Fashion, Travel, Poetry

Style by Joules

Category - Weekly Reading

Weekly Reading   ·   02/12/2016

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Bikinis, Epilators, and Trip Prep

victorias secret colorblock bikini

Tomorrow morning I’ll be boarding a plane headed for Grand Cayman Island. So. Excited.

We’ve had a busy week preparing for the trip. I finally nailed down which bikinis to bring. I tried on so many of Victoria’s Secret’s new suits, but sadly none of them worked out. Mostly I found the bottoms to be way too skimpy. Maybe something that’s just this side of being a thong looks great on a supermodel, but on a normal person they often come off as overly slutty and just not that attractive. Happily, I did find the above suit on clearance at Victoria’s Secret and thought that the bottoms offered much more coverage. I’ll be wearing it along with several bikinis I found at Target, my go-to for inexpensive swimwear.

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Weekly Reading   ·   02/05/2016

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Currently Reading, Spring Bags, and Bunnies

french press

Last weekend the weather warmed up so sharply in Chicago that my husband and I actually were able to smoke cigars on our roof (I was still very bundled up, of course). Sipping a local bourbon and smoking a cigar outside was a real treat in January.

This week has been another quiet one for us. We’ve been hitting the gym hard and watching our calories even harder given that we leave for the Cayman Islands in about a week. Luckily, this means I’ve put together lots of healthy recipes that I can’t wait to share.

Other than that, I’ve been pouring through two books: Atlas Shrugged and Ringworld. Both excellent.

This weekend we’ll be spending Saturday watching a friend play hockey at a local rink and Sunday hosting a very small (and likely very healthy) Super Bowl party. I honesty couldn’t care less who wins–I like both teams, so I’d be happy to see either do well. Who are you rooting for?

~~~

> I think I might actually be able to do all ten of these easy hairstyles. Will attempt soon.

> I found What I learned from Joining Emma Watson’s Book Club to be an interesting read after joining myself.

> This purl knit sweater would pear well with almost everything. Plus it looks super comfortable and comes in beige, navy, white, and rust.

> Here are 9 healthy food swaps that are great to keep in mind when you’re trying to eat fewer calories.

> This summer I might just try this somewhat odd high heel hack to keep my feet comfy and dry in pumps.

> Since I’m heading to the Caribbean in a week, I’ve had my eye on breezy resort wear. I’m partial to this brocade off the shoulder top, this drapey yellow floral print dress, and I’ve ordered this tile print maxi dress.

> Calorie counting may have its flaws, but I agree with this author on the reasons why you should still do it.

> This week in uplifting news: McDonalds will give out books with happy meals for one week in February.

> This week in depressing news: women were bared from entering a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia when the divider between the female and male sections of the store fell down. SMH

> I pretty much need this navy belt detail shoulder bag and this soft suede clutch in the perfect shade of beige in my spring wardrobe right about now.

> I may need to start following all of these Swedish bloggers in this Stockholm fashion week feature. They’re all so chic.

> Barbie has several new bodies. Interesting.

> All of these tips for great office looks are spot on.

> For this week’s dose of cute, I give you a whole slough of bunny gifs that prove bunnies are just fluffy, adorable humans.

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Weekly Reading   ·   01/29/2016

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Poetry Magazine, Better For It, and the Mini Hayden

poetry magazine february 2016 cover

Given my love of literature and my penchant for poetry, I’ve finally decided that it’s high time I subscribe to Poetry Magazine, the oldest monthly-magazine devoted to verse. It’s published by the Poetry Foundation, which is based in Chicago, and they’ve done a lot for both the literary community here and at large. I’m hoping that reading other poets will inspire me to branch out with my own work. We’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of reading, that’s been my main activity for the past week. We spent nearly all of last weekend in front of the fire reading. I plowed through My Life on the Road, which I decided to pick up thanks to Our Shared Shelf, and then got back to working my way through Atlas Shrugged. When I wasn’t doing that, I was hitting the gym hard. We’ve only got a few weeks left until we head to the Caymans, and we’re trying to make them count!

Have a lovely weekend.

~~~

> If you’re curious what millennial women actually wear to work, here are ten examples. This matches up pretty well with what I see around the office.

> Nike’s new Better For It campaign focuses on whats actually going through our heads at the gym. I like it.

> I’m living in sweater dresses these days. I’ve been considering adding this striped blue version and this oversized gray option to the mix.

> This week Twitter users uncovered a lot of sexist language in the Oxford Dictionary of English. Thankfully, their efforts have promoted change.

> Yes, I really hate blue jeans.

> Kate Spade has some really lovely new arrivals, including this absolutely adorable Mini Hayden, this quilted black and white crossbody, and this statement daisy cocktail ring.

> Pretty much everyone who uses the Internet is familiar with avocado toast. Here are some fun ways to spice yours up.

> I’ve been stuck in a hair rut of late. I’m thinking of trying some of these five minute hairstyles for work, though I’m skeptical that some of them can really be done in five minutes.

> This pink-hued colorblock poncho would be perfect for February. If you’re looking for something a bit more structured, try this light pink textured-weave jacket.

> Zanita shares 3 inspiring reasons to exercise that aren’t related to your weight. I heartily agree with all of them.

> Looking for new workout gear at reasonable prices? Steer clear of gougers places like Lululemon and try one of these retailers.

> It’s this dog’s birthday and he couldn’t be happier.

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Weekly Reading   ·   01/22/2016

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Zingerman’s, Spring Dresses, and Fairytales

zingerman's #30 the special with new pickle

This past weekend we traveled to Ann Arbor so my husband could go pheasant hunting with one of his good friends. While they were out hunting, I decided to do some photo shoots in my favorite Ann Arbor locations, which ended up being some of the coldest photo shoots I’ve ever done. We all met up afterwards to thaw ourselves with some beer and darts at Wolverine Brewing (I had an excellent coffee stout).

The day we left we had Zingerman’s for lunch, which made me happy. If you’ve never tried Zingerman’s, I can’t recommend them enough. They’re a super high quality deli nestled in the heart of Ann Arbor. Above is my lunch: #30, The Special.

This week has been largely uneventful–a common occurence in January when the temperatures are low. I’m happy to report that my new down coat is just as warm as I’d hoped–the insane cold has hardly bothered me.

