Weekend Reading, 6.19.21.

dress // earrings // bag // heels

Happy Saturday. This was a lovely week (despite so many thunderstorms?) A few furniture deliveries and an apartment that is starting to feel like home, a bunch of work, preparing for a fun event with Hampden Clothing next week (if you happen to be on St. Simon’s Island on Wednesday evening, COME – Liz and I will both be there! I’ve had a friend in town visiting since Thursday morning and we are doing all the things. A four year old’s birthday today, a fun dinner tonight at one of my most favorite restaurants, Father’s Day stuff and maybe the beach tomorrow. I hope you had a great week, and wish you the most wonderful weekend!  xoxo

Today is Juneteenth. Here are some things I’ve been reading through this week: The Ongoing Significance of Juneteenth and Juneteenth is finally a federal holiday. I loved the NMAAHC’s Juneteenth programming (this a great primer on what it is and why it’s important) and also this list of resources from the LA Times. I also thought it was interesting to see how different companies are celebrating it this year.

On getting back to “normal,” and having lost our social skills.

These yellow sandals came in the mail this week and they are amazing. Kinda want all the colors.

I want to make all of these salads!

Loved this conversation between Calida Rawles, Amy Sherald, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

This Farm Rio white lace dress is stunning.

What a dreamy SoCal home tour!

Current fav inexpensive sandals.

How early should you actually get to the airport?

This coconut cream pie chia pudding sounds so good.

SUCH a good amazon find: these marble ceramic bowls!

These joyful reunions melted my heart.

This crocheted tote is the perfect beach bag.

Amazon meets Etsy… but for Black-owned businesses.

Very excited for season two of The Morning Show! Feels like we just have so much good TV to look forward to.

Love the sweet Liberty pattern of this breezy nightgown dress.

How to prevent mosquito and bug bites.

I need another smocked dress like a hole in the head but love this one! Blue and red are so pretty together.

In NYC? Check out this store that sells only orange wine!

YUM – pork chops + peaches!

Still one of my favorite / best purchases of spring/summer: this white eyelet dress.

How to show your passion in a resume and cover letter.

I bought these denim shorts last week and they are SO cute.

Ooooh – a dessert dip that is basically Dunkaroos for grownups.

The best TV shows of 2021 so far.

How gorgeous are these handmade raffia sandals?

Energizing afternoon habits.

What a pretty gingham wrap top!

LGBTQ+ author-recommended books.

Cluttercore – big fan of this anti-minimalist decor trend!

These woven slides are so great. I love the red!

Love how much these IKEA shelves look like custom built-ins!

Aw! Look at this cute dog playing with dolphins..

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

photos by Clay Austin.

The Yummiest Sesame-Dijon Salad Dressing.

A few weeks ago I made the most delicious seared chicken and kale salad with Blue Apron. It had the most heavenly sesame-dijon salad dressing so I wanted to share the recipe here. This may be a no-brainer to some, but I am still pretty new to making my own salad dressings (this one is my usual go-to!!!) so feel free to laugh at me. I know this is basic but it’s also DELICIOUS.

Homemade Sesame-Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps Tahini
  • 2 Tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

Juice half of the lemon. Grate the garlic clove into a paste with a microplane.* Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Shake thoroughly before using. (You can also whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, but I find the jar is easier/less messy and just as effective.) Keeps for a few days!

*you don’t have to use the whole garlic clove, I personally do as I love really garlicky salad dressing.

PS – my family’s favorite panzanella recipe + my most essential kitchen gadgets!

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thank you for your support.

Making New Friends as an Adult.

Whenever I do an Instagram Q&A the two questions I get asked most are usually with regard to getting over a breakup (we will talk about that in another post), and making friends as an adult either generally, or in a new city. Admittedly, I am not always the best at this. I can be the life of the party with close friends (in small groups) but get pretty bad social anxiety around new people or with larger groups. And if I’m being honest, I am quite content on my own… a little bit independent to a fault. I can easily spend a day or two without talking to anyone… between reading, working, and just doing life I am happy as a clam. (After two days though I do need people!).

