The 24 Best Things I Bought in 2017

English Factory Dress, Levi's Jean Jacket, J.Crew Signet Bag in Carl Schurz Park // Pearl Girl

This is the last of my looking back on 2017 posts — with the exception of all the travel recaps that are still to come, starting with Belgium next week! I love reading about people’s favorite buys, partially because it’s interesting, and partially for ideas. I loved a lot of the things I bought this year (a great thing, as it means money well spent!) so I thought I’d chronicle my own. Since it is so many, I divided them into sections: Tech, fashion, life and beauty.

And tell me in the comments — what was your favorite thing you bought this year?

TECH

Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Headphones // Anyone who knows me knows how sensitive I am to sound. I had debated these for over a year, but the price tag had me wary. But when I had an unexpected influx of cash in the exact amount of these headphones this spring, I decided to take the plunge. If you don’t want to make a smaller splurge, the older model of the headphones is still available and likely works (almost) as well. I’d have to say this is likely my #1 purchase of 2017. Yes, there are very expensive but for how much I use them (literally everyday at work and on every flight, train or bus ride) they are so worth it.

Sony a6000 Camera // As you might have read in this post, I recently bought a new camera! And though it was an end of the year purchase, it still makes the cut. I took it out for a spin during the massive snowstorm on Thursday and I am obsessed. The image quality is so much better than my DSLR (which makes perfect sense, as it’s almost eight years old) and it comes in a much lighter package. I can’t wait to take this with me on trips and snap blog photos with it!

iPhone 8 Plus // I also upgraded my phone this year, to the iPhone 8 Plus. The larger size (I previously had a 6S) took a bit of time to get used to, but now I don’t think I could go back. The camera is also incredible, which is so nice for when I don’t want to bring my real one out with me. (I’ll also admit that I did not actually buy this myself — it was a gift from my lovely mom. Thanks mom!)

PopSocket // If you get an iPhone Plus, however, you desperately need a PopSocket. (Especially if you’re a woman.) The phone is a little on the large side, and this is a huge help in holding it. It pops out the back so you can just grip the back of your phone without holding onto both sides.

Barbour Beadnell, Wedgie Icon Fit High Waist Crop Jeans, J.Crew Gemma Flats // Pearl Girl

Wearing the Levi’s Wedgie Icon Jeans in this post.

FASHION

Longchamp Le Pilage Bag // Longchamp totes were very popular when I was in high school, so when I went on a class trip to France in tenth grade, I scooped one up since they were at a discount in their country of origin. I wore it to death in high school and early college, but haven’t used it quite as much since. But needing a bag big enough to lug everything around when I was in Europe this fall led me to throw it in my suitcase. Guys, what have I been doing? This is the best travel tote! You can fit a big camera, a sweater, all the essentials plus travel documents, but it’s lightweight AND has a zipper to protect from pickpockets! My old one was really on its last legs — the interior lining was completely coming off, and the corners were busted. So I picked up a new one (in navy) in France, where they’re significantly cheaper. I already have brought it with me on two more trips just in 2017!

Levi’s Wedgie Icon Jeans // These jeans make your butt look great and make you look so cool. I love the straight leg and raw hem and I promise, they’ll look good on anyone! Size up a size, Levi’s jeans run small!

Everlane Bridge Sandals // I’m usually a Jack Rogers loyalist when it comes to flat sandals, but I loved how these Everlane sandals looked like the Hermès Oran sandals without the massive price tag. They’re so elegant and go with any outfit, which I love. I really wore them to death over the summer, and plan to do the same next summer.

Nike AirMax Thea Sneakers // These are so comfortable for days walking around while traveling, or great for spin class or an afternoon at the gym. (I’ve heard that they’re not the most supportive for long runs though, so keep that in mind if you’re a runner!) Also the colors are so cute and make them much more chic than just a classic gym shoe. Also, they’re on sale at the link I shared.

Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag // I’ve already waxed poetic about this bag, which I nabbed on Mercari, a resale app, for a significant discount. It’s such a gorgeous color and a great size — fits a camera and all your essentials.

Stuart Weitzman Midlands // The big question about these boots is whether or not they’re worth their $800 price tag. And I have to admit, I wouldn’t pay that much for them. I got them on a crazy deal for $300 — still a lot for a pair of shoes. But for a pair of boots I’d been eyeing for literal years, I decided to go for it. While they’re gorgeous and I don’t regret the purchase, I would never buy them if they weren’t on sale. So keep your eye out for a sale — the exact pair I have is $300 off at the link above!

