it and waited anxiously for a good sale to come along. I’m a sucker for lace detailing and my love of grey is nothing new, so this is right up my alley.  It looks wonderful paired with a sweet pair of shorts (see no. 5) or skinnies but can also be dressed up for work or a night out.  Lucky for you all, it seems the sale situation is now even better than when I purchased – sweet summer tank for a decent price.

2. Other than my wedding rings, I don’t have a single piece of jewelry that I wear daily. I have many different necklaces and pairs of earrings that I love, and I tend to jump from piece to piece every day depending on my mood, daily style, etc. However, I think that is about to change. My friend from afar Erin McDermott recently debuted this beautiful gold rectangle necklace and I knew it would become an absolute staple for me. She personalizes each one with whatever word you like. The hardest part for me was choosing a single word to have engraved on it, but as you can see I went with “Namaste”.  I love it even more in person – it’s delicate, beautiful and adds just the right amount of sparkle, not to mention the understated engraving that makes it personally meaningful.

Erin is incredibly kind and as she has done in the past, she graciously offered a coupon code for my readers. Use code annieseats at checkout and receive 40% off your purchase of the gold rectangle necklace!  

3. As a blond with pale/invisible eyelashes, eyeliner and mascara are on my desert island list of makeup musts. I normally stick with a dark brown or dark grey liner and don’t deviate much. A couple of months ago I was in Sephora and swatched this Urban Decay Waterproof 24/7 liquid eyeliner in smog on the back of my hand. I didn’t buy it that day but I thought about it for a while and the subtle sparkle of it was so pretty, I ended up adding it to my next Sephora purchase. I’ve really enjoyed it (and have since added the dark brown shade as well.) It’s become my go-to liner and as the name implies, it has excellent staying power.

4. In my opinion, one of the best bang-for-your-buck items in a summer wardrobe is a white sundress. It works for practically any situation – casual get together, date night out, whatever – it works. (Except a wedding!  Unless of course it’s your own.)  Anyway, this embroidered bodice dress from Loft has been my perfect summer sundress.  I’m telling you, this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Just trust me when I tell you, I wear it every chance I get. The embroidery detailing is really beautiful. It does run a bit large so I would consider sizing down at least 1 or possibly even 2 sizes.  And don’t buy full price – Loft has mega coupon codes practically every day so just keep an eye out.

5. For as long as I can remember, J.crew chino shorts have been my favorite shorts. They are well cut and very well made. I have several pairs that are many years old and still in great shape.  Though I normally tend towards more neutral colors for shorts, this dusty quartz (aka pink) shade caught my eye and I bought them on a whim.  I love them and have found lots more ways to wear them than expected. So pretty!

6. I don’t know how it is that a simple striped tank can have such impact, but this J.crew factory racerback cami has been a wonderful addition to my closet. I just feel good in it, and the neutral colors and simple print allow make it easy to work into a huge variety of outfits. Also, I think it helped make the fudgesicle photo so…that makes me love it even more.

7. I’ve seen Julep polishes around for a while but only recently decided to give them a try. I must say, I’m super impressed. I definitely would not consider myself any sort of nail polish expert, but these polishes seem a bit higher quality than the other brands I typically wear. Plus, they last longer – a minimum of 7 days compared to maybe 4-5 with other brands. I received the Tamara polish in a Maven box and it is a perfect summer shade. It’s bright red but has a bit of a coral/hot pink tone. I love it!  Some of their polishes are available at Sephora, but some limited edition colors like this one are only available through Julep. (About the Maven box – I never sign up for these kind of subscription things but this one intrigued me and I buy nail polish every month anyway so I decided to try it out. I really like it so far! Every item in the boxes has been my style and I’ve used every single product a lot. I’ll definitely renew when this round of my subscription runs out. Here’s an invite if you are interested.)

In the knitting department lately, I’ve been having so much fun making baby gifts for friends. The sweater on the left is a vintage Bernat pattern that I scoured the internet to find. But find it I did and I’m so glad because it really did make a beautiful cardigan!  This is for my sweet friend Lydia’s baby girl who should be here any day now. Her due date was a couple of days ago. Let’s all send her tons of good vibes for a smooth, happy and healthy delivery!