My husband and I randomly ended up having a Jackie Chan movie marathon for the last few nights. We’ve watched Rumble in the Bronx, Project A, and Supercop (listed in the order I enjoyed them). I have a feeling a Rush Hour viewing is coming up in our near future.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

~~~

> As someone who put down Ulysses after reading ten pages and refuses to pick it up again, I support the idea that you shouldn’t read classic books because you  feel like you have to. Reading should be fun.

> Here are 13 fabulous ideas for what to wear to work this winter.

> I seriously can’t deal with how great ModCloth’s spring dresses are. Among the best are this sweetheart light blue floral dress, this navy lace maxi, this rustic floral fit and flare dress, and (probably my favorite) this laser cut open-back dress in white.

> My gym, as all gyms are currently, is way over-crowded and my various social media feeds are full of people talking about resolutions and goals for the new year. I have to agree with Steve of Nerd Fitness when he says that we should stop making resolutions.

> This comic perfectly describes how I play all RPGs. #paragon4life

> Research shows that many fairytales may be much (much) older than previously thought. Neat.

> This beaded pompon clutch would be perfect for a trip to the tropics.

> Loling: Music that Should Be Banned from my Morning Commute. As a CTA rider, can I add: music that I can hear leaking out of someone elses ear buds and (especially) music someone is just playing on their cell phone for the whole train to hear.

> This week researchers discovered that we might, after all, have a ninth planet in the solar system. It’s not Pluto (sorry, Pluto), it’s ten times the mass of Earth and revolving much farther away than Pluto. It is (unimaginatively) nicknamed Planet Nine.

> Bell sleeves are having a moment. I’m partial to this dark orange dress from H&M–I loved the detail on the bodice (and the price).

> Harper’s Bazaar shares some lovely statement earrings to update your look. The pair from Marni is gorgeous.

> Kitten cuddles.

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Weekly Reading   ·   01/15/2016

Joules’ Weekly Reading: a Cold, a Mod Two-Piece, and a Kid

winter-hat

Both the husband and I have caught colds this week, so we’ve mostly just been lazing around the house sipping tea and carrying tissue boxes everywhere with us.

Last fall I purchased tickets to see The Lion King musical at the Cadillac Theater downtown. It’s been a dream of mine to see it for quite some time now–after all, The Lion King was my favorite Disney movie when I was growing up. We saw it this Wednesday, and it was spectacular. I loved the puppetry, the music, the costumes, and the sets.

This weekend we’ll be driving back to Ann Arbor. The husband is going pheasant hunting with an old friend, and I’ll be convalescing (hopefully) and potentially hitting my favorite consignment shops if I have time.

Have a great weekend, and stay warm!

~~~

> In need of some winter style tips? Here are 8 ways to style tights and 13 ways to style a beanie.

> Polaroid just debuted the Snap–a pocket-sized camera that prints pictures on the spot. Would you buy one? I think they’re kinda neat.

> I love this mod two-piece dress from H&M: top, skirt. Though I have to say, I would never consider wearing it with sneakers.

> Career Girl Daily has some great tips for buying a designer bag online.

> This week Cupcakes and Cashmere shared some of her thoughts and feelings about food and her relationship with it. Though it’s a bit surface-level, I do think she has some nice ideas and it’s nice to hear a fashion blogger actually talk about nutrition.

> I’ve been searching for strappy-back dresses of late. I love this sequin-detail option, this navy and black version, and this nearly open back midi dress.

> I’m a full time web developer, and I have to say that this article on the current, sad state of web development echoes a lot of my feelings.

> This week legendary British actor Alan Rickman passed away. RIP.

> This flouncey tulle overlay skirt from Forever 21 is so feminine, I love it. I’m also eyeing this similar lazer cut midi skirt from ASOS.

> Greatist shares their picks for the 100 most influential people in health and fitness.

> This may be the cutest thing I’v ever shared in a weekly reading: taking the kid for a walk.

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Weekly Reading   ·   01/08/2016

Joules Weekly Reading: January, Emma Watson’s Bookclub, and Literary Cookie Cutters

The colossus with coffee

Ah, January. The month when things finally seem to slow down and I can do things like read the books I’ve been intending to read, try new recipes, and get back to eating healthfully. With the Christmas gifts I got this year, this will be particularly a good January. Among other things, I received a spiralizer, an immersion blender (soup recipes on the way, I promise!), a gorgeous copper tea pot, and several books I can’t wait to pick up (including the one above). I’m actually kind of enjoying winter this year. Maybe that’s just because it’s a bit milder than usual, but maybe it’s also because I relish having time to do the things I enjoy.

Anyway, to sum up: the holidays were great. I had a wonderful time with my husband’s family for Christmas and an equally wonderful time throwing a party at our loft for our friends in Chicago. Plus, that gave us an excuse to give our place a deep clean that it was starting to really need.

This week my husband and I kicked off our “beach diet”–really just eating healthfully after the holidays. We’re both planning on slimming down a bit for our trip to the Cayman Islands in February. We’ve been eating healthy all week and mostly lying low and playing video games, which has included a hotseat game of Civ (played in front of the fire) which I won (cultural victory) and we finally finished Mass Effect 2. My verdict? I liked the first one better. The storyline for Mass Effect 2 just felt really prozaic and somewhat uninpsired. But that said, fighting the giant human reaper larva at end was really cool, and in general I thought they did a great job with the various species and worlds they created–what I would call the “sci-fi” portion of the game. I’m looking forward to playing 3.

This weekend we’re attending my company holiday party (to which I’ll be wearing this) and, after my husband got inspired by the gift we gave his brother-in-law, doing some home brewing.

Happy Friday!

~~~

> Emma Watson is starting a feminist book club. Count me in.

> 9 Tricks to Make Your Winter Outfits Interesting. I like all of these except the whole beret thing. Are berets coming back? Please let them not be coming back.

> January is a time for bright colors. I’m loving these fuchsia pants, pencil skirt, and sheath dress from The Limited.

> The Zoe Report answers 2015’s most-Googled questions relating to fashion.

> Interesting: 8 viruses that brought the Internet to its knees.

> Looking to lose weight? Nearly everyone is at this time of year. Here are six useful tips.

> This gauzy dress and this ethereal off-the-shoulder top would be perfect for a beach vacation.

> Need some winter fashion inspo? Check out these 31 stylish winter looks. (Or just follow my blog–I have plenty of winter outfits on the way!)

> I love these literary cookie cutters. I have a friend who definitely needs the Jane Austen ones.

> Chunky sweaters are a great way to fend off the cold, but if you’re looking for something more structured, I’d go with a chic jacket like this jacquard-weave option or this short coat.

> This 250 calorie french toast is a must-try recipe for sure.

> Lucky shares 19 party-ready clutches–in case your work’s Christmas party is in January, like mine is.

> Between the bitter cold, the limited daylight, and the post-holiday hangover, winter can be hard season to get through. Literally Darling shares ten great tips to getting through unscathed.

> I know it may be too early to be looking at spring dresses, but I can’t help myself. I love this pink and green floral option, and this blue floral dress is super classy–I love the details around the neckline.

> This week it was announced that the Game of Thrones TV shows will spoil the books. As a bibliophile, all I can say is: for shame. Then again, I think the GOT books are really mediocre, so I’m not overly invested in this anyway.

> Looking to save money this year? Buy the men’s version of your favorite products. This kind of thing makes my blood boil.

> Lately I’ve been working on upping my mascara game. Lucky has a great guide to choosing the best mascara for your lashes, and I can attest that this tip from The Beauty Department really works wonders.

> I hope this comic is right.

> I can’t decide which I like better, so here’s an adorable hedgehog and a whole gallery of adorable bunnies.

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Weekly Reading   ·   12/31/2015

2015 – A Year in Review

Favorite Outfits:

2015 Outfit review2015 Outfit review2015 Outfit review2015 Outfit review2015 Outfit review2015 Outfit review