J.Crew Signet Crossbody Bag // This is such a great little crossbody. I have it in the pink with a navy tag, sadly no longer available. It’s affordable — if buy it on sale, which it almost always is, you can get it for less than $100, and holds just the right amount of stuff without being too bulky.

Tassel Earrings // Ironically, these were purchased from an Etsy shop based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I just was a few weeks ago. But they’re insanely affordable and adorable. Plus, they’re really light so they don’t weigh down your earlobes the way beaded tassel earrings can.

Tailored Clothing in Hoi An, Vietnam // When I was in Vietnam, my family and I visited a tailor in Hoi An to have a few items made. It was honestly incredible. I got three gorgeous items custom made — a silk shirt, a midi skirt and a dress — for less than you’d pay for them at a normal store, where they aren’t literally sewn to fit your body. I know I’ll treasure these items forever and can’t wait to shoot them for the blog!

LIFE

S’well Bottle // I weirdly came into five (!!) of these this year as gifts or through events, and I’ve kept one for home and one for the office. I’m all about reusable water bottles (it’s literally the easiest thing you can do to help the environment) and it really does keep your cold liquids cold forever. I haven’t tried hot liquids in it, but I assume it works just as well.

New Rug // My old rug was sad, dirty and after an ill-fated trip the cleaners, falling apart. I was so happy to be rid of it and bring this one in instead, which is a bit more elegant and covers more of my floor.

Wire Shoe Rack // Very simple, but I got this for near my bedroom door and it’s a great place to stash the shoes I wear most often so they’re right in sight and I don’t have to go hunting for them in my closet.

Travel Pillow // I saw Bridget recommend this pillow on her Instagram several times, and as a fellow frequent traveler I figured why not try? This thing is AMAZING. It doubles as an eye mask and a travel pillow, plus it helps to block out noise on the plane around you. It’s a little bulky to put in a carry-on tote, but now I don’t think I could handle five hour plus flight without it.

Wearing the Sisley Lip Crayon in this post.

BEAUTY

Tiger Balm // This stuff is available at every 7/11 in Thailand for a dollar. And it is magic. There’s one that’s for cooling and one that’s for warming, and I’ve only used the former. I can’t even really describe the sensation it gives you, but it’s sort of a icy cool relief. It’s great to put on your temples for headaches or on bug bites. Though it’s not quite as ubiquitous here as it is in Southeast Asia, you can still buy it on Amazon.

First Aid Beauty Moisturizer // I love to layer this priming moisturizer on my skin in the morning, whether I’m wearing foundation that day or not. It also has a nice consistency and doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky.

Sisley Lip Crayon // I know, I know. It’s a lot to pay for lipstick. But these are the best lipsticks ever! They sort of feel like a balm, but a bit more intense than that. They’re moisturizing and go on so smoothly. I have two, both of which I got at a discount, so I’d suggest keeping your eyes open for sales.

Benefit RollerLash Mascara // I’m usually not that loyal to different mascaras, as I find most of them work pretty well so why be picky? But this one is something different. It’s basically a better version of your natural lashes. No clumps, super lengthening, not all “bulky,” if that’s the right word to describe it. As someone with very blonde lashes, I especially love it. I pretty much always have to wear mascara to avoid looking like I’m deathly ill. With this, they look natural but still present, haha!

Chanel Bronzer Stick // As someone who is literally so, so pale, my biggest concern with bronzer is always that it’ll be too dark and make me ridiculous. I love this creamy bronzer stick because it’s not too dark and is easily blendable.

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What I Want to Focus On in 2018

Fashion blogger Diana Pearl of Pearl Girl styles a J.Crew Cocoon Coat and L.L. Bean Boots for Winter

Original outfit post here.

Like everyone else (or at least, so it seems on the internet!) I think the idea of making “resolutions” for the new year is oftentimes pointless. Habits are to break and hard to make, and even though a new year can feel invigorating, it rarely means you can completely change yourself, or even elements of your self.

But still, I like the idea of starting a new year with a few forward-thinking thoughts and goals in mind. I love reading about other people’s, so I’m chronicling mine below. A fun comparison? Looking at last years goals. I’d say I did decently well. I connected with a few old friends, made fitness a bigger part of my routine and started bringing my lunch to work more often. However, I’ve definitely let the blog slip in the past few months of crazy travel. Ah well, it happens! Without further ado, here are my 2018 thoughts.