The sweater on the right is for my friend Kelli’s third baby. She had shown me something she liked with a sheep motif, so I went off in search of a pattern that could work for her baby. I ended up finding this cute little flock of sheep cardigan and thought it might work. I had never done color work before so I was a bit nervous, but it was easier than I thought and the end result was pretty cute. I did modify it slightly to have the two rows of sheep facing opposite directions and I liked the way that turned out. Her baby is due in a few weeks and I can’t wait to meet the new addition. Yay!

 

I have been reading a ton this summer and loving every minute of it. Pat Conroy happens to be one of my all time favorite authors. In part, I’m sure this is because he lives in South Carolina (one of my favorite places in the entire world) and most of his books (all?) are based there.  It’s mainly because he is just an incredible writer.  He can construct a sentence like no one else and routinely makes me laugh out loud, but simultaneously moves me deeply. His books are the kind that I enjoy so thoroughly, I never ever want them to end.  I read a book of his about this time every summer. This year I read The Water is Wide, which is somewhat different from his other books because it is non-fiction. It is his account of a year he spent teaching on a coastal island in an all black school, during a time when prejudice still reigned in much of the south. The inequalities and injustices he witnessed and sought to change in the school system are sadly not surprising. Even today, I think this book is important and I think everyone should read it.  I don’t know how a book can be heartbreaking and uplifting all at once, but Conroy does it here.

Fellow TAL listeners, did you see this?  The creators of TAL now have a new podcast Serial, set to debut this fall. Instead of telling two or three stories in a single episode, they will instead tell stories over the course of several episodes, week by week. It hasn’t even started yet but I seriously cannot wait. I know this is going to be amazing. I love Sarah Koenig and she is the host.  (Side note – for those of you who have asked what episodes of This American Life I’ve been loving lately, I promise I’ll include some next time! I have listened to so many lately that I’m having a hard time remembering specifically which I liked best. I need to sift through and pick some out to highlight.)

 

And lastly for your ROFL, I give you this brilliant TL;DR wikipedia tumblr – a condensed version of Wikipedia. These had me in stitches a few days ago. For some reason I find the one about the Windows 95 Clip Art on the flag of Argentina hysterically funny. Gets me every time.

Disclaimer:  These posts are a way for me to share the things I love with you, simply because I love them!  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This helps to offset the costs of running this site and allows me to continue providing you the content you enjoy.

  • sheryl wehn

    did i miss erin’s website somewhere? very cute!

  • sheryl wehn

    nevermind! googled her name and found it. i had searched on etsy w no results. :)

  • Ruthie

    Hi Annie. Thanks for all the wonderful recommendations! You always have the best picks!

    How does the J.crew chino shorts sizing run? I love the colors, but they’re on final/no return sale. :-) Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Hmm…I would say they run pretty true to size, but since most of my clothes are from J.Crew, that may be because that is what I have come to consider as “true to size” if that makes sense. For me, compared to Loft or Ann Taylor, J.Crew has less vanity sizing going on – but my size in their pants/shorts is the same as most other stores (Banana, Gap, etc.) Does that help at all?

  • annieseats

    So sorry about that Sheryl – finished this post late last night and forgot to add the link. They are included now. Glad you found it anyway!

  • Ruthie

    Perfect! Thanks for the clarification. :-)

  • Cara

    Want to purchase every single thing you posted…love these posts!

  • branny

    As a teacher in a low income area, obviously The Water is Wide is one of my favorite Conroy books. Adding in the fact that I am from SC and can visualize just about every reference makes Pat C one of my favorite authors. Two of my students were finalists in a local essay writing contest he sponsored this past year and got to meet him! So jealous.

  • http://lifelovelibrarianship.com/ LibrarianLizy

    If you like Pat Conroy, you should check out Dorothea Benton Frank. Most of her books are set in the Charleston/Pawleys Island area and they have that similar, lyrical quality that Conroy’s books do. Plantation is my favorite of her books.

