Super boring outfit ask - I'm looking for a big gray cardigan. Preferrably a wool blend - tailored enough that I can wear it to work but cozy enough for late library hours. Does this exist? Preferrably drapey and under $150. Thx!
My husband has stolen my favorite beanie--I got it from Gap last winter and it's slouchy and white with thin blue stripes. He's wearing it as I write this. Any ideas where to get him a cute, slouchy beanie of his own for Christmas? I've looked around but haven't found anything as cute as the striped one he stole. And I want it back! Thanks :)
I couldn’t find one exactly like what you described but I found some other striped beanies that might work!
I'm super in love with your gift guides (and ended up getting my mom some of the things you suggested!), but I come to you with a bit of a gift giving conundrum. I'm at a loss at what to get my best friend. She's newly married, but they live in a small apartment and she's in the military, so I'm limited on beauty/fashion gift. They're spending Christmas on their honeymoon in SE Asia, so I'd like to get her something that will be useful for travelling. Any suggestions?
How about putting together a little travel survival kit?
Hi Jaclyn, my long black cami that I've been wearing with leggings has finally bit the dust. Unfortunately, they don't make this brand anymore and I'm having a problem finding some that are a good length for leggings. Any suggestions? Obviously I don't want to spend an arm and a leg and they need to not have the built in bra shelf. Thanks for your help!!
I’ve got three really great (and inexpensive) options for you. First, H&M’s long camis are just $6 each. I wear these constantly. They’re tunic length, soft jersey and look good worn on their own or layered. They do run small-ish, so if you’re planning on wearing them with an open sweater or cardigan, consider sizing up. My other favorite camis come from Forever 21. The spaghetti strap camis are stupid cheap ($1.80 each, that’s not a typo). I buy 5 of them at a time. I’ve never had to replace them either. They’re cheap, yes, but I haven’t had them fall apart on me. I like the essential layering tanks too. The lower v-neck is nice. Last—ASOS’ longline camis are one of my favorites. They’re about $14-$18 each and longer than the average cami, which I love. The back detail is cute too. They skim the body a little more loosely than the other two brands I mentioned, so these might be good for wearing on their own or with cardigans/jackets.
A lot of sickness, a lot of work not getting done when it should be, a lot of messiness I don’t have the energy to face. If I’m being honest, I’ve felt pretty sorry for myself. I had a hard time not crying earlier today when Isobel wouldn’t stop crying (OVERTIRED) and I couldn’t find her Tylenol and I was getting work emails and there was snot all over her, all over me. I like to think I’m this adult(ish) person who has learned so much about parenting and patience but moments like that one earlier today just show me how delusional my occasional self-confidence really is.
Still, you know what? I need to snap out of it. A bit ago I was looking through Facebook and saw a link to a blog of one of the moms whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting. I was reading a few pages of it and really started crying because my god.
I complain a lot about the holidays and I have sure done my share of overall life complaining this week, but it’s Friday and I’ve done enough. It’s time to sack up a little bit, get this work done and enjoy the last few hours before Isobel goes to bed instead of watching the clock and wishing it was bedtime already because WORK and SELFISH TIME.
Oh, hey girl. I'm celebrating my 30th birthday in South Beach in January and I'm looking for a dress. I'm thinking more classy MILF, less hooker (nothing against hookers). $150 budget. Do I have to wear an actual color (shudder) since I'll be in Miami? Help me. THANKS.
Oh heyyyy. MY BODY IS READY
I found a bunch of RTR options (all under $150). While I think wearing a color that is not black or white is HIGHLY overrated, I did include a few other colors because it is the beach and I guess you wear colorful things there, right?
I don’t think you’ll want long sleeves, but January IS the coldest month in South Beach (thanks Google). Take that with a grain of salt. What do they consider cold? 65 degrees? Anyway, this Mark & James by Badgley Mischka dress ($85) would look amaze on you.