~~~

Favorite Recipes:

recipes

~~~

Monthly Recap:

January:
– I spent much of the month recovering from my neck injury, which involved MRIs, doctors visits, and lots of physical therapy.
– I decided to give up the ghost and start wearing a backpack to work.
– I reformatted Lifestyle by Joules based on what I’d like my life to be like at 40.

February:
– I made the first and likely last purchase I’ll ever make at Tiffany and Co.
– I went to Mexico with my best friend for my bachelorette party.
– I bundled up and attended the Michigan vs. Michigan State hockey game at Soldier Field.
– I watched the Superbowl, mostly to see Katy Perry’s amazing performance.

March:
I got married.

April:
– I spent a weekend in Georgia attending a friends wedding, visiting the amazing aquarium, and enjoying biscuits and grits.

May:
I went blonde.
– I had an impromptu movie night/Cinco de Mayo celebration with my best friend that resulted in way too many margaritas being consumed. It was a blast, though.
– I played through Lego Lord of the Rings with my husband.
– I attended an interesting (and inspiring) PHP conference.

June:
– I turned 30, and spent my birthday weekend in Las Vegas with my husband. We stayed at the Encore (loved the pool), ate at É by José Andrés, and gorged ourselves at the Wynn Buffet (among other activities).
– I spent a fabulous happy hour aboard the Chicago Elite–a cruise ship which docks at Navy Pier.
– I watched the Stanley Cup victory parade from my office in downtown Chicago. It was quite the spectacle.
– I played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and loved it.
– I took my best friend to a cooking class at merchandise mart as a thank you for all he did at our wedding.
– I attended the opening party for the AH Hotel, which included specialty cocktails and appetizers, a fun pillow fight photo shoot, and fabulous jazz.
– I went to the Chicago Pride Parade with my best friend and had a blast celebrating the national legalization of gay marriage. #proud

July:
– I attended Tommy Bahama’s pre-4th-of-July party and actually won their Instagram window display contest.
– I went to a family reunion in southern Indiana (it was my husband’s extended family) for the 4th of July.
– I got a raise (and celebrated appropriately).
– I finally changed my last name.
– I played host to my family for a full week, which was great, since my family all live in different corners of the US.

August:
– We threw a wedding celebration party in Ann Arbor.
– I threw one of my good friends a baby shower (with the cutest owl cupcakes).
– I enjoyed having beers with friends at Flanders on the new Chicago riverwalk.
– We attended a good friend’s wedding in Indianapolis–to which I wore this outfit.

September:
– I traveled to the Pacific Northwest to visit my husband’s aunt and uncle and my brother and his wife.
– My husband and I spent an amazing day watching the best golfers in the world at the BMW Championship.
– We drove back to Ann Arbor to visit with family, tailgate and attend a Michigan football game, and meet my good friend’s new son Jonathan Julius.

October:
– We drove to Grand Rapids to attend the wedding of one of my friends from collage, at which we ran into many old friends I hadn’t seen for years. I wore this lace dress.
– We drove back to Ann Arbor for yet another tailgate as well as my husband’s birthday, which we celebrated at Salt Springs Tap.
– I played Mass Effect. Fem-Shep for life.
– We celebrated Halloween by carving pumpkins and having a bad ’90s teen movie night with my best friend, at which many drinks and Pumpkin Spice Oreos were consumed.

November:
– I saw (and thoroughly enjoyed) The Martian.
– I saw Vanessa Carlton in concert at The City Winery and stuck around to have her sign my vinyl copy of Rabbits on the Run. #fangirl
– We had “family” hunting camp at a gorgeous lodge in northern Michigan.
– I spent Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor with my husband’s family. I made apple and bourbon pecan pie, watched the Turkey Day Marathon, and watched Michigan lose spectacularly to Ohio State.

December:
– I attended jury duty for the first time in my life. Luckily, I was not selected to actually sit on a jury.
– I began playing Mass Effect 2.
– I had a lovely holiday party with my best friend which included frosting cookies, watching holiday movies, and drinking a bit too much egg nog.
– I watched the MST3K kickstarter telethon with my husband, and we pledged enough to attend the Chicago premier in 2017.
– I spent Christmas with my husband’s family in Ann Arbor. I also Skyped with my family to open gifts, which was fun.
– I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Ann Arbor with my husband and his family and we loved it. I can’t wait to see it again.

~~~

2015 Book Reviews:

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Weekly Reading   ·   12/18/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Garnet Necklace, Dine-In AMC, and Bring Back MST3K

Angara garnet necklace

NECKLACEthanks to Angara
RING – Gorjana, thanks to Rocksbox
EARRINGS – The Limited

We’re getting down to the wire, gift givers. If you’re still hunting for presents, let me suggest an easy one: jewelry. Several years ago my dad gave me a small necklace similar to this one with my birth stone (pearl) and I loved it. There was something about getting jewelry from my dad and being able to wear something that felt personalized that I really loved about that gift. I wore it for years, until the pearl fell off in an unknown location (sadness). If you prefer to forgo birth stones, I would suggest something in a deep holiday, wintry hue like this garnet necklace. I’m a huge fan of dainty jewelry as it can pair with almost anything and adds an air of elegance to any outfit.

Angara garnet necklace

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Weekly Reading   ·   12/12/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Holiday Parties, Lace Dresses, and Christmas Quotes

weekly-reading-christmas-tree

Our Christmas bonanza last weekend was a success. We made Chex Mix, frosted cookies, and watched a whole slough of Christmas movies: Elf, Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Claymation Christmas, Rudolph, It’s a Wonderful Life, and even Home Alone (which I hadn’t seen since the ’90s). We drank spiked nog and had a great time. Now I can’t wait for next weekend, when my husband and I will be driving home to Ann Arbor to spend the week around Christmas with his family.

My husband, my best friend, and I went Christmas shopping on Monday. We didn’t find any gifts for anyone, sadly, but we did have a good time. We did what we call “tipsy shopping”–we had a few drinks at Shaw’s (and a few oysters) and then spent the night happily shopping. The shot above is Brandon (my bestie) and I in front of the Christmas tree in the Bloomingdales mall at the north end of Michigan Avenue.

Other than that, this week has been a quiet (and surprisingly warm) one. The most exciting thing that happened was booking a Caribbean vacation for this spring with friends and family. We’ll be heading down to the Cayman Islands mid-February. So. Excited.

Last night I had a relaxing night in with my husband (video games, cheese, wine, and the MST3K Kickstarter final countdown). Today we’ll be finishing up our Christmas shopping and doing a consultation on some updates to our fireplace–which has been something we’ve put off for far too long. We may even get some firewood too.

