Target has a lot of baby stuff on sale or clearance right now. Skip Hop diaper bags are marked down and most will ship free (if the total is over $50) or will ship free with your Red Card. Top left is the Duo in heather gray for $46 (from $58). Top right is the Chelsea for $79 (from $99). Bottom left is the Versa (the bag I used) for $55 (from $70). Bottom right is the best-selling Duo in black $46 (from $58). 

P.S. The aztec print special edition Duo is available for $51 (from $64) too. 

Speaking of sweaters, this new Lou & Grey ribbed b&w sweater is great. It’s $49.50. 

Speaking of sweaters, this new Lou & Grey ribbed b&w sweater is great. It’s $49.50. 

This marled hoodie sweater from Gap Body looks delightful. It’s $65 so wait for a promo code. 

This marled hoodie sweater from Gap Body looks delightful. It’s $65 so wait for a promo code. 

Iz’s new sneaks are normally $19.95 from The Children’s Place, but you can take 40% off today and get free shipping with code TAKEFORTY2. Grand total is $11.97! Toddler sizes 4-11 available. 

Iz’s new sneaks are normally $19.95 from The Children’s Place, but you can take 40% off today and get free shipping with code TAKEFORTY2. Grand total is $11.97! Toddler sizes 4-11 available. 

nosmokewithoutpryor asked: Alright my dear.. I've got one for you! I have about a thousand flowy tops, but I'm on the hunt for some new "fitted" basic tanks. Not tight (no one needs that in their 30's), but fitted - so think Old Navy Ribbed Tanks, or H&M or Target camis.. but something a bit classier that maybe has a more interesting neckline, or more versatile cut, that I could dress up or down and wear with a maxi skirt or jean shorts. Any ideas? xo

Hi there friend! :) 

Not sure if you’ve seen these: H&M has a pretty lace-trimmed tank in 4 neutral colors for just $9.95. If you want a slightly different design, see this lace-trimmed jersey tank for $12.95. 

Another favorite (I love the length of these) is J.Crew’s Perfect-Fit tank. (See more colors here.) They’re just $22.50 each and you can take 25% off with code SHOPTIME right now. The straps are thin—they look more dressy than a basic ribbed tank. I love the slightly scooped back too. J.Crew Factory’s dupe is the Slim Fit Tank ($14.50). 

I’m loving the looks of Gap’s Supersoft tank ($18.50 each, 3 colors). It’s simple but pretty. 

I think front racer tanks can be really flattering. This ribbed version from F21 is just $8.90! (This might look awesome with a maxi skirt.) David Lerner’s curved hem tank is pricey at $66 and might be a little less fitted than you want, but I think it would be perfect with shorts. 

Revolve Clothing tends to stock more flowy tanks, but if you can get to the basics stuff, there are some great options. James Perse’s Daily Racer Tank (about $30-$45) is available in tons of colors and looks like the ideal basic tank top. I like the higher neck on Bobi’s modal rib tank ($42). 

Another option is Everlane’s Ryan tank—just get a size smaller than you normally would. It’s $20. 

Almost everything on Aerie is buy one, get one for $5 right now! May I suggest my two favorite yoga pant styles—the flare pant and the crossover pant? They’re $29.95 each (or buy both for $35-ish!). 

Fall Closet Cleaning

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This weekend Brandon and I went through our attic and closets to organize things long left unorganized. In the attic, we had a baby swing listing precariously on top of squished boxes and the old guest room bed frame and mattress heaved into a corner. It was hot as balls up there and I kept imagining this happening:

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Anyway, we’re still not 100% done but we did get the closets finished! A few notes:

