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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: august edition


I’ve got a whole lot of great recipes lined up to share and a fun giveaway next week, but I just couldn’t wait to do another Things I’m Loving. Here’s what I’ve been loving in August!

1. As someone with long thick hair, pretty beach waves are something I would love to easily achieve. I’ve been trying various beach wave sprays for a looong time. I’ve tried the DIY versions I’ve seen all over Pinterest (no good), and I’ve tried a few other brands without success. Finally I found this Mai Tai Spritzer Sea Salt Spray from Dry Bar, and my search is over. This stuff is good. It works well (imagine that!), it smells fabulous and it lasts a long time even though I use a lot of it, and often. There is definitely a learning curve with this kind of thing as you figure out how it works best with your hair. At the recommendation of my hairstylist, I usually spray it on when my hair is mostly dry but just a bit damp, dry the rest of the way with the diffuser on my hair dryer and scrunch it up lightly while I dry. Sometimes I add a few more curls with a curling iron depending on the look I want. However, I have also just sprayed it on damp hair and let air dry and that gives nice relaxed waves too. Even if you aren’t going for waves or curls, it adds a lot of texture to the hair which can help with styling in other ways as well.

2. I know, I know. Tease me all you want. Every clothing item I’m sharing this month is from J.Crew. I can’t help it. There were some great finds from other stores I really wanted to share but they are now all sold out. Rats! Don’t worry. You know I won’t steer you wrong. I recently ordered this lace shift dress to wear to a wedding next month and it is perfection. It is comfortable, super flattering, and just the right level of formality for a wedding or other special occasion. I opted for this flame red because I have too much blue in my closet. Can’t wait to wear it! I know I’ll be getting lots more wear out of it after the wedding is over.

3. Just like last month, I’m still totally crushing on Julep products. I picked up a few new shades to try out recently and this one is my favorite of all. The very pale pink/beige color makes it a perfect neutral option. It has a bit of shimmer to it and it drys with a silk finish which has such an interesting look to it. The finish is of course, altered a bit with use of a top coat but still, I love this polish. Also like most Julep polishes I have tried, it has excellent staying power.

4. Okay, you all know how much I adore fall but look – I’m starting to feel like the Grinch of fall right now. It is still August and I can’t believe Starbucks has already released the PSL. In past years, I thought they were kind of pushing it on Labor Day weekend but at this rate, I’m thinking next year it may come out in July with all the holiday decorations in craft stores. Booo. To remind myself and everyone else that it is still summer (as if the very hot temps outside weren’t enough), this très bien tee is perfect summer wear. Lightweight and with palm trees and a fun print, it makes me happy to have summer stick around a bit longer. It’s super comfy. I like pairing it with white skinny jeans, mint studs and strappy sandals.

5. Maxi skirts and dresses have to be one of the greatest clothing trends of all time, am I right? They are insanely comfortable but still fashionable. You can wear them practically anywhere – just as well suited for chasing my kids around as for date night. I recently snagged this striped maxi skirt from J.Crew during a sale and I adore it. I mix and match clothes enough that I’m not a frequent outfit repeater, but this one has been on heavy rotation. Love.

6. This is actually something I’ve been loving for quite a long time now, but I keep forgetting to tell you about it! I am very particular about, well, everything, and even with functional items like electronic cases, I try to find more stylish options (without sacrificing function of course.)  I bought this felt and leather laptop sleeve from byrd & belle a year or two ago and it is still going strong. It has held up beautifully even with daily use, and people comment on it all the time. Both men and women are always asking where I got it. I figured since they want to know, you might like to know too! For those with college age kids (which I’m sure will be me, in the blink of an eye), this could be a great gift idea.

7. If I had a fashion mantra, it might be “add a little sparkle”, emphasis on “a little”. Too much can take you over to the bad place. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to add just a touch of shimmer or sparkle to an outfit and these mint earrings with gold leaf and glitter from tiny galaxies are one of my new favorite ways to do that. I was initially shopping for a birthday gift for a friend and chose a similar pair for her. Then, because I tend to buy gifts that both myself and the recipient would enjoy, I ended up buying myself this pair.  her a similar pair. I looooove them. The small size makes them perfectly delicate and just so beautiful. Well done, tiny galaxies!

This cap sleeve lattice top has been on my list of projects I want to try for quite a while…pretty much since I started knitting. I finally decided it was time since it would be a nice option in warmer weather. As knitting projects go, this one was fairly boring and I found it less enjoyable than most of the other projects I made because it was so mindless. But, when it was finished, my feelings about it completely changed. I LOVE the finished product and I have worn it several times. I’m even considering making another in a second color. The stitch patterns are very simple so this would be a great pattern for a beginner. I did make a few modifications to the original pattern by knitting it in the round and adding some waist shaping. (I can give the specifics for anyone interested – just let me know.)

