Weekend Reading | 9.7.19.

Weekend Reading of the week

happy weekend! I am having a rather intense couple of days over here! I flew out to LA Thursday morning for brand events with Sephora, stayed the night, and took the redeye back last night for events with Stitchfix today. WHEW. I see sushi and couch time and a solid 12 hours of sleep in my future tonight! Still – lots of fun links for reading to share with you today… and as for the weeekend, whatever you’re up to, I hope it’s great! xo

Before we dive into the links… I love when my favorite brands do something good. This weekend (through 9/9), if you shop in-store at Veronica Beard they will donate 10% sales to HeadKnowles, to help with the rescue, relief and recovery in the Bahamas post Hurricaine Dorian. You can also donate directly – I did! If you are able to, please donate – every dollar helps.

Actually really excited about this new gmail feature – so smart!

Love the idea of making a friendship spreadsheet.

The most comfortable, perfect loafers! They sold out last year so get yours before that happens.

Not to say I told you so, but I told you so: Bakuchiol is the next big thing in skincare.

Why your job search might not be working.

I’m very into little slip skirts right now – my two favorite (inclusive!) options are this pink print one and this pretty red one.

How to financially prep for the holidays.

This chevron dress is an amazing price and only $40!

Lauren Chan’s new plus line Henning is STUNNING. (Also spoiler alert; we’re having her on the pod in the coming months!)

What happens when you’re no longer “impressive for your age!?”

Holy moly this floral dress is stunning and a great price. Plus version here!

How to read 50 books this year, without really trying!

Okay these pajamas are absolutely gorgeous and so cheap!

I cannot wait for Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale sequel!!!

OMG this collab – perfect for the beauty loving dog owner!

Deeply into these emerald green earrings. They come in a bunch of other colors but the green ones are the best.

How to get the most out of your skincare routine.

Love these boots so much (and the price is right!!)

Tracee Ellis Ross is launching a hair care line!

Really looking forward to reading this book.

Dying to try Glow Recipe’s new retinol sleeping mask. (As you know I’m a big fan of the watermelon one!)

On talking to your friends about money.

Everlane’s sweatshirts look so soft… and the colors are fab!

The best new cookbooks for Fall.

Brad Leon’s cooking rules!

Need this fun stripe tee!

Love this article about one of my favorite TV shows.

I forgot how much I love this fancy face wash (got a sample and packed it for LA!)

Intrigued by this dark spot fader… this is quite a review!

photography by Carter Fish.

Things I Bought and Really Liked.

 things influencers buy

happy Friday! I always think it’s fun to see what things influencers buy and actually spend their money on. We are lucky enough to get sent a lot of stuff to try and test out; and I personally have Rent the Runway now (going to post about that at some point – HUGE fan!) so I have been less tempted to shop for new dresses, etc.

Today I’m sharing ten things I bought recently/recently-ish that I am absolutely loving. If you read here daily, a few may look familiar but the consistent thing for each of them is that I bought the item with my own money and would highly recommend it. It’s mostly a mix of Amazon finds and beauty treats… with one more expensive thing: these pants!!!

The Amazon Sunglasses

These sunglasses have been such a godsend. I may never buy an expensive pair again (especially bc I ALWAYS lose all my nice pairs). They’re PERFECT. And only $11. I have the black and the solid nude and am strongly considering another pair. The shape is great (they look cute on everyone who tries mine on) and they look like they’re much more expensive than they actually are.

The perfect pants

I love these pants. They’re my favorite color, and I shockingly don’t have too many pairs of pants in my closet. I’ll be wearing these with the matching blazer (not included here as the brand very generously gave me the blazer) for a power suit combination. Veronica Beard is my favorite splurge brand. I like that they’re inclusive, and I like how well-tailored everything they make (especially their jackets) is. Now I love their pants, too!

The cutest little yellow bag

I get the same rush shopping ASOS that I do when I shop on Amazon. It’s so much searching, but when you find something good… it’s really good. This little yellow bag was a fun $42 find. It will obviously be very cute with summer brights (floral dresses, a denim jacket, really everything) and I can’t wait to pair it with my camel coat when things cool down!