  • I had gone through my closet about 6 months ago and didn’t have a ton to sort through this time. Instead, I tried on every single thing. It was annoying, but I got a decent pile of things that don’t fit anymore.  
  • There were a few dresses that I really loved but weren’t flattering (fit-and-flares will always make me look like a rectangle). When I was waffling (“umm, I like this dress, I don’t know”), I had Brandon take a photo of me. DONATE PILE. 
  • I hadn’t sorted through my outerwear in a long time. Early fall is a good time to check on the coat situation because there is plenty of time to watch for sales before it gets too cold. I found several coats that were too big and a couple college-era favorites that really needed to be replaced. They were missing buttons, one was missing a waist tie, the fabric was looking rough, etc. I really loved those coats, but I had them for almost 10 years and they were looking pretty worn. I have a well-fitting puff coat and a dressier winter coat, so I’ll just search for a new trench to replace the one I donated. That should do me for another 10 years. -____- 
  • I hadn’t tackled my sleepwear/pajama drawer the last cleanout because it was an intimidating catch-all for things I didn’t know what to do with. I pulled an out of sight, out of mind on the pajama drawer(s). That was dumb. A pajama drawer is a free-for-all. It is a special place where random clothes go to die. I had nursing tanks in there. Maternity pajama pants. High school class t-shirts. College t-shirts. I went through it and kept only the things that were actually pajamas. (Annnnnnd my high school intramural championship t-shirts because I am not completely dead inside.) 
  • Brandon hadn’t gone through his closet in years. He had a lot of years-old clothes stuffed in drawers or piled up on shelves. He tried everything on too and the donate pile grew to a small mountain. A lot of his stuff had shrunk over years of wash/dry cycles or just didn’t fit him anymore. His closet looks sparse now—especially after I got him new hangers—but at least he doesn’t have to try on 3 shirts before he finds one where the sleeves aren’t two inches above his wrists. In the end, his small mountain of clothes filled five bags!
  • Speaking of hangers—I had replaced my mismatched ones with the Joy Mangano hangers months ago and bought some for Brandon this weekend too. They are amazing. Clothes stay put (no tank tops or dresses falling onto the floor) and they save a lot of space. They worked great for the super-heavy sweaters and coats that Brandon has. 
  • When I look at my closet now, there is an obvious pattern—I own a lot of denim, tees and leggings—but those are the things I wear all the time. I don’t work in an office, so I sit at my desk at home in tees and leggings. I dress up (marginally) when I leave the house or take Iz somewhere. What I own now is probably not as fun as what I’ve donated over the past two years, but it’s functional, versatile and it fits. 

Nordstrom’s Clearance Sale starts today and goes through September 7. I spotted this cute Zella half-zip for $40 (from $68) and my favorite pair of Zella leggings—the space dye print—for $43 (from $58). See all the Zella markdowns here

What I’ve Read:
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas - Daniel Kelly is a talented swimmer who hopes one day to win Olympic gold. He receives a swimming scholarship to an elite boys school and attempts to shrug off his working class upbringing and prove he is The Best. The Fastest. His competitive drive is all-consuming and his intense anger at any slight—perceived or real—starts to create big problems for him in the pool, in class and at home. The story is good, but exhausting. Tsiolkas’ free-wheeling chronological narrative, taking huge leaps in time and space, is not my favorite. Kelly is a flawed protagonist—almost too flawed. I like the honesty of creating a really unlikable character, but it’s hard to cheer for him, whether he’s swimming or screaming or thinking. The strength of the main plot could have benefited from this being a trimmer, more cohesive book. Tsiolkas tried to tackle too many themes and characters, and that, along with the choppy narrative structure, made the book more tiring than thought-provoking. I received this book free in exchange for a review.
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead - This is a great example of where a back-and-forth chronological structure can really work in a book’s favor. Astonish Me is about Joan—an American ballerina—who helps a Soviet ballet star defect to the US. The Soviet dancer, Arslan Rusakov, remains a constant fixture in Joan’s life even after the years pass and she marries and has a child with another man. This book—about ballet, love, marriage, friendships—is a treat to read. The chronological structure I mentioned above allows Shipstead to continue revealing crucial back story and context as the novel progresses. Most important: This doesn’t feel like a cheap maneuver to keep the drama high. I really enjoyed this one. 
The Loyal Lieutenant by Georgie Hincapie - You look at the cover of this book and you think, “Great! We can finally hear Hincapie’s side.” That’s the book I wanted to read. I always loved watching him ride. His long, celebrated career was exciting and interesting. This book is not. Once I cracked the cover, I started to quickly figure out the more juicy parts of his story by what he didn’t include. If you don’t sniff out the same thing right away, you certainly will when you open to the sparse and carefully curated picture section in the middle of the book. Hincapie wants to write the “let’s play down the doping and Lance Armstrong association” game here by talking about everything else instead. When he does mention the reason most people will pick up the book (he put Armstrong on the cover, come on!), it either comes off heavily edited or is a rehashing of what we already know. Let me put it this way: I would have read this book even without all the doping scandal revelations of the past few years. And, yes—I know there are only a few ways you can say, “That climb was fucking hard and I was pedaling as fast as I could.” But George. GEORGE. First: The ghost-writing sucked. The voice doesn’t feel authentic and there is flowery, splashy prose to back that up. Second, he eagerly speeds through the US Postal and the Tour de France years to get back to his more singular accomplishments in the classics. Understandable, okay, but annoying for the reader. He didn’t have to expunge one for the other. If you’re going to tell your story, tell the whole thing. Which leads me to my third issue: He really wants to lift the doper mantle right off his shoulders. He tries several tactics to make this happen. He downplays it. He talks about his naturally high hematocrit level which limited the amount of dope he could do. (This is fair, but reads like a “I did it but not as bad as that other guy” whine.) He talks about when made the decision to ride clean in the late 2000’s. He talks about this a lot. What he doesn’t talk about is anything that could potentially tarnish the good guy reputation that he hopes to preserve. The funny thing is that the more he pleads his case, the more he tries to strategically skip from Tour to Tour in order to move on to other things, the more I began to believe that he was instead an integral, upper level cog in the US Postal doping machine.
Have you read any of these?