One of the best things about the internet, I am fully convinced, is that it exposes me to art and artists I’m certain I would never know of otherwise. Not too long ago I came across the work of Chloe Giordano, who creates truly incredible art with embroidery. Most of her pieces are very small, dreamy illustrations of animals. Her attention to detail and highly intricate work lend a lifelike quality that I find hard to comprehend. I could just stare at these for hours.

As I’ve mentioned around here and on Instagram, I’ve been busy with several transitions in our lives right now. Especially due to studying for boards, I haven’t read as much for pleasure lately so I don’t have any book recommendations this month. (One book I did read a few weeks ago is not worth recommending.) However, the Humans of New York page has been all the reading material I need. Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you are already familiar with Brandon and the incredible work he does. I have always loved this page but have been found it especially captivating lately as he has taken his work abroad in the Middle East and Africa. His portraits, typically accompanied by brief stories and snippets about the subject, often leave me speechless and sometimes in tears. The work he is doing is so important it defies words. Each photo and story continue to remind us that every single person is dealing with something we know nothing about, and that we should strive to be kind, compassionate and understanding. I am so glad he has gone global and is helping to put real human faces to the places that may previously have been only distant news stories, and also to help these countries shed the sometimes negative image of them portrayed in the popular media. This is the important stuff, people. Please follow along and support the awesome work he is doing.

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.

  • Kerry Cooks

    LOVE all your picks Annie! The earrings are gorgeous and that embroidery of the deer is just stunning

  • Emma

    I love it when you highlight Etsy shops in these roundups! I, too, love browsing around Etsy, and it’s so great to find recommendations for cute little shops that I might not otherwise have happened upon. Thanks!

  • Brittany Ryan

    I love your things I’m loving posts! You always share awesome things … seriously considering ordering that Lace J. Crew dress right now!

  • Judy E

    Love the top! I’d like to know about the modifications you made. I’m currently finishing up some 3d letters for a bazaar, then making a shrug for my daughter’s wedding!

  • Kelli

    Annie, would it be too much to ask that you do the Favorites post each week? : ) They are my favorite! And that knit top is just beautiful!!! Do you have a web site or book on knitting that you recommend for us newbies?

  • Amanda

    Hi Annie. I’d love to learn to knit. How did you start? Book? Class? YouTube? Any recommendations for a beginner? Thanks for all your inspiration, not just in the kitchen! Have a great weekend!

  • annieseats

    Aww, so glad you enjoy them. I absolutely love writing these posts! I try to only write them when I have enough things I can truly recommend though, and unfortunately that’s not on a weekly basis. I am trying to do them monthly now though instead of every two months because people seem to enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them :)

    As for learning to knit, I really highly recommend taking a beginning knitting class if you can find one in your area. That is how I got started and I think it helped immensely. Once I learned the basics, I started trying patterns. Every pattern (even now with a fair amount of experience) has some new stitch or technique I have never tried, and I look those up on YouTube. If you do decide to try doing it on your own, I think the best two sites/YouTube channels I have used are Very Pink Knits and knittinghelp.com (recommended by my knitting instructor).

  • annieseats

    I know, Etsy is the greatest! I love finding new shops on there – so fun!

  • Kelli

    Thanks Annie. I was truly kidding about the weekly posts, but wouldn’t be mad if you started!

  • Mindy Pannell

    Oh gosh, I think I’m going to have to add a new budget line for my finances, “Annie’s Thing I’m Loving.” Thank you for putting your time and heart into this!

  • annieseats

    Haha no worries! I’m just glad you like them so much :)

  • annieseats

    Hi Judy, here’s a link to my particular project where I describe the modifications and my approach in detail: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annmarsh/cap-sleeve-lattice-top

    Sounds like you’ve got some fun projects going on!

  • annieseats

    Hi Amanda,
    See my reply to Kelli below. I took a class and use YouTube to supplement now that I know the basics. I hope you decide to try it. Knitting is so fun!

  • Carolyn

    Hi Annie – where did you take a class in Indy? I recently moved here and I need a refresher course :)

  • Angie

    The best thing about maxi skirts is that they’re also insanely comfortable when pregnant. Even 9 months pregnant when summer decides to show up at the end of August. And all you need to do is buy 1 size bigger, and you can wear them PP while losing the baby weight (at least I hope so!)

  • annieseats

    I took the beginning knitting class at Mass Ave. Knits (actually located in Fountain Square, not on Mass Ave anymore). Susan leads the class and she is the most wonderful teacher! So kind and helpful. I highly recommend it!

  • Aimee
  • annieseats

    Ha, yes! So many people have been sending this to me. Now if only it were required reading before commenting ;) LOL