Olaplex No. 3

Years ago when I used to go to a different hair colorist, she would secretly pack me up a little jar of this. So I’m really happy that Olaplex has started selling their line. I also didn’t realize that it’s clean! This is the ultimate hair treatment (especially in the summer, when you’ve been frying your hair in the sun). I apply it once a week after shampooing (you put it all over your hair, not just on the ends), leave on for ten minutes, and notice an immediate difference in how much softer and less frizzy my hair is. Highly recommend for anyone who colors or heat styles their hair!

The Yellow Sandals

What is it with yellow!? It’s such a happy color. I got these sandals maybe a month or so ago and just love them. They’re surprisingly super comfortable too. They’ve sold out in most sizes but are currently on major sale so if they have your size, GET THEM!

Lawless Highlighter

This absolutely positively one of the best highlighters I have ever tried, and I love that it is clean. I had never tried Lawless as a brand but was puttering around Sephora (as one does, waiting for their appointment at the Apple store) and I touched the tester of this and was really impressed by the color payoff (it’s really pigmented!!!). I bought it and it became an instant favorite.

Santal 26 Candle

Okay okay this is cheating, as I bought it as birthday present for Becca, BUT this candle is one of my absolute favorite gifts to give! It’s decadent and expensive for a candle which makes it a great gift; it’s something the recipient might feel guilty buying! (I have that guilt – I buy this one as a gift and the Maison Louis Marie one for me… they smell very similar… like a chic fireplace!)

The Away Everywhere Bag

It is like the people at Away climbed inside my brain to build the PERFECT travel bag and I love it so much. I had seen the nylon one and wasn’t into that but the leather one is just… perfection! And I had lamented my carry-on woes (usually I use my Sofia Fima bag or my Cuyana tote which are more appropriate as work bags). So, I wanted something that was leather that could hold a lot (more than the Cuyana tote) without being cumbersome. It needed that sleeve to go over the handle of my suitcase (seriously why doesn’t every bag have that!?). And it needed to be chic and minimal (no logos, not recognizable). It needed a top zipper. It needed a laptop sleeve. This is the best travel bag. I don’t have an affiliate link or anything for Away so I get nothing from gushing about this bag (besides the gift of feeling like I’ve shared something potentially life changing). I love it!!

DryBar Blonde Ale Shampoo

This is truly the best purple shampoo I’ve ever tried. I have to use a purple shampoo to keep my highlights from getting brassy (I like them to be more of a cool blonde than a golden blonde) and this one is great for that. It gets my hair really clean without being drying, and while it’s effective, it doesn’t ever leave a purple residue or cast which has happened to me in the past.

The Amazon Pearl Hoops

I had been looking for a cute pair of pearl hoops (the pair I had my eye on was $300 or something crazy) so decided to search Amazon and am glad they did. After doing a search I ordered four pairs (I didn’t keep them all; I wanted to compare the different styles as jewelry can be so hard to tell) and these were the ones I ended up keeping. And I get so many compliments every time I wear them! (I also kept this $12 pair – they’re a little trendier but also super fun).

My Favorite Affordable Shoes for Fall.

a girl on steps with a bag and brown footwear

This post is sponsored by Macy’s + Shopstyle.

As someone who a) likes to look cute, b) wants to be comfortable, and c) walks a lot and takes the subway quite a bit in a typical day, I ask quite a lot of my shoes. Please be cute, please be able to withstand me walking a LOT!

For this reason I was really excited when Macy’s + Sam Edelman reached out to partner on a post. My taste in shoes can be a little expensive at times.  But when I want a more affordable shoe, it’s almost always from Sam Edelman. These are great for affordable shoes for fall. They quality is great, the styles are so cute (think timeless with a twist), and they offer such a range – from timeless and classic silhouettes and colors (these black suede pumps are a perfect less expensive alternative to my fav designer pumps) to more trendier items (hello white loafers + leopard boots!) Below I’ve rounded up a few of my fav styles for Fall. As an aside, these loafers sold out nearly everywhere last year – if you are in need of a cute new pair I highly recommend them. They’re incredibly cute and comfortable and run true to size.