Have a great weekend!

~~~

> The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired this week. In case you missed it, you can watch it online. Here’s a roundup of the highlights. I particularly liked the Pink section this year.

> Last week The Guardian shared popular author’s favorite books of the year. This week they’re sharing reader’s favorites.

> Still on the hunt for a glamorous holiday party dress? Try this stunning black lace pleated dress, this white lace dress, or this sweetheart burgundy lace dress.

> Need some outfit inspiration? Try these ten skirt and shirt combos.

> Useful: 11 Nice Ways to Say No to Food Pushers.

> These cozy knit over the knee socks or these sheer lace thigh high socks would be a fashionable way to give socks as a gift this year.

> I’m a huge fan of the embellished handbag trend. Here are some ideas for charms and pompoms to try.

> I always love lists of style icons throughout the ages. This list shares some of my favorites and some I didn’t even know.

> This cozy oversized sweater would look so chic with leggings and ankle boots. I like it in gray too.

> 25 of the best Christmas quotes. Love this.

> What does 5 servings of fruit and veggies really look like? Check it out.

> Dark-hued holiday looks are all the rage right now, but don’t forget that January is right around the corner. This camel bodycon dress would make a nice wardrobe refresher for the winter.

> While I’m good at staying healthy during the week, it’s well known among my friends and family that things tend to break down on the weekend. And for that reason, I love this guide for pairing wine with junk food.

> Instead of one dose of cuteness this week, here’s a whole album-full. Enjoy.

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Weekly Reading   ·   12/04/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Colors of the Year, Charm Bracelets, and Healthy Egg McMuffin Alternatives

Reindeer Socks

I picked up these socks from Old Navy a few years ago. Aren’t they adorably festive? Here’s a similar version.

This was a bit of a stressful week–well, it started stressfully anyway. After driving back to Chicago from Ann Arbor late Sunday night I had to get up early on Monday, drive over an hour in rush hour traffic (and if you know me, you know I really don’t like driving very much to begin with) to go to JURY DUTY. It was my first experience, and honestly it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. Thankfully I didn’t get picked to actually be a juror, or I would have had to do that drive again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As it was, I drove home and promptly spent the next few days unpacking and doing laundry. Okay, I also spent some time playing video games (Mass Effect 2) and reading (Atlas Shrugged).

This weekend I’ll be making Christmas cookies (and Christmas beverages) with my best friend on Saturday. Likely while playing Christmas music and/or watching Christmas movies. I seriously can’t wait. I love December!

Have a wonderful weekend!

~~~

> The Paris Review has been interviewing the world’s most famous authors since the 1950s, and the entire archive is available online.

> As the end of the year approaches, lists recapping 2015 have started to appear. This rather depressing (but important) one lists all the items of clothing women were told not to wear in 2015.

> Speaking of the end of the year, Pantone has selected their colors–yes, colors with an s–of the year for 2016: Rose Quart and Serenity. Since these are two of my favorite colors, I couldn’t be happier.

> I’m seriously loving these statement caged cat-eye sunglasses.

> My hands already feel like the Sahara Desert, and it’s only December. Here are 5 of the best hand creams to try this winter.

> Looking for holiday cards? Harpers Bazaar rounds up 12 amazing options–I love the Santa selfie one in particular.

> This week Bloglovin’ published a nice interview with It Girl Rebecca Minkoff.

> It’s Christmas sweater season. I’m partial to this fair isle snowman sweater, this adorable songbird sweater, this classy Christmas cardi, this festive sequin reindeer sweater, and this sweet pink penguin sweater.

> Katie of Life Half Full shares some good tips for healthy snacking.

> Famous authors and celebrities round up their favorite books of 2015 over at The Guardian.

> In a similar vein, The Guardian rounds up the best fantasy and sci-fi books of 2015.

> This obi belt from The Limited in snake print or neutral pink would pair perfectly with almost any sweater dress.

> Ready for some old school cool? Check out the 1925 Drexel Institute Girls Rifle Team.

> We’re in full-on cold and flu season. Here are some tips on the best ways to keep from getting sick.

> Greatist shares the 9 best foods to fight fatigue, and the 5 worst.

> I think one of Kate Spade’s charm bracelets would be a great personalized a gift for a friend or family member. Personally, I’d pick the owl, the wine glass, the Mrs., the palm tree, and I’d round it out with my initial.

> Popsugar shares 20 surprisingly good weight-loss tips.

> While everyone’s spazzing out about McDonalds now serving breakfast all day, I’d rather have one of these healthy Egg McMuffin alternatives.

> Ready for a laugh? Here are 43 ridiculous Chinese knock-off toys.

> Lets start the weekend with some hugs.

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Weekly Reading   ·   11/27/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Lodge, Turkey Day, and Bring Back MST3K

snow-down-coag

This past week has been a real treat. We rented a lodge in Northern Michigan for the weekend and invited my husband’s family as well as one of our friends and his family up to spend the weekend together. It was perfect. The lodge was rustic in all the right ways and came equipped with a huge fireplace (over which many s’mores were roasted). On Saturday we got a huge snowstorm. It was wonderful to watch the snow drift down with my feet by the fire and a martini in hand. I’ll have a full travel post with lots of pictures up soon.

On Tuesday we headed down to Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving and more family activities. We, of course, watched Football and the MST3K Turkey Day marathon and ate my father-in-laws delicious smoked turkey. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday (I sure did!) and find some amazing deals today (see my guide for the discounts at my favorite retailers)!

Go Blue, beat Ohio!

~~~

> Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) has started a kickstarter to bring the show back. They’ve already raised nearly 3 million dollars. So. Excited.

> The TSA has an Instagram account and it’s ridiculous and terrifying.

> Now that Thanksgiving is over, lets bring on the holiday fashion! I love wearing festive socks, and H&M has some excellent options including this reindeer pair, this fair isle pair, and these warm boot socks. Not feeling the socks? Try these festive fireside PJs or this gingerbread man sweater dress.

> Greatist shares some excellent tips on how to respond when others try to question or undermine your healthy choices.

> Bloglovin’ rounds up the 10 fashion trends that will be massive this winter. Some of them I like, some of them I hate (looking at you, culottes).

> How to shop wisely on Black Friday.

> Plaids are definitely in for the holidays. I’m loving this plaid skirted dress, this flared plaid skirt, this green plaid button down, and this buffalo check plaid top.

> Instead of offering discounts like most other retailers, Zappos is covering the costs of dog and cat adoption at 150 adoption centers across the country.

> After reading  this review of Hamburgers in Paradise, a new book exploring our food culture of abundance, I’m adding it to my reading list.

> This baroque patterned sequin dress would be gorgeous for New Year’s Eve.

> Want to wear yoga pants to work? BetaBrand has you covered.

> Interested in the history of parchment? If so, you’ll find the article Written on Beasts to be a fascinating read.

> Popsugar shares 4 excellent tips to stay positive when weighing yourself.

> Sleepy dog is ultra sleepy.

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Weekly Reading   ·   11/20/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Shakespeare, Holiday Dresses, and Comfort Books

Alpaca knit

Its been a rough week. First, lets all take a moment to mourn for the victims of the terrible tragedy that unfolded last Friday night in Paris. There is no greater cowardice than terrorism.

My husband was under the weather for a good chunk of this week, so between that and and running errands to prepare for our vacation this week hasn’t felt particularly restful.

Oh well, today marks the beginning of our vacation. We’ve rented a huge lodge which we’re sharing with my husband’s family and some of our friends and their families as well. It should be a great time full of good meals, football, and hiking. I’m planning on taking a lot of photos.

And then from there were head straight back to Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving, black Friday, and the Ohio State football game (Go Blue!).

Happy Friday!

~~~

> Next year, Chicago will host the largest ever celebration of Shakespeare’s works. I’m super pumped.

> 13 Tips to Feel Good Today.