Spend less. // Who doesn’t want to spend less in the new year? (Maybe those crazy people who are trying to retire by 30 and only eat ramen.) Saving money is great and I want to do more of it in the new year.

Clear out the clutter. // Another reason to spend less? To have less. When you’re living in a small New York apartment, this is not just a matter of money but sheer space. It’s incredible the amount of stuff you collect simply by existing, but I want to have less of it in 2018. While I don’t think I’m quite ready to go full Marie Kondo, I’ve scheduled a Salvation Army pickup for early February and will continue to sell the clothing and accessories I’m done with on Poshmark.

Work out more. // I started 2017 with this same goal, and managed to incorporate a gym trip into my schedule once a week. I’m at the point now where I feel guilty if I miss my Saturday morning spin class (if I’m town!) which I think is a step in the right direction! Of course, once a week isn’t much, but for someone who has had a really had time making fitness a habit. (I truly hate working out and though I’ve tried many different workouts, I have yet to find anything I truly enjoy in a gym.)

Join a book club. // I read a lot this year, though I didn’t quite hit the 50 book goal I set for myself last year. That may have been a bit ambitious, so in 2018 I’m hoping for 40. But on a bigger note, I want to join a book club! Preferably with people I don’t already know — no offense, pals — as I think this could be a great way to make new friends!

Blog more. // Like I said, the blog definitely took a backseat at the end of 2017. It was for a good reason — three really incredible trips — but it happened. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I do want to do better in 2018. Expect more lifestyle content, more NYC-centric posts and plenty of travel recaps from last year’s trips!

Pick up a new country and a new state. // Travel is one of the most important things in the world to me. I’m hoping to add even more than one country to my list (Australia and New Zealand!) as well as a new state (hopefully Vermont!) to my list in 2018.

Be better at saying no. // I definitely have a hard time saying no and can overload myself unintentionally. There’s nothing wrong with challenging and pushing yourself, but sometimes it’s better to be upfront when you can’t take something on.

Apologize less. // On that note, I — like many women — have a problem with over-apologizing. I catch myself doing it when someone bumps into me or when I just don’t need to. Sometimes apologies are necessary, but I want to do it less when it isn’t necessary.

Volunteer. // After the 2016 election, I started donating monthly to two causes that are important to me. I’ve never regretted that decision, but I think it would be great to do something that gives back on a deeper level. I have a few ideas in mind so will hopefully take the plunge soon!

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Book Club, No. 4

December Reading List, Book Recommendations, jorisvo

Oh hey! Remember me? It’s been a minute since I posted due to my incredible two week trip to Southeast Asia. I brought my computer along in the hopes of getting a post or two up while I was away, but things were honestly insane. (Like, really insane: The entire trip involved nine flights in two weeks!) And I hopped on another flight on Wednesday night to head home to Chicago for the holidays. As much as I love Christmas, I can’t lie that I’m looking forward for the craziness of the holidays to be over so I can get back into my normal routine.

Because of all the travel I’ve been doing, I’ve been reading a bit more than usual. (Endless trains, planes and long drives make for ample reading time!) That coupled with the fact that it’s been a few months since my last reading list means this one is pretty lengthy. I’ve read so many good ones lately. Historical fiction, a memoir, young adult, among others. Also, books make for amazing last-minute holiday gifts, so I figured this post was coming at an opportune time!

Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson //

I love ballet, and almost even more than actually watching dance itself, stories about ballet. This one is about a young girl named Mira who lives in NYC and is a dancer. She eventually is admitted to the School of American Ballet, and strikes up a friendship with a pretty creepy older dude. Every other chapter is the story of “Kate,” an arts professor who is Mira all grown up. We don’t know why she changed her name throughout the story, and it all leads up to a big reveal at the end.

I liked this one, but the story of Mira and the guy, Maurice, is pretty creepy. And the Kate chapters got a little boring at times. But it’s still a good read if you’re interested in ballet!

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly //

Another one of my favorite books from this list. This World War 2-set book is gut-wrenching, but so well done and tells such an incredible story. It’s from the perspective of three women: Caroline, an American working at the French consulate in NYC, Kasia, a Polish girl who is eventually taken to a concentration camp as a political prisoner, and Herta, a German Nazi doctor at said concentration camp. At first, you might not see how their stories will overlap, but it becomes clear as you continue reading.