Shoes featured: Sam Edelman Loraine Bit Loafers in Saddle // Sam Edelman Boots

an array of affordable shoes for fall

Top: Scalloped Block Heels // White Loafers (same as mine – they come in so many amazing colors! // Black Suede Pumps

Middle: d’Orsay Pumps // Western Boots (same as mine but I have black!)

Bottom: Black Boots (dying over the leopard ones!) // Nude Pumps // Grey Booties

a girl with a white shirt and black booties a structured bag and good shoes a girl with a white shirt and good footwear loafers that are suede are affordable shoes for fall black booties are affordable shoes for fall affordable shoes for fall

Photography by Carter Fish.

Everything I Read in August 2019.

everything i read in august includes these three books that a woman is holding

This month started medium and then got better. I got REALLY sucked into the Luxe series, and while I don’t regret the time I spent reading those books when I finished, I was kind of like, “What did I just do with my time!?” But sometimes you just need a series like that. It scratched an itch, that’s for sure. A real highlight for me was We Came Here to ForgetI can’t stop thinking about it! It literally kept me up ALL NIGHT.  Can’t recommend it enough! Anywho. I read 10 books this month. But 4 were trash. Good trash, but still… trash!

I’m always looking for great recommendations… tell me what you’ve been reading in the comments! We’re also trying to figure out our October, November, + December books for the podcas… if you have suggestions, let us know!

IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BOOK CLUB PAGE.

Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real-time to my Amazon Shop. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list. I also posted a roundup of the 10 best beach reads of all time (in my opinion) if you’re looking for something fun and light to read.

For all my fellow Anna Delvey Obsessees!

My Friend Anna, by Rachel Deloache Williams

If you listen to the podcast or know me at all, you know that both Becca and I are OBSESSED with all things Anna Delvey. So naturally, we both freaked out a bit when we heard about this book, written by one of Anna’s closest friends during her peak faux-socialite heyday.

It details everything – from how they met to how Anna eventually scammed Rachel… the rise and fall of their friendship. Fancy lunches and dinners at Le Coucou, her time at 11 Howard, a crazy adventure to Morocco (where Rachel was forced to pay the huge bill). I felt myself feeling incredible amounts of secondhand financial anxiety for Williams. It was juicy though. I wanted to learn more about Anna and her scams, and I did. There is exact text message conversations. It’s definitely a fun read. It is not very well-written which can detract from the book at times, but overall I REALLY enjoyed it.

  • Overall Score: B+

If you feel like cancelling your weekend plans…

four thriller books in a series called luxe

The Luxe, Rumors, Envy, and Splendor by Anna Godbersen

Oh my god. So I read four books in a one week period (possibly shorter than that, I wasn’t keeping track) and I am a little bit mortified? The Luxe series is just so fun. It really sucks you in – if I had to describe it, it would be Gossip Girl, set in 1899! A strange concept, for sure but picture Blair and Serena in ballgowns and arranged marriages and you kinda have the jist. It starts with the first book, which introduces you to sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland. The Holland sisters kind of rule Manhattan, alongside Penelope Hayes who is Elizabeth’s best frienemy.

The Holland family has come under hard times so Elizabeth is forced to marry the dreamy Henry Schoonmaker who everyone adores except her. Meanwhile, he’s dating Penelope and secretly in love with Diana. So just imagine. The series follows them through marriages and deaths and a lot of drama. These books are not very well written, they’re kind of predictable, but if you’re craving something fun and easy that will take you away from your life for a whole weekend, these books will scratch that itch. ENJOY. The best book is the last one – if you’re doing this, just go and order all four at once!