This dress (Elizabeth and James, $75) was reviewed as being super tight—they advised sizing up once or twice—but it is SO SOUTH BEACH and I had to include it. This Cut 25 dress ($85) is another South Beach no-brainer. I think this would look really good on you too. If you’re feeling the black and white but want something a little longer, this Zoe Jordan dress could work ($150). This dress ($65) could be fun: it has a dramatic back and a short hem that are balanced out by the higher neckline. VERY LEG.
All of this fuss over the Zella leggings and I have decided to take the plunge and order my first pair. So now the question…how do they run size wise? I'm debating between two sizes and I'm unsure which to pick.
I find them true to size. I bought a size M first and then a size S for my second pair and prefer the smaller size for working out (more compressive). If you’ll be wearing them more for everyday, I’d say to go with the size that corresponds best with their size guide. The guide they have on their website (XXS=00-0, XS=0-2, S=4-6, M=8-10, L=12-14, XL=16) seems pretty accurate.
Anyone else have any Zella sizing tidbits to share?
You are amazing with all the fashion advice!! I'm a new mom, my daughter will be 4 months for Christmas. What are the best shops for kids clothes? And any great holiday dresses for infants? I'm not a huge fan of the super fancy poofy dresses I keep seeing for kids.. I like cute clothes, or mini-me clothes (think H&M for kids, I just wasn't seeing much at their store though). Thanks!!
I shop for Isobel at five places: Target, Baby Gap, Old Navy, H&M and ZARA. And you’re right! The pickings are slim at most of these places for holiday dresses. (I was just looking the other day.) The exception is ZARA, where I found several really good things.
I have two nephews - one is three and the other just turned one. The three year is super easy. he's at that age that is really fun to shop for and he finally "gets" Christmas this year. I want to keep my gift giving about equal, but it's hard when his brother is only two years older and he has 3290457 hand me down toys and right now his favorite thing is eating his own foot. so I need help spoiling him and figuring out what to get him.
Isobel was about to turn one last Christmas so I have a few ideas for you:
She got some really great toys last year from family and friends but the one thing she kept playing with over and over again was this $11 xylophonethat Brandon bought for her on a whim. -____- She also loved this wood drum ($20).
I have gift guide question. I am thinking about buying some stocking stuffers for my team. The team is composed of three 50 something men and one 29 year old woman. Policy does not allow me to spend more than ten bucks a person. Thoughts?
Chipotle or Starbucks gift card (WHO DOESN’T LIKE CHIPOTLE)
Movie theater gift certificate
Get everyone their own KeepCup—and get different colors so they can tell them apart.
Hi Jaclyn, I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction. In early Dec. I will interview for a position I have been pining over. While I feel prepared mentally, style wise I could use some guidance. Having just relocated from GA to way Upstate NY, where the snow that hangs around until April has already begun to fall, I am at a total loss. I want to dress professionally and warmly, while still retaining youth and style in my look. What do I wear? The right shoe is especially troubling me.
I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to post this ZARA peplum top ($80) and THIS IS IT. Let’s start there. It’s gorgeous, long-sleeved and a great color that’s still conservative enough for an interview. Then, depending on your personal preferences (and how safe you think you should play it), choose a pair of black trousers. Banana Republic always has good basic trouser options and they’re running sales almost every day right now. You could go with a wool straight leg ($98), a wool trouser ($98) or a slim ankle pant ($90). Play it safe with the shoes: Ann Taylor’s leather kitten heels ($128) are ideal. I like this feminine wool coat from H&M ($80) to top everything off. Choose a solid-colored mid-weight scarf (like this one, $75) and avoid a cowl or infinity scarf so you don’t have to rip the thing over your head once you’re inside. A pair of longer gloves ($38) will keep your arms warm and they’ll look chic too. Once inside, you can remove the coat or simply unbutton it. It’s stylish enough to wear open. Of course, if you think the interview requires it, you can always wear a black blazer underneath the coat, but unless the interview is at a very conservative workplace, I think the blouse is dressy enough to carry the outfit on its own. Keep jewelry minimal: maybe a watch and a pair of pearl earrings or other stud earrings. If you get a huge ice or snowstorm, go with indigo by Clarks snow wedge pumps ($50-$100). They’ll look good with straight leg trousers.