Moving to a new city at nearly 40 years old has been interesting. Back in New York, I had an active social life. Then it slowed down during the pandemic. Then once it was considered safe, I started seeing a handful of people outdoors. It was refreshing to see the same 3-4 people over and over again. I really liked that… I’d definitely rather have just a few really close friends than a lot of acquaintances.

Now, I’m in a new city. To be honest, I have my people and could just say, “I’m good.” I am really close with my parents. My sister and her family are moving here in August. I have two friends (from New York that live here now) that are definitely best friends. Becca once said on our podcast, “Best friend is a tier, not a person.” I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more… besides my parents and my sisters I probably have 5 best friends? And besides that crew I have two girlfriends from blogging (Liz and Chassity) that I’ve been close with for probably ten years now. It’s really nice to live in the same city as them.

All of that said, it has been important to me to get out of my comfort zone, build a network and meet new people. I’ve found myself going to more events (by the end of my time in New York I was such a brat – I wouldn’t go to anything), reaching out to women I admire, and just overall… actually making an effort.

To be totally truthful, I don’t even know if I am the best person to tell you how to make new friends as an adult. But it’s something I get asked about a lot, so I do think sharing my own experience and stories could be helpful? So maybe take this as a non-expert’s opinion? Making new friends, new close friends at least, is really HARD. It was even harder during the pandemic… (a new Zoom friendship didn’t exactly sound appealing?). That being said, I really think that as folks emerge from their pandemic cocoons, they are craving new and real connections. So if you ask me, now is a great time to make the effort and put yourself out there.

Also! The whole impetus behind my Facebook group was hearing from you that it’s hard to make new friends as an adult. Women there are constantly organizing meet-ups and get-togethers. There are book clubs. And supper clubs. It makes me so happy. So if you aren’t a member, def head over there and request to join (I’ll let you in – there are a few simple membership questions to keep creeps out, but I go in and approve new members a few times a week). You can search your city or make a new post. I guarantee, you’ll make at least one new friend!

Making new friends as an adult.

Befriend a connecter.

Back in New York, I considered myself a connecter. (Read Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point by the way, he explains this concept more – it’s such a good book with regard to trends and human behavior, even 19 years later). I had (and still have – sometimes I need to remind myself that) a big network and introducing friends made me so happy. I am an introvert and don’t need to be included in the actual plans… just knowing that two friends of mine that I felt would love each other made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Here in Charleston, my friend Molly is such an incredible connecter and an overall DOER. I admire her so much. I had met her casually a few times through friends while visiting in Charleston but when I moved here, she invited me to brunch. Brunch got boozy, and the rest was history: we regularly meet up for lunch or drinks, it’s the best. But she is constantly connecting like minded women and organizing fun things. I feel really grateful to have met her as she’s included me in a lot of local activities here.

Make the first move.

Pay someone a compliment. Ask them out! I was at a dinner here and there was a girl wearing a cute dress. I said hello and told her I like her dress. We got to talking and it turned out she lived in my building. What a small world. I also need to take my own advice. There’s a cool girl with the cutest dog, and I’ve been meaning to invite her over for drinks. Just do it. Say hello. Pay someone a (genuine) compliment. Ask them out.

Invest and follow up.

We all get busy! But when you meet someone you like, it’s so important to follow-up. (This may be obvious but it can be a problem for me!). Here’s an example. I met Laura for a drink a month ago. We hit it off. Both unmarried, both cat ladies (her cat looks amazing). But then I got busy with work and travel ETC. While in New York I was talking to a girlfriend about how I’d met another cat lady. But it dawned on me that it had been nearly a month since I had seen her. I texted her that night and we made plans to get together. People get busy. It’s important to keep the new friendship momentum going!

Be vulnerable.