This book is intense. I won’t go into too much detail, but there’s pretty graphic descriptions of what happens at the concentration camp. It was nice to have Caroline’s chapters in there as a break from the heavier stuff. But it’s seriously moving and incredibly well-written. I cried multiple times. It’s long, but so worth it!

If Only You Knew by Kristan Higgins

A classic beach read. About a woman who moves back to her hometown after splitting from her husband, her relationship with her cute neighbor, and her sister who is going through marital troubles. I read this one while I was in Belgium and it was a really quick read, but an entertaining one nonetheless.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance //

I had heard a lot about this book, which is a memoir of a man’s experience growing up in rural Ohio and Kentucky. I went into it hoping that I’d gain a new perspective about a life that’s very different from my own — and I definitely did. While there are definitely moments of the book that are hard to get through, or even just frustration-inducing, it’s a great story and really well-written. Highly recommend.

Hunger by Roxane Gay //

I felt similar to this book as I did to Bad Feminist, Gay’s other collection of essays. I liked it, and I think she’s a great writer, but I got bored in the middle. Especially with Hunger, I felt as if she kept hitting the same points over and over again. While they’re great points and I think the book has a really important message about weight and how we deal with overweight people in our society, I put it down halfway through because I grew a little disinterested.

The Thousandth Floor and Dazzling Heights by Katharine McPhee //

I saw this young adult series recommended on Grace’s blog as a futuristic Gossip Girl. I loved the Gossip Girl books back in the day (but was less into the TV show because sorry, the books are better!) so I figured I’d give them a try. I don’t think they’re quite at GG‘s level (or maybe my middle school memory is just hyping them up!) but I definitely enjoyed both of these. The premise is basically 100 years into a future, Manhattan as we know it has been razed to the ground and instead a 1000-floor tower that covers the bulk of the city has been built up in its place. The higher in the tower you live, the wealthier you are. There’s several characters from all over the “city” and all their stories are very intriguing. It’s also cool to imagine what will be different in however many years, and what won’t be.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid //

Alright y’all, I’ve been on a major Taylor Jenkins Reid kick lately, which is funny because I honestly don’t love her books that much. The next one is a MAJOR exception, because it was amazing, but it was also very different from her usual stories. One True Loves is more in line with what she usually she does. It’s about a woman whose husband goes missing in a helicopter crash. After a long mourning period, she accepts that he’s dead and eventually moves on with another man, getting engaged. Then her husband is found alive. It’s basically about what happens after that and how she chooses between them.

I feel like this had the potential to be a great story, but the characters just felt so generic! I didn’t really feel the love between them, and everything was just a little too cutesy (like how she met both of the men) to be believable for me.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid //

This is seriously one of my favorite books I read this year (if not my absolute favorite!) It’s a total departure from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s usual stories, but SO MUCH BETTER. It’s about a famous actress in the Golden Age of Hollywood — think an Elizabeth Taylor or Zsa Zsa Gabor. At the start of the book, she’s older and has retired from acting. She contacts a reporter and tells her she wants to her to write her memoir, the true story behind her seven marriages. The story is nothing you would have expected, and there’s another huge twist at the end, too.

I wish Taylor Jenkins Reid would write more books like this one, because it was amazing! Such a captivating book, especially if you’re into stories of old Hollywood.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid //

I read this one after Lilac Girls, when I was just looking for a really light, mindless read. It definitely filled that void, but it honestly was meh for me. The characters felt a little personality-less, and fell really flat for me. It’s about a couple that separates for a year when they hit a rough patch in their marriage. I thought their journey back to one another was sort of unrealistic — spoiler, but basically, they separate and realize they miss each other and weren’t communicating properly — and the characters really didn’t feel real to me.

I remember one line, where the main character, Lauren, says something about hearing her mom owns a punch bowl is hilarious to her, because her mom is just the type of person who would own a punch bowl. This line sums up why these books miss the mark for me. At this point in the story, we knew pretty much nothing about her mom, and the punch bowl thing was like she was trying to make an inside joke that A. the readers weren’t a part of and B. wasn’t funny. If you need something really mindless, this will fit the bill, but otherwise it’s skippable.

Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid //

A classic Taylor Jenkins Reid book, so I was eh on it. This one is about a woman who moves back home to Los Angeles after years away. She goes out with friends the first night back, meets up with her ex. At this point, the story goes in two different directions. One, she stays out with her ex-boyfriend. The other, she leaves and ends up getting in a massive car accident. It’s an interesting take on how one choice can affect the rest of our lives, but again, I felt the same problem with the characters falling flat. For example, the main girl (I literally can’t even remember her name!) talks about her love of cinnamon rolls almost every chapter. No one loves cinnamon rolls that much. And even if they did, they wouldn’t talk about it nearly every single day. It just felt forced to me.