> This sunset hued poncho from ModCloth is fabulous–perfect for pairing with leggings. If you’re looking for something warm but a bit dressier, I also like this striped sweater dress from Oasis.

Women’s Health tested 7 different fitness trackers at the same time. It’s neat to see how they stacked up against each other and how accurate each one was.

> The Guardian readers share their favorite comfort books.

> Hunting for the perfect holiday dress? Try this 20s-inspired white dress or this gorgeous vintage lace dress with an open back detail.

> How to navigate nutrition labels like a pro.

> A Beautiful Mess shares 3 different stove simmers to make your home smell like the holidays. My mom always did recipe number 2 around Christmas.

> I have no idea what I would pair it with, but this smoking-jacket-inpired green velvet jacket is lovely.

> 15 Hermione Granger approved sweaters.

> Last year I made classic sangria for our Christmas party and it was a big hit. This  year I might try this holiday version.

> I want to read everything on The Guardian’s First Book Award shortlist.

> I’m still stocking up on warm knits to pair with leggings. I love this funnel neck sweater and this french terry shift looks super comfy.

> Self defense is important–I highly recommend knowing at least a few moves. These 4 Krav Maga techniques are a great place to start.

> Self magazine’s editor-in-chief shares her tips on health and wellness.

> I’ve got plenty of plaid scarves and button-downs, but I don’t have any plaid shirt dresses. I quite like Old Navy’s plaid pin-tuck shirt dress, I just can’t decide if I like it better in red or navy.

> The only time I ever tried a hot toddy I was very hungover and it didn’t go so well. That was years ago, and I think it’s time to give it another shot. I like this healthy recipe from Pop Sugar.

> This week the National Book Award winners were announced. And now they’re all on my reading list.

> And finally, for cuteness, here are some cuddly baby raccoons.

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Weekly Reading   ·   11/13/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Vanessa Carlton, Comfy Knits, and Retro Handbags

vanessa-carlton

This was an amazing week, you guys. It started off well last weekend with The Martian–incredible–and lots of popcorn. I did disuade my bestie from getting the additional butter (A.K.A. additional million calories) which I feel pretty good about. Then on Sunday we had an Archer marathon. I’m so happy with the new season. The whole Vice thing was not working out for them at all. The latest season felt like the old Archer that I knew and loved.

Anyway. On Monday night I finally beat Mass Effect. The ending was really spectacular, I thought. My husband and I have already started playing 2, and so far we both are really enjoying it.

ANYWAY. The best thing this week happened on Tuesday night, when I got to see Vanessa Carlton in concert at The City Winery. It was incredible. Vanessa has been my favorite artist for a really long time. I can still remember the very first time I heard 1000 Miles (not my favorite song of hers, but it introduced me to her). She played a lot of songs from various albums of hers as well as nearly the whole Liberman album. It was amazing to hear live performances of songs I’ve loved for so long–many of them brought back strong memories from when those albums came out. Her music was basically the soundtrack to my college and post-college life. And to top it off, after the show she stayed for a signing, so I quickly purchased her new album Liberman as well as Rabbits on the Run on vinyl. It was a trip to meet her in real life. I went home jittery and excited.

We don’t have many plans for this weekend other than beginning the packing for our trip up to northern Michigan that we’ll be taking in a week’s time. We rented a lodge with my husband’s family as well as a few friends and will be spending the weekend relaxing, hiking, making big meals, and having bonfires. We’re very excited.

Have a lovely weekend!

~~~

> How to go clothes shopping when you’re ancient (A.K.A. 30). Lolling.

> Career Girl Daily rounds up the 10 most powerful women on Instagram.

> H&M has some great geometric pieces right now. I’m loving this black and white sweater dress and this standout patterned pencil.

> Researchers recently discovered a letter from 1716 hidden in a writing cabinet. The artifact details the ins-and-outs of middle class life 300 years ago. Fascinating.

> Don’t let dropping temperatures keep you from working out–Literally Darling has some great tips for exercising in the cold.

> Looking for comfy knits? This asymmetrical tunic sweater would pair perfectly with leggings, this pile-lined cardigan is the perfect shade of off-white and looks super cozy, and this cowl neck sweater dress would be perfect for cold days at the office.

> Lauren Conrad shares 10 November Styling Tips.

> Pop Sugar rounds up some easy ways to save calories on Thanksgiving.

> Katy Perry teamed up with H&M for their holiday ads this year and they’re adorable.

> ModCloth has some great retro handbags right now, including this hatbox-inspired plaid satchel, this glossy black purse, and this warm leather clutch.

> How to get the best deals at Old Navy.

> Sarah’s Scribbles perfectly describes my beauty and dressing up routine.

> I know I’m incredibly late to the party on this, and I know it doesn’t have anything to do with the fashion/wellness/books topics I usually blog about, but I just discovered that Tom Hanks starred in the video of Carly Rae Jepsen’s I Really Like You and it’s the best. thing. ever. Seriously I can’t stop watching it.

> And finally, as if that last link wasn’t great enough, here’s a chameleon trying to catch soap bubbles. You’re welcome.

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Weekly Reading   ·   11/06/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading

forever 21 neutral beanies

After watching the Packers lose spectacularly last Sunday, I had a quiet week of playing Mass Effect, sampling cheap Whole Foods wine and cheese with my husband, spending time with friends, and enjoying the last few warm days of the year. With temperatures plummeting over the weekend, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be wearing chunky sweaters, boots, and leggings constantly from now until the spring. Oh well, I like being cozy.

This weekend we’re going to finally see The Martian on Saturday–my bestie has already been going on about how excited he is for the movie popcorn. I’ll also be putting together several healthy Thanksgiving recipes to share with you in the coming weeks. I’m so excited for Thanksgiving–as I get older I think I like it better and better. Nothing beats a stress-free four day weekend filled with big meals, shopping, and football, right?

Happy Friday!

~~~

> This week I was featured on 522 Envy as one of 3 Chicago Fashion Bloggers Who Slay Fall Fashion. I feel very honored!

> Halloween has come and gone. For the curious, here’s how Halloween is celebrated around the world.

> This week Kate Spade had a whole slough of gorgeous new arrivals, including this hatbox bag in off white and denim, this cute striped ornament clutch, and the glitzy “catching light” necklace, bracelet, and earring set.

> Career Girl Daily shares some great tips for how to care for your skin this winter. I’ve got to stop taking such hot showers–I know they dry you out but a good hot shower feels so good when its cold out!

> The Guardian makes the argument that Earthsea should be on the list of fantasy’s greatest books. I’m certainly adding it to my reading list.

> Plaid skirts are all the rage at the moment. My favorites include this buffalo check mini from Topshop, this soft gray and white pencil and this bold gray plaid pencil, both from The Limited

> This 60 second crown braid looks surprisingly doable. I’m adding it to me to-try list.

> Have leftover greek yogurt in the fridge? Here are some tasty ways to use it up.

> I love the slouchy, comfy look of a long cardigan. This marled duster from The Limited looks very cozy, and this soft gray option has a great romantic, feminine vibe. If you’d like a more rustic look, try this oversized plaid blazer from American Eagle.

> This infographic shows which books were better than their movie counterparts based on IMDB ratings versus Goodreads ratings. Pretty neat.