What I’ve Read:

  • Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas - Daniel Kelly is a talented swimmer who hopes one day to win Olympic gold. He receives a swimming scholarship to an elite boys school and attempts to shrug off his working class upbringing and prove he is The Best. The Fastest. His competitive drive is all-consuming and his intense anger at any slight—perceived or real—starts to create big problems for him in the pool, in class and at home. The story is good, but exhausting. Tsiolkas’ free-wheeling chronological narrative, taking huge leaps in time and space, is not my favorite. Kelly is a flawed protagonist—almost too flawed. I like the honesty of creating a really unlikable character, but it’s hard to cheer for him, whether he’s swimming or screaming or thinking. The strength of the main plot could have benefited from this being a trimmer, more cohesive book. Tsiolkas tried to tackle too many themes and characters, and that, along with the choppy narrative structure, made the book more tiring than thought-provoking. I received this book free in exchange for a review.
  • Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead - This is a great example of where a back-and-forth chronological structure can really work in a book’s favor. Astonish Me is about Joan—an American ballerina—who helps a Soviet ballet star defect to the US. The Soviet dancer, Arslan Rusakov, remains a constant fixture in Joan’s life even after the years pass and she marries and has a child with another man. This book—about ballet, love, marriage, friendships—is a treat to read. The chronological structure I mentioned above allows Shipstead to continue revealing crucial back story and context as the novel progresses. Most important: This doesn’t feel like a cheap maneuver to keep the drama high. I really enjoyed this one. 
  • The Loyal Lieutenant by Georgie Hincapie - You look at the cover of this book and you think, “Great! We can finally hear Hincapie’s side.” That’s the book I wanted to read. I always loved watching him ride. His long, celebrated career was exciting and interesting. This book is not. Once I cracked the cover, I started to quickly figure out the more juicy parts of his story by what he didn’t include. If you don’t sniff out the same thing right away, you certainly will when you open to the sparse and carefully curated picture section in the middle of the book. Hincapie wants to write the “let’s play down the doping and Lance Armstrong association” game here by talking about everything else instead. When he does mention the reason most people will pick up the book (he put Armstrong on the cover, come on!), it either comes off heavily edited or is a rehashing of what we already know. Let me put it this way: I would have read this book even without all the doping scandal revelations of the past few years. And, yes—I know there are only a few ways you can say, “That climb was fucking hard and I was pedaling as fast as I could.” But George. GEORGE. First: The ghost-writing sucked. The voice doesn’t feel authentic and there is flowery, splashy prose to back that up. Second, he eagerly speeds through the US Postal and the Tour de France years to get back to his more singular accomplishments in the classics. Understandable, okay, but annoying for the reader. He didn’t have to expunge one for the other. If you’re going to tell your story, tell the whole thing. Which leads me to my third issue: He really wants to lift the doper mantle right off his shoulders. He tries several tactics to make this happen. He downplays it. He talks about his naturally high hematocrit level which limited the amount of dope he could do. (This is fair, but reads like a “I did it but not as bad as that other guy” whine.) He talks about when made the decision to ride clean in the late 2000’s. He talks about this a lot. What he doesn’t talk about is anything that could potentially tarnish the good guy reputation that he hopes to preserve. The funny thing is that the more he pleads his case, the more he tries to strategically skip from Tour to Tour in order to move on to other things, the more I began to believe that he was instead an integral, upper level cog in the US Postal doping machine.

Have you read any of these?

Fall Picks Under $60

I love Emerson Fry’s fall/winter collections each year…

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…but the only problem is that they are crazy expensy. 

Here are some similar items from Forever 21. (And they’re all under $60!)

  1. Heathered Open-Front Cardigan, $24.80
  2. Pointed Slingback Flats, $22.80
  3. Zippered Faux Leather Tote, $24.80
  4. Heathered Knit Hoodie, $17.80
  5. Classic Woven Trousers, $17.80
  6. Striped Knit Top, $13.80
  7. Collarless Textured Knit Coat, $52.90
  8. Distressed Skinny Jeans, $19.80
  9. Textured Knit Varsity Sweater, $24.90
  10. Cable Knit Sweater, $19.80
  11. Paneled Scuba Knit Pants, $22.80
  12. Faux Suede Strappy Wedges, $29.80
  13. Faux Leather Carry-all, $29.90
  14. Buckled Faux Leather Booties, $32.80

This post was sponsored by ShopStyle in collaboration with Forever 21, but the items included are things that I independently chose based on my personal preferences.