  • Overall Score: B

the book called chances areChances Are by Richard Russo

This one was a departure for me as it’s about three older men! You might have heard the news that Carly is going to be our October books guest (so excited!) for the podcast so we’re in book selecting mode. This one was on her radar and I loved the idea of reading something from a totally different perspective AND it is set on Martha’s Vineyard. This is the story of three men (all good friends since college in the sixties and all very different!) What unites them is their college friendship (they were all the poorer kids at a wealthy liberal arts school in Connecticut and met serving food at a sorority house.

What also unites them is that they were all in love with free spirited Jacy Calloway, who disappeared from the island in 1971, never to be seen again. As the friends reconnect more than 40 years later, they can’t help but wonder what happened to her and what secrets they’re keeping from each other. It’s funny, it’s surprising, and it’s definitely very different from anything else I’ve read recently. This isn’t going to be our October book, but I really enjoyed it. The first half is very slow and then it really picks up. There’s a mystery of course, but there’s also these very real vulnerable characters and their friendship.

  • Overall Score: B

what grace read in everything i read includes the other's gold

The Other’s Gold, by Elizabeth Ames

Okay, honestly… I am still processing this book, weeks later! It went really off the rails but I still enjoyed it. This book just came out on 8/27 and absolutely everyone is talking about it. It follows four girls (Lainey, Ji Sun, Margaret, and Alice) from day one of college (they’re thrown together as roommates) through adulthood. The girls become the best of friends and the book follows them each as they make the worst mistakes of their lives.

The first two mistakes were innocent enough (still bad) but the second two get a bit dark. Both Becca and I were kind of like WAIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED!? I still enjoyed the book. As I said above, I’m processing and I think about it a lot. But I love when a book makes you think like this. I loved the real look at female friendships (it was similar to How Could She? in that regard). The characters are complex. The stories are complex. Their mistakes are… intense. But overall I really enjoyed the book and I really enjoyed how well the author captured the intricacies of female friendship. Read it with your girlfriends; it will definitely give you something to talk about!!!

  • Overall Score: B+

Two Incredible Thrillers! READ THEM!

We Came Here to Forgetwe came here to forget is a novel, by Andrea Dunlop

Okay before we dive in, I’ve been asked to provide trigger warnings with my book reviews. If you’re pregnant or have a small child this book may be problematic for you. I can’t say much more than that without revealing too much/providing spoilers Now that we have that out of the way, this book kept me up ALL NIGHT. Literally. I read it til past midnight and then woke up at 6am to read if and finish it. I literally read this book in a twelve hour period. It was that gripping.

It’s Katie Cleary’s dream to become a gold medalist skier. And she’s on track to do that; leaving home as a teenager to train with her boyfriend and best friend, winning race after race and eventually making the US team. And then everything unravels as a terrible, gruesome secret about her sister comes out in the media completely derailing everything – her career, her relationships, etc.  She flees Park City for Buenos Aires where she starts her life over as Liz Sullivan. It is there that she befriends a group of vibrant expats and begins to rebuild her life. The book alternates between Katie’s childhood + college/growing up with her sister to modern day until the two catch up. I just needed to know what happened.

It was really intense. But I couldn’t put it down. I really loved it. Just know that it is pretty intense. It’s the first book that has kept me up like that in a while!

  • Overall Score: A

The Family Upstairslisa jewell is a book in everything i read series, by Lisa Jewell (out 11/5!)

I’m such a big fan of Lisa Jewell. Her books always leave me thinking for days after. And they’re SUPER dark and disturbing which is something I happen to really enjoy (lol). I still think about Then She Was Gone quite a bit… it was super messed up and dark. This book centers around estranged siblings Libby, Lucy, and Henry and their friends Phin and Clemency. Back on the eighties, their parents are found dead in their beautiful English mansion. By all accounts, it looks like they had formed a cult and they’d committed suicide. Henry and Lucy were teenagers and disappeared, while Lucy was a baby – abandoned on the scene. Twenty five years later, Lucy has had her birthday and is set to inherit everything (the home is worth millions). Her birthday brings the family members out of the woodwork and a mystery unravels. It alternates between their (very creepy and disturbing) childhood and modern day. I could not put this one down and highly recommend it. It’s not out until 11/5 but I’d recommend preordering it. You will be in for a (dark!!) treat when it arrives!