> Here are 10 party shoes to get you in the mood for holiday season. The Jimmy Choos are definitely my favorites–if only I had that kind of shoe budget.

> Literary Darling’s Ask the Dietician has some great info this month, including info about supplements and how long leftovers keep in the fridge.

> I’m loving all the slouchy wrap coats I’m seeing right now. My current favorites are this blurry plaid coat from BCBGeneration and this aztec blanket wrap coat from Steve Madden.

> Lets end on a note of silliness this week: Take gif. Reverse gif. Hilarity ensues.

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Weekly Reading   ·   10/30/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Saddle Bags, Camel Everything, and Halloween

Loft Plaid swing coat

Things I did this week include but are not limited too:

  • had an amazing late-90s/early-2000s movie marathon
  • ate a few too many Halloween Oreos
  • played a ton of Mass Effect
  • bought some amazingly cozy leggings and sweaters (can’t wait to share!)
  • listened to Vanessa Carlton’s new album on repeat
  • had a fun wine and cheese night with my husband (curled up in our Pjs, of course!)
  • began planning lightened-up Thanksgiving dishes (again, can’t wait to share!)
  • watched the movie I watch annually at this time of year: Practical Magic.

While our Halloween plans haven’t been totally nailed down just yet, I’m anticipating a fun weekend (other than the whole daylight savings thing, which I loathe). What are your plans? Anyone out there dressing up?

Happy Friday!

~~~

1 > The most popular bag of the season is definitely the saddle bag. I’m rather fond of this option from The Limited in natural-hued leather. It looks like it would be just large enough to house a pair of heels–a requirement for most bags for me. It would pair beautifully with these tech-friendly leather gloves.

2 > Want more saddle bag options? This post from Modavracha has a ton of budget and non-budget-friendly choices.

3 > Kate Winslet’s L’Oréal contract has a “no-retouching” clause. Bravo.

4 > Last week I shared my favorite camel coats under $170 dollars. Now I’m sharing my dream camel coats: this long wool wrap from Diane von Furstenberg is too lovely for words, as is this similar coat from Ted Baker (which I also love in the fuchsia option). This Ellen Tracey coat is likely a more budget and weather friendly option, though.

5 > Lucky shares their favorite camel pieces that are on the market right now.

6 > Don’t like running? Here are 18 cardio workouts that don’t include it.

7 > Everything is cozy, fuzzy knits right now. If you’re looking to get in on the trend, I’d go for this fuzzy longline cardigan from Forever 21.

8 > The fictional places we all want to live. Ah, Rivendell.

9 > Back to the real world, here are the most surreal places on earth.

10 > Temperatures are dropping fast in Chicago, and that means it will soon be time to pull out the fur accessories! I have to admit–all of mine are faux, but this real rabbit fur poncho is such a steal that it’s seriously tempting me to add some real fur to my closet.

11 > An artist transforms Bratz dolls into real-life roll models and the results are beautiful and moving.

12 > More proof that sugar is unhealthy.

13 > The fact that “he” is the prescriptive gender-neutral pronoun has always been something that bugs me, but often I run into people who argue that I’m nitpicking and being too sensitive when I express my opinions about it. This comic from Robot Hugs does a good job of illustrating why it’s important to think about and dissect word choice.

14 > I know Halloween is tomorrow, but is it too early to be thinking about holiday party dresses? This sequin dress from BB Dakota would be a New Year’s Eve showstopper, and this sequin dress from Forever 21 is similarly lovely for a much friendlier price. Tall girls beware, though, both dresses are quite short.

15 > Halloween is tomorrow. If you need a last minute costume, or just something fun to peruse, check out the 11 Best Blogger Halloween Costumes and this amazing slideshow of 100 Celebrity Costumes. Staying in? Check out this list of TV show Halloween episodes. I want to watch them all. And, just for fun: Hollywood’s Most Stylish Witches.

16 > Lets end with something cute: here’s a kitten getting some serious petting.

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Weekly Reading   ·   10/23/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Bow Pumps, Loft Sale, and Disney Drinks

toe-tips

These nearly-navy pumps are among my favorite shoes. I love the tiny bow detail on the tips, I love the color, and I love how comfy they are. Years ago I discovered that the secret to finding heels that you can stand to wear for long periods of time lies in finding the right retailer. Something about Zara shoes just fit my feet–which are rather big and long-toed–just right. I can wear these shoes for hours, just like all the rest of my Zara heels.

I wore these shoes out to Sidebar Grille on Tuesday night to sample their new menu. The food wasn’t bad, but it was their cocktail menu I particularly enjoyed. I may have had one too many ginger Manhattans for a Tuesday night.

Wednesday we attended Lakeshore Beverage’s beer club and learned how to pair various beers with Thanksgiving dinner (the secret, we learned, is lots of carbonation). We’re definitely planning on bringing what we learned back to Ann Arbor with us for Thanksgiving this year.

This weekend promises to be festive and relaxing. My best friend is coming over to carve pumpkins, drink silly cocktails, eat holiday Oreos (can’t wait to try the Pumpkin Spice), and watch bad 90s teen movies. It promises to be a good time.

Happy Friday!

~~~

1 > If you’ve got some time, this longer article about Gloria Steinem and her new book is an excellent read.

2 > This post has some great ideas for all budget-focused fashionistas (myself included): 11 Tips to Look Expensive.

3 > Sale Alert! Loft is having one of their periodical storewide sales. My pics include this lovely camel sweater dress and this camel coat; three cozy ponchos: bonfire, colorblock, and sienna stripe; two cocktail rings in rose and marble; bright orange jewel earrings (perfect for Halloween); and this statement-making knotted belt.

4 > Whats the key to a successful marriage? Research suggests gratitude.

5 > Violinist Mia Matsumiya has collected over 1000 messages from “stalkers, pervs, and crazies” that she’s received via the Internet. She’s now sharing them on Instagram, and it’s an incredibly powerful and important statement on what it’s like to be a woman on the Internet.

6 > Colder temperatures are approaching, and that means it’s time for fireside pajamas! I love this set from Old Navy in light gray (top and bottom) and this reindeer set from H&M is too cute. So. Freakin’. Cozy.

7 > Via Lucky, what to wear the next time you go OUT out.

8 > I’m definitely adding this book on how famous astronomer Johannes Kepler saved his mother from a witch trial to my reading list. So Fascinating.

9 > This week Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam launched a jewelry collaboration with BaubleBar, and it’s fantastic. I particularly like all the jewelry holders and display cases. Congrats, Julia!

10 > Looking for some pretty date night dresses for fall? I’m in love with this pale pink brocade dress, this midi dress in berry, and this knockout lace dress (a steal at $40).

11 > Got a sweet tooth? Yearning for something salty? Try these healthy alternatives when you’re experiencing a craving.

12 > Midi skirts make up a good chunk of my closet–they’re just so romantic and pretty. Here’s a good collection if you’re looking to add one (or many) to your wardrobe.

13 > It’s Friday, and nearly Halloween, so lets end on a collection of cocktails based on Disney characters. I really want to try the Maleficent.