Hi Jaclyn! Love love your blog. I'm looking for a black knit hat - sort of chunky, sort of slouchy. A bit like this theory one (tumblr won't let post the link but it's called hody hat in cashmere) but not $120. Have you seen anything around? Thanks!! And Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi there, so how do feel about those riding boots of your mom's as all-purpose rain boot? I'm moving to London and like the style and price, just need to know if they're sturdy and comfy enough to stomp all over the city in. Gracias!
(Referring to this post, btw.) They’re incredibly sturdy and last forever—mine are at least 20 years old—and you can just wipe them down if they get dirty. As far as comfy, that’s a little harder to answer. Riding boots are made to be pretty snug and you may find it annoying to fit jeans or thicker socks inside. (You can always size up.) They’re also incredibly stiff—they don’t bend and flex like a normal boot might. They’re not really made for walking, in other words, but I’ve worn them for so many years now that I’m used to it. I just want to give you fair warning. I’d recommend visiting a local saddlery for sizing and fit if you can!
Hi Jaclyn- I just moved from Florida to Seattle and my wardrobe needs a cold weather overhaul. I am looking for a Cowl-neck sweater that is long enough to wear with leggings but it has been surprisingly hard to find. I am willing to invest if it is perfect. I prefer thicker material (warm, cozy and definitely not sheer) and bonus points for cable knit. Can you help me find something? Thank you!
ZARA has tons of great knitwear for affordable prices. They’re not cable knit, but they have the right shape so I thought I’d mention them. This gray sweater is oversized and extra-long ($79.90). This black cowl neck sweater is AMAZING. It’s just $50!
Until last night, things were going well. She was waking up earlier than usual over Thanksgiving break, but she was also going to bed 1-2 hours later than her normal bedtime. For some reason (A REASON I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND), kids apparently wake up earlier the later they go to sleep. (This is stupid, by the way.)
Last night I decided to move her bedtime back half an hour to get her back on her normal schedule. She has had a bit of a cough and has been fussier than usual the past week, but she was fine last night. There were no signs of what was to come. None whatsoever.
First let me note that we had affixed a child safety doorknob thingy on Isobel’s door because she has become extremely adept at turning doorknobs and finally realized how to open one last week. (OH, so the hand turns and the body must move back to allow room for the door to swing? GOT IT.) So, the child safety knob went on.
So, with child safety knob on the door, I laid her down in bed, opened the door, walked out, closed it and waited. I didn’t hear anything so I went down the stairs. Within seconds, there was primal, angry screaming. There was rage. There was kicking. There was banging on the door and frantic twisting at the child safety lock.
All of a sudden, Brandon and I hear the door open.
She stood at the gate of the top of the stairs and yelled.
We ran up. She had SMASHED the child safety knob right off the door. Okay. That’s just a fluke right?
I put the knob back on, led her firmly back into her room, said “It’s time to go to sleep” on the way and set her back in bed. Props to her—when I said it, she picked up a discarded paci and blankie on the way.
Back in bed, she howled and immediately tried to follow me back out. I scrambled for the door.
Commence RAGE FEST.
A few minutes later things quieted down (phew), but then the door swung creepily open and she started yelling at the top of the stairs once again.
She smashed the damn thing off the door again! Some child safety mechanism, you fucking losers. A+ workmanship. I guess you forgot the Toddler Rage Test, AMIRITE?
Anyway, at this point, we were very distraught (all three of us—well all five, the cat and dog were extremely stressed too), and so Brandon grabbed a screwdriver and turned the doorknobs around so we could lock the door from the outside. As he did this, Isobel The Emotional Manipulator sat quietly in my arms (something she hardly ever does now) and laid her head on my shoulder. I was trying to be strong Weissbluth-style but I did give one very soft kiss to the top of her head, because come on. I was feeling like the World’s Biggest Shit.
Doorknob reinstalled, I turned out the light, closed the door and re-sang her the lullaby. She was very sleepy. Rage takes a lot out of a person. I laid her back in bed, turned on ladybug and beat it for the door. I locked it. I heard maybe 5 seconds of protest crying then things were quiet.