I was thinking about this the other day and realized that most of my closest friendships in New York came out of sharing an experience that was stressful or a little traumatic. I’m not always best at being vulnerable, especially with a new friend, but when I can be, I’ve made some amazing new friends. For example: my friend Alex is one of my best friends now but she was initially an acquaintance/work friend. But then she went through a terrible breakup. I went through the same thing six months later. A mutual friend suggest we talk and oh did we bond! She was my breakup tour guide of sorts and it really helped me to get through all the horrors of ending a long-term relationship: seeing her be okay helped me to get okay.

With three of my other close friends, we met working at a startup. Startups are STRESSFUL… slightly traumatic in a way? We’ve all since moved on to new jobs and don’t really even talk about work anymore, but those friendships will last a lifetime.

Lastly on that front, the other day I met a girlfriend for lunch and she confided some pretty hard, sad stuff she’s been going through. Sometimes, as odd as it sounds, being open with a new friend about the harder parts of life is the best way to bond. Even just talking about someone about how hard it is to make new friends could lead to a new friendship.

With posts like this, I often think that the comments section are more valuable than my actual post. So with that, what about you? I would LOVE to hear your tips for making new friends as an adult in the comments section.

Last Week in Outfits.

It was… a week of smocked dresses! Hahahaha. Like I said with the gold Loeffler slides, sometimes I don’t even realize a pattern until I look at all my outfits together and am like oh wow, how predictable am I… perhaps I should branch out a little bit. The truth is that it’s quite hot and humid here and I just love a smocked dress. It’s definitely my perfect summer uniform: tight where it needs to be (skip the bra if it’s extra hot), and flowy everywhere else. Perfect! 😉

PS – speaking of smocked dresses, mark your calendar/timer? Today at noon, Hill House is launching a new collection. Nap dresses, but also separates. I AM SO EXCITED.

Monday

I worked from Hotel Emeline (a really cute spot… one of my favorite hotels here and a great place to work, love their coffee shop!). Wore an old Reformation dress (from three years ago, this one is very very similar) and gold birks (it was about a 25 minute walk each way so needed comfy shoes!).

Tuesday

Worked from home but popped out for a quick lunch with Chassity. Wore my trusty navy blue nap dress, this fun beaded necklace, + my go-to Loeffler Randall heels.

Thursday

Worked from home. Wore these Madewell shorts (they are the BEST, available in more sizes here) and a Lululemon tee. The bracelets are Roxanne Assouline. (Mine are a few years old but these are similar)

Later that night I changed for dinner and put on an Autumn Cashmere puff sleeve top (from last year), these fun earrings, and my leopard Loeffler heels.

Friday

Went to a lunch and learn with a group of local Charleston creatives during the day. Wore this Figue dress from a few years back (looks a lot like a nap dress but with pom poms and embroidery – they brought it back in a fun pattern this year), + gold birks (had a long walk!).

That night I changed into yet another smocked dress (the print is just so cool) from La Ligne for a tour of Jill Hooper’s studio! Added some fun vintage Chanel earrings and my Sarah Flint block heels.

Saturday

Spent the morning at the farmer’s market with my mom. Wore an Aviator Nation tee + Citizens for Humanity Shorts – both quite old.

That night I had a going away party for two friends, out at a friend’s beach house on Sullivan’s Island. I wore this La Ligne dress and my Castaner espadrilles which are also available here. It was a terribly impractical outfit decision as we got hit with a massive thunderstorm, but I still really liked my outfit.

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

An Amazing New Launch from Biossance (and a Discount!)

An Amazing New Launch from Biossance

Created in partnership with Biossance and ShopStyle Collective.

Today I am absolutely thrilled to team up with Biossance. We’re going to talk about some new product news, some old favorites, AND I have a special code for you. If you’re a long-time reader, you know how much I love Biossance… if I could only shop at one skincare brand for the rest of my life they’d probably be it.

An Amazing New Launch from Biossance (and a Discount!)