(I know, I need to stop reading her books. Evelyn Hugo was so good that it continues to give me hope!)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas //

One of my favorite books on this list. It’s told from the perspective of Starr, a high schooler who watches her childhood friend be shot and killed by a police officer after they’re pulled over. The book follows what happens afterwards, which is especially challenging for Starr as the sole witness in the case. This book offers a whole new perspective on the issue of police brutality and takes it to a much more personal level. It’s definitely heartbreaking at times, but I am so glad I read this book.

The Heirs by Susan Reiger //

This book had like, no plot, but I really enjoyed it and read it in two days. It’s about the family of Rupert Falkes, a British orphan raised by a minister who moves to New York and eventually becomes a wealthy lawyer, married with five sons. He dies at the start of the book, and the book is basically about everything that happens after that. Though like I said, there’s not really any major plot besides the family moving on from his death and what is revealed about Rupert afterwards. But I still really recommend it, despite this vague review!

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo //

This one is intense. Two Columbia students meet on 9/11 and eventually start to date and fall in love. Life, of course, gets in the way, and they eventually head on separate paths, but never completely out of one another’s lives. There’s a huge moment at the end that made me sob on the plane, which of course, means it was a great story! It’s emotional and a little overly-romantic at times, but a really great read.

Image courtesy of jorisvo

 

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Life + Links

Holiday Gift Guides, Reading Picks // Pearl Girl

Y’all, life lately has been insane. Over Thanksgiving week, I spent an absolutely incredible six days in the Cotswolds in England and in Scotland for work. It was a seriously unforgettable trip filled with amazing moments — like visiting the Cheltenham Racecourse, pictured above.

I’ve had a week at home since then, which turned out to be an incredibly busy one due to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement!! I’m so excited for a royal wedding and a royal baby in the same year! Speaking of, I also started watching Suits and I’m really into it! It’s a good show and it’s cool to see Meghan in action. I also had a chance to check out the Downton Abbey exhibition in NYC. If you’re a fan of the show, you must see it! The attention to detail is really incredible. There’s intricate set replicas as well as tons of costumes and other tidbits from the show.

Today I’m off again, this time, on my biggest trip of the year: Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, with my family. I’m so so so grateful for the opportunities to travel, and things just sort of worked out this way this year, but remind me not to do quite so many international vacations basically back-to-back next year. As amazing as it is, it gets exhausting! I have no idea how bloggers who are constantly on-the-go handle it.

I’ve somehow still managed to crank out a few blog posts while I’ve been away, including a few gift guides! I’ve done gifts for an acquaintance, gifts I’d like to receive and gifts for the homebody. I’m hoping to post a few more in the weeks before Christmas, which are quickly dwindling!

Hope you have a lovely weekend, and wish me luck as I embark on this 16-hour flight to Hong Kong (where I’m meeting up with my family, before we fly to Vietnam the next day!)

What I’m Reading

I’m a constant clothing reseller, so I enjoyed this article about the embarrassment of reselling your clothes. It is a little shameful to walk into a Crossroads with a bag of stuff and walk out with everything!

Love this: Single women are the fastest growing group of home buyers!

Jenna Lyons’s new home tour is just as envious as her last one!

As a fellow single lady myself, I adored Grace’s post on how to be single. Single or not, it’s a MUST read.

I adored reading about Mackenzie’s Nantucket wedding. It seemed like the perfect weekend!

I need to get better about sticking to a consistent workout schedule, so will be trying some of Julia’s tips in the new year!

Aspiring pet owners should read Jess’s post about adopting a pet. Great tips.

Loving Jess’s (another one!) capsule wardrobe remix series.

What I’m Shopping

Kicking myself for not getting this Fair Isle turtleneck over Black Friday and hoping it comes back in stock in my size!

I also hope this white sweater comes back in stock in my size too!

Call me crazy, but Abercrombie has some seriously cute sweaters.

So happy these blackwatch plaid pants are back! I love love love them!

I love this Burberry bag — and it’s on sale!

What I’m Writing

Gifts for the homebody.

How I spent a weekend with friends in London.

Gifts I want.

Gifts for the acquaintance.