At about 11:30, I heard her coughing and could tell she was still in bed by where the sound was coming from. This is very important once you read the below.
7:15 rolled around and she was still asleep. (Little fart didn’t sleep past 6:45 ONCE while I was on vacation.) I opened the door to her room to wake her up and kind of gasped—she wasn’t in bed! Panic! Then the door hit something. I looked down and she was sprawled on her stomach, right beside the door, completely knocked out. She was clutching her blanket and her Elmo. Out like a light. I squatted down and rubbed her back and said, “Good morning honey,” and she looked up at me with hair askew, eyes confused, totally disoriented. She drunkenly got to her feet and plowed her way into me for a hug. Then she looked over my shoulder and said, “Butterflies!” to the big insects we put up on the wall above her bed and she smiled at me and I didn’t feel like a Giant Piece of Shit.
But I did feel like a small one. A Baby Shit, maybe.
I feel like I need to get this out there. For the past two months, I have been seeing a lot of another man. And I can’t stop. What’s worse: I don’t want it to stop.
WHAT IS MY LIFE REALLY WHAT IS IT
Okay, so when Brandon attempted to get me into video games he may have been a little too successful. And by too successful, I mean that I spent an hour last night hunting cougars so I could kill them with a knife and collect their pelts.
Brandon sat on the couch behind me. Where am I? I am in my GAMER CHAIR. The one that Brandon ordered for me because I was complaining that our other chair was not sufficient for my GAMING NEEDS.
He says to me, “You need to stop playing Red Dead.”
And I’m like, “Fucking cougars. Where the fuck are they. They spawn here all the time and of course when I’m here, they’re gone. OH SHIT A COUGAR”
Above: A fucking cougar.
So, I beat the game—as in the actual game—like a month ago. But the funny thing about games like this is that you don’t achieve 100% completion of the game until you do all these stupid little side missions and challenges. Like, OH FOR EXAMPLE, completing all the levels of the Master Hunter challenge. I’m not even playing the proper game anymore. I’m essentially riding a horse all around a world that I know frighteningly well—I hardly need to look at the map anymore—and I’m just hunting predators and collecting stupid plants. For hours. For HOURS.
I would say I find it relaxing, but that’s not true. It’s like every evil rotten character flaw I have has flowed magically from my brain into my hands into the controller and I have morphed into this obsessive cowboy monster with a rage problem. Last night I was so mad that a cougar got away that I killed an entire pack of wolves just because I could. Brandon said, “You’re a horrible person.” And I am. He’s right.
I’m getting close now. I have completed 91% of the game. I’m terrified of what comes after. Brandon has been buying other video games for me to distract me from what he calls “fucking Red Dead” and I appreciate the gesture (I really do), but it’s all for naught.
"If you like Red Dead, you’d like Grand Theft Auto, I should get it for you."
Sunday night was a dream. Laid her down, left the room and didn’t hear a peep until 7 am the next morning.
Last night NOT SO MUCH.
I could feel it in my bones. I knew the signs: A little fussy, refusing some of her dinner, acting extra clingy. She got angry when I got her out of the bath tub. (“No, no, no, no!”)
I think she could sense my fear too. Like Alishan told me, they feed on your fear. She had a glint in her eye and I knew. I KNEW.
I laid her down in bed and she IMMEDIATELY stood up and started to climb down off the bed. I beat it for the door.
She was mad. Real mad. She stood at the door, banged on it several times, was twisting the knob. She was doing a mad cry, not a Level 10 Distress Cry, so I considered going in but then noticed she was faltering. It had started at maybe a Level 6 Anger Wail but was, at this time, probably a Level 3-4 You’re An Asshole Mom But Whatever Indignation Cry.
I put five minutes on the clock. Shortly after, I heard her walk back to where her bed was and (I think) she got back on it. She was still making angry cry noises but they were very intermittent. Less than a minute later, everything was quiet and stayed that way until she woke up at 7:15 this morning.
It put the absolute fear of God into me though. I had Isobel “I-Hate-Sleep-And-Hate-You-Too” Day flashbacks from her early months. It was a flight or fight moment. I didn’t know where to go or what to do with myself, so I froze and remained so until things got under control.