As background, Biossance is an incredible clean brand, known for their power ingredient: SQUALANE. More on that below. Their products are formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrances and over 2,000 ingredients that are potentially toxic or questionable, ensuring only the highest standards for skincare that is clean, safe, sustainable and effective. All Biossance products are proudly vegan, cruelty-free, and EWG-verified.

But let’s talk about that squalane! A little science lesson, if you will. The body produces its own version (known as squalene). But as we age, our body’s ability to produce and retain squalene decreases as we age. Squalane is traditionally harvested from shark livers (awful!) which has a devastating impact on the environment. Biossance has found a way to derive their 100% plant-based squalane sustainably, from sugarcane. Squalane is in all of their products, and it is a weightless oil that instantly locks in moisture. That’s one of the reasons I love their lactic acid and phyto-retinol so much; the products are ultra-effective without drying out your skin.

For the next thirty days (through 7/15) take 20% off sitewide using my code, THESTRIPE20 !

Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

The first product I want to chat about is their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.

First of all – this is NOT a serum. It’s a face oil, and should be the last step of your skincare routine. It contains just enough Vitamin C to noticeably brighten the skin, but not so much that it will interfere with other actives. For example, you could layer it over the phyto-retinol, dark spot serum, or lactic acid.

What I love about this oil is that it’s luxurious and hydrating but also lightweight. It absorbs immediately and leaves skin so bright and glowy! I love the faint rose petal scent, too.

Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil review | An Amazing New Launch from Biossance Squalane and Caffeine Body Cream Review

And, a new launch! Meet Biossance’s Squalane and Caffeine Body Cream.

I am SO happy they made this product They literally just launched it a few days ago and it’s incredible. It’s deeply hydrating and powered by skincare-grade ingredients like caffeine to firm and tone, and niacinamide to strengthen the skin’s barrier. It’s rich and luxurious but not at all sticky or greasy.

I also love that it’s only $28. I love a good body cream but hate when they’re really expensive… And I have dry skin and tend to go through body creams really quickly!

Squalane and Caffeine Body Cream | An Amazing New Launch from Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

Let’s quickly review a few more Biossance favs!

Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

This is hands down, my favorite Biossance product. If you buy one thing using my code, I would say to make it this. It’s my favorite acid, and what I love is that it delivers smoother, glowy skin in literally ONE NIGHT. The results are insane. Your skin will be noticeably smoother and glowy in literally one use. And with time, the results get better and better. I have been using this for a few years now and have repurchased multiple times.

What makes it special and different from other acids on the market is that it also contains that squalane, which allows for powerful exfoliation and smoothing without drying out the skin. You will notice a massive difference the next day. I make sure to use it 2-3x a week.

Squalane and Marine Algae Eye Cream

This is one of my favorite eye creams. I’ve talked about it in several blog posts now, but what I love about it is how hydrating it is, and that it delivers a lifted look, almost immediately… smoothing and firming the undereye area. It’s an Allure Best of Beauty winner for good reason!

Squalane + BHA Pore-Minimizing Toner

I love this toner so much. It’s my absolute favorite toner as it is gentle but contains BHA acids which exfoliate. I like that it’s free of alcohol, which can be drying. I added toner to my repertoire a few years ago at the recommendation of my esthetician. And have to tell you, it makes such a big difference. I was getting these tiny bumps on my cheeks. And she told me toner would help to fix that, by sweeping away any dead skin cells before you moisturize. This is a good one. It visibly tightens pores + clarifies the skin (while hydrating, thanks to that amazing SQUALANE!)

Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum

I have talked about this product at length (so many blog posts about it sorry but it’s goooood) but this is the first Vitamin C product that made me understand why people rave about Vitamin C so much, especially as I’ve gotten older and have started to see more dullness. It’s amazing. It’s excellent at helping to fade dark spots but it’s also great for uneven skin tone and brightens your skin so much, pretty much immediately. I use this every morning before moisturizer – the brightening benefits are incredible.

Make sure to use my code THESTRIPE20 for 20% off sitewide, now through 7/15.

An Amazing New Launch from Biossance

Photography by Clay Austin.