  • annieseats

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for the recommendation.

  • annieseats

    Whoa, that is amazing! I was just saying to Ben the other day that I would really love the opportunity to hear him speak or meet him in person. It would be so incredible. He’s an amazing individual.

  • Liz N.

    I’m a huge Urban Decay fan. Their Cannonball mascara is my go-to, for my thin, straight Asian lashes. I currently use Stila’s liquid liner but have had the UD waterproof 24/7 liquid liner on my wish list for some time. I’ll definitely make the purchase once my Stila liner runs out. That necklace is beautiful and the discount is SWEET! Now, to decide what word I’d like to add…so hard to choose!

  • Nicole Lodahl

    Another list – yay!! Last month I did end up reading Wild (loved it) and bought the Target sandals (wore them yesterday). This month I bought both the shorts and tank from J.Crew. I especially *loved* that they were on super sale. Thank you again for the recommendations!!

    *Have you knit your children anything lately? I knit my daughter this monarch butterfly cardigan – super easy. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/monarch-butterfly-3 And am trying to think up something fun for my son.

  • annieseats

    I know, when I was writing up the post I was so happy for my readers that there were such good sales right now! So glad you enjoy these posts :)

    I have not made anything for my kids lately. I’m currently working on a top for myself but once it is done, I’ll probably start a couple of fall sweaters for the kids. That monarch sweater is cute!

  • Angela

    I love these posts! I know I saw it every time, but, dude. They are my favorite. That office clip was awesome. I’m looking at the lovely necklace right now. Thanks so much!

  • Stephanie

    Just bought the necklace! Funny about the Jcrew items… I bought both of those tanks and shorts already this summer! :)

    Always love these posts and get great ideas… or confirmation of things I own! :)

  • Angela

    Just got the necklace. Thanks again!

  • Ann Grismore

    Crazy! I was just considering those linen tanks from JCrew when I saw your post on Bloglovin’. They are currently on final/no return sale ($23.99 is my kinda price!) and I’m going to splurge now thanks to your recommendation. Also, the gold necklace is (according to my nieces) AMAZE! Thanks, Annie!

  • Jenna Fowlkes

    I am also a big fan of Sarah Koenig…can’t wait for that new podcast! Her “Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde” and “No Coincidence, No Story” episodes are two of my TAL favorites. Not that I still don’t have a huge secret crush on Ira, of course :)

  • annieseats

    Yeah, that Dr. Gilmer episode was so amazing! I cannot wait for Serial!

  • Jess

    I love your ‘things I’m loving’ posts! I look forward to them every month. So excited to order this necklace!!

  • annieseats

    I’m so glad you enjoy them! You’ll love the necklace :)

  • Kerry Cooks

    You have such great taste Annie! And your friends jewellery is so beautiful – 40% is very generous!

  • Christina Oestreich Vezina

    just ordered the necklace with my boys’ names for the engraving – so excited for it to arrive! thanks for the coupon code :)

  • Miranda Johnson

    Pat Conroy was in my city for a speaking engagement, and I had the opportunity to meet him before the event. He was so incredibly lovely–I just wanted to tell you that. (He took a picture with my friend and I and sang a bit of a song from the Sound of Music to us.) It’s always nice to know that the artists you admire also genuinely connect with people. :)

    Here’s a link to a recording of the event if you’re interested! http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/11/25/daily-circuit-talking-volumes-pat-conroy

  • annieseats

    Oh my word, I can’t help but be jealous. And it just reinforces my hope to meet him someday. How wonderful!

  • annieseats

    How wonderful!

  • Miranda Johnson

    I really hope you get to meet him. My fingers are crossed! :)

  • Andrianna

    Julep polishes are my latest addiction! I’m so glad they’re here in Seattle – too bad you didn’t visit one of the nail parlors while you were in town! And many thanks to Erin for the coupon code on the beautiful necklace, I’ve been dithering over what to get as a gift for my maid of honor and I think this is the winner :)

  • Renee

    I’m so behind on my podcasts that I hadn’t heard about Serial yet. I’ll definitely be checking that out.