I’m still debating the video monitor. (By the time I make a decision about this, she’ll be 16.)
If anyone still cares (DOUBTFUL), last night went really well. I was getting worried yesterday afternoon after she took a nearly 3 hour nap, which is completely abnormal for her. She’s always been a terrible napper and if she takes a nap that long, I usually attribute it to teething or growth spurts or that she’s getting sick. It’s that uncommon. I get a 3 hour nap from her maybe once every couple months. Hell, I get a 2 hour nap from her MAYBE once a month. Anyway, this concerned me because I thought it might interfere with her sleep at night. I know, I know—Weissbluth is all “sleep begets sleep,” but it’s so counter intuitive.
Bedtime rolled around and I let her play in the bath longer than usual to try and tire her out a little more. We went through the whole routine and I put her in bed. She snuggled in again after I turned on her ladybug and she was quiet. Didn’t hear a peep. I went to bed around 11.
At 3:30, I heard her cry out and heard her walking around. She was trying to twist the doorknob for a minute or so. I considered going in, but then she quieted down and stopped crying. I could hear her rustling around with things in her room. I pulled out my Kindle and read for about 20 minutes. I could tell she was still walking around, but then about 10 minutes into reading, things got really quiet again. She either got back into bed or had settled down with a book or toy or something.
I didn’t hear anything from her until 8:30 (!) this morning when she got out of bed and went to her door and cried out for us. I opened the door and she was holding her blankie and her Elmo nightlight. There were a bunch of books scattered on the floor and she had taken everything out of her changing table/dresser—diaper creams, lotions, a few diapers. There were some toys in another corner. I was impressed that she stopped crying out in the middle of the night and decided to play around for a bit instead. That’s very unlike her and a sign that she really is growing up (sniff)—she’s never been good at self-soothing once she’s gotten herself worked up to the crying/screaming state.
I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a video monitor. We never got one when she was an infant because our house isn’t huge and I could always hear her easily, even when I didn’t use the audio monitors. (I stopped using them when she was about 3 months old. They were making me crazy and paranoid and I couldn’t sleep.) The only reason why I haven’t done the video monitor thing yet is that sometimes it’s better for me not to know, I think. I don’t need to be staring at her pulling every book off her shelf at 3 am. And I WOULD. I would get obsessive. But for safety reasons—which could help alleviate a whole other type of obsessive anxiety—it’s something I’m definitely thinking about.
If you have video monitors, do you have a brand to recommend? If you don’t use them, why?
I’m not going to write up every night (DUH) but I want to document a little bit about our experience with the toddler bed transition in case someone out there is going through the same thing!
Last night actually went great. We did the whole bedtime routine, I laid her down in the bed and this time she didn’t cry. She turned over onto her stomach on her pillow and snuggled in with her blankie before I left the room. I turned on her ladybug and left.
Everything was quiet the rest of the night. At 6:30, I heard her cry and I could tell she was trying to get out of bed. A few seconds later, I heard her at her door. I went in and knew she was UP. She usually wakes on her own anywhere between 6:30-7:30, so I consider this a win even if I wish she’d slept a little longer. (Why is that they instinctively know it’s a weekend and wake up earlier but I have to WAKE HER UP during the week? Really. What is that. COME ON. #gobvoice)
Tonight is the night I’m really curious about. She’s well-rested now after the Night of Doom on Thursday night and if she has a nightmare or wakes up in the night and decides, “Hey, I remember I can get to the door now,” things are going to get a little crazy. But, after a rather smooth first night and second night, I am trying to trust that she knows what to do. I keep thinking about the four month old who would scream every time she was set down and who would wake up after falling asleep every 15-45 minutes and I cannot believe we are at the place where she is in a toddler bed. In some ways it feels like all of that infant sleep craziness was just yesterday, but in other ways it feels blessedly far off in my memory. I keep telling myself that no matter what obstacles we may encounter with the toddler bed, nothing will compare to the sleep issues she had as an infant. I recently read the sleep logs that I kept for her then and couldn’t believe it was real life. Almost couldn’t believe, I should say.