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Weekly Reading   ·   10/16/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Changing Leaves, Friends and Family Picks, and Home Manicuring

changing leaves gingham bow

This photo was snapped in Ann Arbor last weekend. As you can see, the fall colors were spectacular! I could resist taking a walk to take them in before we went out to celebrate my husband and my brother in law’s birthdays at the Salt Springs Tap.

This week wasn’t terribly eventful–a blessing after all the running around we’ve been doing. I spent lots of time playing Mass Effect and baked a delicious apple crisp (recipe goes up next week)! Tonight we have a fun event to attend and tomorrow we’ll be watching the Michigan game at our local Michigan bar. Go Blue!

Happy Friday!

PS: The hair bow is from Forever 21.

~~~

1 > Sale alert! Kate Spade’s Friends and Family is here, allowing you to take 25% off your entire purchase. My picks include the cedar street maise, the cedar street harmony, and the mini maise (so adorbs).

3 > After getting a gorgeous dark manicure at a salon last weekend, my desire to perfect that at-home manicure has been rekindled. This step by step guide seems to have some great tips.

4 > And speaking of  doing your own nails, the struggle is real.

4 > This week I have a surfeit of lovely plaids to share: a gorgeous reversible plaid cape, a chunky navy plaid scarf, a romantic soft coral plaid coral, the classic camel plaid scarf for under $20, a dark rich brown plaid blanket scarf, and this bright plaid blanket poncho.

2 > Health Advice for my 20-Year-Old Self. There’s some real wisdom in here.

5 > Lauren Conrad presents some excellent, nutritionist-approved ideas on how to stay healthy for Halloween.

6 > This white, cowl-necked tunic sweater is perfect for fall and winter. Pair it with some dark skinnies for a polished but fun look.

7 > How to weed through the rumors and mis-information circling around Planned Parenthood.

8 > Parks and Rings. Fabulous.

9 > If you’re loving camel as much as I am at the moment, you’ll love this sweater and this leopard-lined blazer.

10 > Five foods that should always be in your freezer if you want to lose weight. I’ve always got a bag of frozen shrimp on hand.

11 > If you’re in the fall mood but aren’t a huge fan of pumpkin, here are seven healthy recipes that don’t include pumpkin.

12 > I love dessert but generally hate how many empty calories they contain. This list of 11 healthy desserts contains a good selection of protein packed sweets that won’t leave you feeling empty.

13 > Looking for a formal dress this fall? Try this sapphire-sheen flared dress, this navy lace dress, or this fall floral number with a giant waist bow.

14 > Top handle bags are all the rage. Lucky presents a good roundup of the best options.

15 > Duck army! Lol.

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Weekly Reading   ·   10/09/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Plaid Scarves, Healthy Dinners, and Stylish Coats

plaid blanket scarves for fall 2015

Blanket scarves, particularly plaid ones, are becoming a daily wardrobe staple for me now that the temperatures are dropping. You can wear them as scarves or as a cape, so they’re quite versatile.

This was an uneventful week in Chicago. After lots of wedding excitement (and drinking) in Grand Rapids last Saturday we lazily returned to Chicago on Sunday and spent the day watching football. Then we spent the week relaxing, eating healthy dinners, playing video games (Mass Effect), and reading our latest book club pick: Brilliance by Markus Sakey–quite good so far.

This weekend we’re in Ann Arbor for more family time and Michigan football. We’ll be hitting a few breweries in town and celebrating my husband’s birthday. And if I get a chance, snapping some pictures of the gorgeous fall colors.

Have a lovely weekend!

~~~

1 > This week’s Ask the Dietician series from Literally Darling is a great read, covering topics like how much protein you really should be eating and whether its better to sauté in butter or olive oil.

2 > Looking for a new coat? I always turn to ModCloth for stylish options. This crimson flared coat is a real stunner, and this buffalo plaid cape from BB Dakota is perfectly on trend. This bow belt trench is a great lady-like option, and this gray funnel coat has a gorgeous hood.

3 > The Beauty Department has three amazing hairstyles using one simple barrette.

4 > 7 Ways to Boost Your Brainpower. I thought board games was an interesting surprise.

5 > These five ingredient supers would be great for weeknight meals.

6 > This colorful long dress from H&M is gorgeous.

7 > I particularly enjoyed The Guardian Book’s poem of the week this week.

8 > This detailed pin describes how to style your eyes for daytime and nighttime based on their shape.

9 > College Fashion shares some fantastic tips on how to maximize your thrift shopping experience.

10 > Forever 21 has two gorgeous skirts in their new arrivals: this cream midi and this standout gold jacquard flared skirt.

11 > This week Adweek took a tour of Imgur’s offices. To me, they look like most offices in the web industry.

12 > After the horrific events in Oregon, People magazine took a surprisingly political stance on gun regulation.

13 > Who was the first fashion blogger? It may have been a German accountant born in 1497.

14 > Need a jewelry update for fall? I’m loving H&M’s collection–especially these geometric earrings and this set of rose gold rings.

15 > I’d love to try all of these spiced sugar cookie ideas.

16 > Lucky has 3 outfits that work with both boots and heels.

17 > This gallery of Yuri Shwedoff’s art is haunting and beautiful.

18 > Lets start the weekend right: here’s a bouncy, floppy kitten.

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Weekly Reading   ·   10/02/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: PSL, Women Who Lead, and Why You Should Blot Your Pizza

pumpkin spice latte

Fall is in full swing, and that means the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It may be basic, but I don’t care: I love them. I first started drinking PSLs back in college while studying, and somehow having one now always brings me back to that time in my life–which is a good thing. I enjoy nostalgia.

Anyway, I’ll be posting a recipe for homemade skinny pumpkin spice lattes next week, so stay tuned.

Last weekend in Ann Arbor was fun–I managed to get my consignment shopping in as well as enjoying the football games and golf. Oh, and I also got to meet one of my best friend’s newborn son. This week wasn’t too eventful. We hosted one of our good friends on Wednesday night and went out for martinis and delicious Indian food. Tonight I’ll be attending the White Sox game and patio party, then this weekend its off to Grand Rapids to celebrate the wedding of one of my friends I’ve known since college. Maybe we’ll find time to pop into a micro-brewery as well. Feel free to follow along.