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Life + Links

Happy weekend! It’s been a few weeks since my last Life + Links post so this one will be a little bit longer.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

I had such a busy week — to the point where, by Thursday, I was just so exhausted. Tuesday I went to the US Open for the first time (you might have seen on my Insta Stories!) and had so much fun. Unfortunately, it was raining, which isn’t ideal as the whole complex is really cool and it would have been nice to walk around and explore a bit more. But the event is so elaborate and well done: There’s tons of amazing food options (I had Neopolitan Express, and my friends got Melt Shop), a Ralph Lauren store, etc. I also had to try one of the Honey Deuces, the Open’s signature cocktail with the melon “tennis” balls. Actually really tasty — I had two!

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

Natalie and I also showed up wearing pretty much the same outfit, LOL.

Labor Day weekend was spent at my roommate’s house in Mystic, Connecticut. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and we usually make it out there twice a year — once for a girls weekend, and the other for a big group getaway on Labor Day. The weather wasn’t quite as good as it’s been in years past, but it was still such a fun weekend, with lots of good food (lobster rolls and so much grilling!) and of course, good friends.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

The last few weekends have been spent at home in NYC, which has honestly been really nice! Two weeks ago a few friends had a get-together on their roof, and it really felt like fall  which was amazing! (Sadly it no longer feels like fall at all.) The view was great, too.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl
With my roomies!

I attended an event at MZ Wallace’s Soho store with Caudalie a few weeks ago, where I had the chance to meet Limairy and Lauren! I’ve talked about how much I love MZ Wallace products before, but they are seriously my favorite. Their Metro Tote is the best bag for traveling or carrying all your stuff around all day. I use it as a gym bag, too! Caudalie products are so luxurious and make my skin feel amazing. Such a fan of both brands.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

I caught a gorgeous sunset in Chelsea last week.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

And stopped by the Facebook office for dinner and drinks. (And pool floats, naturally!)

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

Last weekend I finally had a chance to check out the new Sezane store in Nolita. It’s so cute. I didn’t buy anything but just stopping by the store is such an experience. They even have tables and free coffee near the front.

Reading and Shopping Picks, US Open Photos and more // Pearl Girl

This week I honestly had no plans, and it was so, so nice. I can’t tell you the last time that’s happened, and while I wasn’t nearly as productive as I should have been (and didn’t make it to the gym once — oops!) it was definitely relaxing. I also got a new phone — the 8 Plus — and am patiently waiting for my case to arrive. The first one was either lost/not delivered/stolen out of my apartment building. Ugh.

This weekend I’m headed home for 48 hours to celebrate my grandma’s birthday. She’s turning 87! Whatever you’re up to, I hope it’s lovely.

What I’m Reading

Katie’s photography tips are a must-read for any photographer who is looking to learn the ins and outs of DSLR cameras.

A really interesting article about Vogue and its place in the current media landscape.

Dying to visit these spots for fall foliage.

I’ve been obsessed with Younger recently and I love this interview with Miriam Shor, who plays Diana Trout.

Racked is one of my favorite websites on the internet. I loved this piece on the politics and meaning behind sorority style.

Another Racked piece: The story behind those sassy beach hats.

Lauren’s Saint Tropez guide has me dying to plan a trip to the South of France!

And Carly’s Positano guide makes me want to go there, too!

Alaina’s greystone is serious interior goals!

Put this one on my list a while ago, finally getting around to sharing it: Graydon Carter is leaving Vanity Fair (along with three other top magazine editors!)

I’m not a full-time blogger and I highly doubt I ever will be, but I enjoyed reading Cathy’s take on the downsides.

Allie’s look here is so inventive!

Adore Grace’s video on her pieces of advice on her 36th birthday. Definitely worth a watch!

Mackenzie’s wedding looked absolutely gorgeous. I have been following her blog for over five years so it almost felt like one of my friends was getting married!

I’m long out of college (tear!) but I enjoyed watching Fran’s video about her experience transferring schools. Definitely worth a watch for any college students out there.

What I’m Shopping

I love these stripes!

Love this suede jacket, and it’s currently 20% off!

This sweater is so stinking cute.

I love this coat so much. It’ll definitely be making my way into my closet at some point this year.

Shopbop is offering 20% off almost everything, and 25% off if you spend more than $500.

What I’m Writing

Five things I’m loving lately.

All about the credit cards I use + what I like about them.

One of my favorite outfit posts to date.

How I travel often without spending a ton of money.

What I learned from a month of no shopping.

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