  • Overall Score: A

Graham Norton’s new one!

a keeper by graham nortonA Keeper by Graham Norton.

I will be honest – I wasn’t all that sure how I was going to feel about this book. We have Graham coming on the podcast this month and I wanted to read his new book before we met him. Obviously Graham is amazing – but I wasn’t entirely sure how he’d be as a writer. I’m here to tell you that it was SO good! I can’t decide whether to classify it as a thriller or as literary fiction, as it’s kind of a nice mix of both! Elizabeth Keane is a single mother living in New York who returns home to Ireland to sell her mother’s home after her recent passing. She never knew her father but while she’s cleaning, she discovers a bundle of letters he’d written to her mother.

The book circles back and forth between modern day (Elizabeth trying to figure out what the hell happened), and the past (as Patricia meets Elizabeth’s father and the terrifying series of events that happen). I am being vague but it’s intentional… Because I don’t want to spoil it for you! I read this one in a full day this past weekend and loved it so so much. Also, I was really impressed by a) Norton’s understanding of human nature (and our worst tendencies) and b) ability to write from the perspective of a woman!

  • Overall Score: A

photography by Carter Fish.

What I Actually Wore: 8.24 – 8.30.

a cheetah blouse

How was your long weekend? Mine was… long! I love when the weekend actually feels long… sometimes they just go by WAY too quickly!!! This weekend was the perfect mix of productivity (did a lot of organizing – I color coded my bookshelves and cleaned out my closet) and seeing friends and family. And a whole lot of reading. In preparation for recording with him this week, I read Graham Norton’s new book (it’s incredible – not just saying that). I also got started on the new Christina Lauren, which is very, very cute so far!

I got a lot of rest as this week is going to be pretty intense. We’re recording for the pod today, and then recording two big interviews tomorrow, and then on Thursday morning, I go to LA for just one night (for Sephoria), taking the redeye home Friday night for more blog-related events. It’s going to be a hectic one but I’m excited for what’s in store!

PS – check out last week’s outfit diary here!

grace wearing big sunnies and a red dress in this edition of what i actually wore

Saturday:

the occasion: day drinking with the girls

what I wore: Trina Turk dress (via Rent the Runway, not available anymore but available in a fun fall print here) //  Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // Rachel Comey Earrings // Topshop Sandals

Sunday:

the occasion: brunch at Cafe Sabarsky and seeing Neue Galerie

what I wore: Tanya Taylor Dress  (on sale!)// Sarah Flint Slingbacks (use code GRACE50 for $50 off your first pair!) // Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // Rachel Comey Earrings // Katie Kime iPhone Case

Tuesday:

the occasion: meetings in the city.

what I wore: gifted Veronica Beard Blouse (also here + here)  // James Jeans (old; these are very similar!) //  Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // Rachel Comey Earrings // Sarah Flint Slingbacks (use code GRACE50 for $50 off your first pair!) Katie Kime iPhone Case

Wednesday:

the occasion: seeing Dear Evan Hansen!

what I wore: Tanya Taylor Dress //  Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // Loeffler Randall Heels // Roxanne Assoulin Bracelets // Katie Kime iPhone Case

Thursday:

the occasion: dinner at Little Frankie’s

what I wore: Chelsea 28 off the shoulder dress (plus version here) on sale – see it in Chicago here! // Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // gifted Tamara Melon Heels (obsessed) // Rachel Comey Earrings // Katie Kime iPhone Case

Friday:

the occasion: errands on errands

what I wore: Madewell Tee // Rag & Bone Shorts // Gold Birkenstocks // Palmgrens Tote (this is a cute knockoff and it’s currently on sale) // Amazon Sunglasses (my obsession) // Katie Kime iPhone Case