Happy Friday!

~~~

1 > On New York Fashion Week: the 9 trends that dominated, 50 under-$100 styles spotted at NYFW, and the changing landscape of street style.

2 > This week scientists confirmed that there is liquid water on Mars. I’m amazed that this coincidentally coincided with the premier of The Martian–fate, it seems, is smiling on 20th Century Fox and Andy Weir.

3 > Speaking of Andy Weir (author of The Martian, on which the movie is based), he did an AMA this week.

4 > Looking for a formal dress for a fall or winter wedding? I found three stunners at ModCloth this week: this form-fitting option in purple and white lace, this dusty blue lace dress from BB Dakota, and this stunning full cocktail-length dress in gold and black.

5 > Why you should be wary of wraps.

6 > Adweek interviews 6 powerful women in media in marketing–including Rebecca Minkoff. For women in this industry, this is a great read.

7 > If you’re a Chicagoan and a fan of Minkoff (I know I am), you’ll be excited to hear she’ll be opening a new shop on Michigan Avenue.

8 > This belted tunic from Forever 21 has got to be the perfect top for fall. I love the cape detail in the back. Plus it’s less than $25!

9 > Lucky rounds up a whole slough of low-heeled pumps that won’t kill your feet.

10 > 25 ways to cut out 500 calories per day.

11 > On the life-changing power of books.

12 > This chic tan coat is a steal at $119–I love this kind of neck line on a coat.

13 > How much should you actually sit in a day? Popsugar has worked out the perfect ratio of sitting to standing–the challenge is figuring out how to actually accomplish it at the office.

14 > Lifehacker finds that blotting pizza with a napkin actually does have a significant impact on calories.

15 > This statement bracelet from The Limited is sublime. I also adore the hematite version.

16 > This week The Atlantic posted an excellent article on the business of fashion blogging and the amount of work that goes into it.

17 > I’m not really that into detoxing, but some of these ideas for detox meals sound like fabulous clean-eating options.

18 > Up top? Down low.

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Weekly Reading   ·   09/25/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Grandbaby Cakes, Flats, Neutral Grays

weekly-reading-grandbaby-cakes

This week we had the pleasure of being invited to the book launch for Grandbaby Cakes–a cookbook by a local Chicago blogger. She hosted the event at the downtown Room & Board and had Le Cordon Bleu serving up cakes bites made from recipes in the book. They were all delicious. I think my favorite was the salted caramel cake but one of my friends fell in love with the 7-Up cake. I have to give props to Jocelyn–not only were the cakes delicious and the book beautiful, it’s also a huge accomplishment for a blogger to grow popular enough to get a book deal. Congrats to her and thanks for the invite–we had a great time sipping champagne and watching the cake walk.

This weekend we’re in Ann Arbor with family. We’ll be tailgating (Go Blue!), sipping wine, and taking in the gorgeous weather before it turns colder. Also, if I’m lucky I’ll find time to sneak away and go to my favorite consignment shops. Have a great weekend, all!

~~~

1 > Literally, Darling rounds up their favorite classic books. It’s a decent list, even if I’d argue that some of the books on it aren’t “classics” per se.

2 > Now that fall is officially here, I’m in need of some new black flats (preferably quilted). I think Target might have what I’m looking for with this cap-toe quilted pair or this simple quilted style, though I’m also eyeing these real leather flats. Decisions, decisions.

3 > Lucky has a good guide to fall nail colors. I’m particularly a fan of the rosy neutrals–so feminine and chic.

4 > The Limited has a new campaign featuring 60 real women in leadership positions. I’m a fan.

5 > Speaking of The Limited, they have some beautiful fall staples. I’m loving this a-line skirt, this coat, and this duster cardigan–all in soft gray.

6 > On why we shouldn’t be labeling snacks as “guilt-free.”

7 > The Lucky editors share their favorite lunchtime reads.

8 > This floaty ivory dress from ModCloth is the stuff of fairytales.

9 > 3 bullet-proof looks for the office.

10 > I discovered Sarah’s Scribbles this week, and I have to say, this is me.

11 > I have two doses of cuteness for you this week: playful dog wants to play and adorable lion is adorable.

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Weekly Reading   ·   09/18/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Packers, Adaline, and More Fall Fashion

hiking-mount-hood

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you know that I travelled out to the Pacific Northwest to visit family near Seattle and Portland during the week surrounding Labor Day. It was a fabulous trip–I’ll be posting a travel diary with lots of photos soon–including salmon fishing, hiking, orchard touring and general relaxing family time. This week has mostly been one of recouping.

We did have the good fortune to get free entrance to the opening day of the BMW Championship due to being BMW owners. We spent Thursday running around Conway Farms to see our favorite golfers. I couldn’t believe the great views we had throughout the day. We spent a good chunk of it just following along with Rory McIlroy’s group. It was surreal to just feel like we were hanging out with them, walking along with them while they played a round.

This weekend promises for some good relaxation, college (Go Blue!) and professional (Go Packers!) football, and of course watching the final days of the BMW Championship. Happy Friday!

~~~

1 > This past week I was featured as a Packer fan in a Chicago football bars guide.

2 > 6 Gorgeous fall coats.

3 > Speaking of gorgeous fall coats, I’m seriously considering purchasing this gorgeous burgundy longline coat from Forever 21. It’s only $55!

4 > This interview of a Penguin book cover designer is a great read and a good example of how sometimes career paths can be a bit circuitous.

5 > Fascinating: listen to what English actually sounded like 500 years ago.

6 > This week’s fall picks include fetching plaid ankle pants and a preppy plaid blazer, a perfectly slouchy camel and black geometric sweater, and a cool-girl slouchy burgundy cardigan.

7 > Earlier this week I posted some outfits based on Age of Adaline fashion. EW has a good roundup of all her looks.

8 > And, in case you missed it, the movies promotional posters featuring Adaline from every decade are worth a look.

9 > While searching for items to complete my own Age of Adaline outfits I found spectacular retro silk purses from Moyna. I particularly like this gold clamshell clutch, but this velvet embroided clutch is also high on my list.

10 > The guardian shares readers favorite book covers. They’re all rather simplistic, I find. I’d put Virginia Woolf’s book covers at the top of my own list.

11 > Women read comics, too.

12 > If you watched Nickelodeon growing up, you’re going to be pretty excited about The Splat.

13 > Speaking of childhood, an elementary school just converted all its desks to standing desks. I wonder how it will play out.

14 > Pairing this cross-front knit top in bright blue with this pencil in bright blue would make for a stellar work outfit.

15 > Fashion Agony presents 7 things to buy for fall and Literally, Darling shares 5 fall fashion staples.

16 > This zip detail sweater is gorgeous and these gray snake print heels need to make their way into my closet, asap.

17 > Giant dog. Tiny kitten.

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Weekly Reading   ·   09/04/2015

Joules’ Weekly Reading: Bon Voyage

For the next week my husband and I will be on vacation in the north west visiting family near Seattle and Portland. We’re super excited. Tune in to my Instagram feed to follow along.

This means next week there won’t be any weekly reading (though all of my other regular posts will be going up as usual. See you all on the flip side–and enjoy your labor day weekends!

~~~

1 > Lucky’s guide on dressing for your body type is full of good advice.

2 > This off the shoulder top in mustard is absolutely perfect for fall. If only Forever 21 had better online shopping I would have already purchased it.

3 > 5 Practical Tips to Become a Better Writer.

4 > The Limited just released some really gorgeous pieces of jewelry. I love these gem earrings (very Kate Spade), this minimal silver bar bracelet, this dark gem necklace (in both colors), and the earrings that go with it.

5 > Write a 200-word essay, win a goat farm. I can’t tell you how tempting this is–the $150 entry fee is the only thing holding me back.

6 > Quit idolizing “it” girls.

7 > Here’s how to cuff your sleeves like a pro and how to tie a waist belt.

8 > This striped midi sweater dress is absolute perfection.

9 > Apparently the saddle bag is the “it” bag of the season, and I’m pretty much in love with it. Lucky shares 22 beautiful versions.

10 > Add to your fall want list a long, drapey cardigan–I’m seeing them everywhere right now and I think they’re super chic.

11 > Cuteness: every animated gif gets better when you add faces.

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