Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Link List: On Vacation

personal photo taken from the Santa Monica pier

Thank you all for the well wishes and congratulations in response to my previous post! K and I are incredibly excited to be taking this next step together. (Actual wedding planning work is going to need to wait at least a few months, though, due to what we each have going on at the office.) 

But for now, I'm currently on vacation, and hanging out with some of my good friends here in sunny California. And while I'm on vacation, I'm making some time for blogging too, because writing here is definitely one of the things I do for fun.

via Architectural Digest

1. // Now this is something I only came across because another reader over at Kathy's shared it in the comments of Kathy's recent post about buying backups or copies of beloved items. I had not heard of the artist Michelle Oka Doner before, but I find her signature dress, pictured above, to be incredibly chic. (Her home and studio are also much the same.) I certainly love the idea of having one favorite and versatile dress made in multiple fabrics, to be worn in all kinds of settings and contexts.

2. // There was a recent purported biglaw attorney's Refinery29 money diary that attracted a bit of attention on r/blogsnark - more than it did even on the actual Money Diaries-focused subreddit - because the author was a bit of a character. In terms of whether this diary is realistic (or whether some major key pieces are missing), I'd personally peg this one as a bit less feasible and/or more likely to be omitting some serious family wealth than that CNBC alleged double-lawyer family finances graphic that was making the rounds a while back, and that I fussed about.

3. // When I was a teen and very young adult, it felt like Forever 21 was unstoppable. During my high middle school and high school years in the suburbs - and even during my Boston-area undergraduate years - Forever 21 felt a lot more accessible and ubiquitous than international fast fashion giants such as H&M or Zara.

So it was a bit surprising when I learned that, actually, Forever 21 has not been performing well for years now. They recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Though when I sit down and really think about it, it makes sense that Forever 21 has been overtaken by more social media-savvy brands. I'm no longer of an age to be in the target audience of either Forever 21 or any of its successful direct competitors, but even I had a distinct sense that there are many brands out there that are better about marketing over social media.

4. // A few blog links to share: I was excited to hear that Franish is making a return to blogging! Her approach to blogging was very influential to me when I started writing here. Among other things, my monthly shopping reflections series was originally inspired by her monthly "Budgeting Bloggers" link roundup back in the day. I always enjoy reading about Adina's creative endeavors. And I always love seeing Jane's photography, and these pictures from the annual art show at Rookwood Cemetary are particularly intriguing. 

Friday, October 4, 2019

A Thousand Times Yes

K and I first met right at the start of my 1L year, but it wasn't until a year later that we became good friends. The more we talked, and the more I learned about K, the more I marveled at his kindness and his conscientiousness, and at how well we seemed to understand each other. I found his good-natured sense of humor incredibly charming, and before I knew it, I had the biggest crush. A few months later, when I found out that he felt the same way, I couldn't have been happier. 

In the years since, we've traveled together, gotten to know each other's families, and taken care of each other when times were hard.

There's no one I'd rather build a life with, and I couldn't be more thrilled for us to take this next step together. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

K's Birthday Dinner at Shun

Around a month ago, I treated K to a birthday dinner at Shun, a newly-opened restaurant from chef Alain Verzeroli. The food was absolutely delicious, and also really beautiful to look at, and the service was great. Portions were also a bit more generous than what I expected, based on past experience at similar restaurants. We ordered the four-course prix fixe, but would definitely have been full on three courses instead. 

To the left is a seaweed roll, and to the right is a miso roll. Both were absolutely delicious, some of my favorite breads ever.

One standout feature at Shun is the bread. During our dinner, they served us three bread courses. The seaweed roll and miso roll pictured above were the first bread course, and both were delicious. This may be somewhat sacrilegious but I'm not typically a huge fan of bread. I don't dislike it, but at most restaurants, I'm satisfied with a small piece. And I often wouldn't really miss it if there wasn't any bread served. I'm saving room in my stomach for the rest of the meal!

But the bread at Shun was amazing. This seaweed roll and miso roll were both among my favorite breads that I've ever eaten anywhere. Both are savory and unique in different ways, the seaweed one is a bit saltier than the miso. If I had to pick between the two of them, I liked the miso one better, but both were delicious. I started with the seaweed roll and was telling K it was the best bread I'd ever had, until I tried the miso roll. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Link List (and I Finally Picked a Reusable Coffee Cup)

At long last, I finally picked out my reusable coffee cup for all those lattes and flat whites. I ended up picking the 12 oz. Joco cup (affiliate link), and I think it's great! It's cute,  easy to wash, and even though it doesn't have a stopper, the lid design seems to keep coffee from leaking out while I'm transit.

I can't believe it's already October! Where has all the time gone? I have a week-long vacation coming up soon, to see some old friends in California, which I'm really looking forward to. Outside of that, K and I are both expecting lots of late nights at the office between now and at least a week or two past Thanksgiving. I'm hoping my upcoming vacation is enough to reenergize me for the busy months at the office to come. 

1. // I highly recommend this essay by Prachi Gupta about her late brother. It's a tragic story, and a complicated one, and she writes it beautifully. Many larger issues are implicated here, among them the same corners of the internet that gave rise to "incels" and their interest in extreme plastic surgery

2. // Via Kathy at Feather Factor, this Fashionista article describing TheRealReal's authentication processes does not inspire much confidence. I don't have too much skin in the game about this question because it's likely that I'll only ever buy "low risk" items on TheRealReal, both in terms of brands that aren't especially sought after and mostly limiting myself to clothing or small accessories that sell for less than $100/piece. 

This is as good a time as any to note that I recently had a run-in with TheRealReal's customer service because of their poorly disclosed policy that items discounted 40% or more off the original TheRealReal price would be final sale, and not eligible for return or refund. (At the time, this rule was buried in their FAQ section, but not clearly disclosed on the product page, when I was checking out, or even on my order confirmation email or the receipt in the package.) I wouldn't have ordered the item if I knew it was final sale. They ultimately accepted the return as a "one-time courtesy."

To the extent that a customer raises questions about the authenticity of an item, anecdotal evidence I've seen in a few places online suggests that TheRealReal would take the return without too much fuss. It may, however, also be the case that they commonly re-list the questionable item for other customers.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that could result in a commission, typically a few cents, for me if you click. Thank you for your support!

3. // As I mentioned in my most recent shopping post, certain types of stressful and busy days at the office really set off my desire to stress shop. This hasn't resulted in any actual purchases to date, but I end up browsing a lot of online shops on those evenings. In those moments, I do have a feeling that my shopping judgment would not be as good or as careful as it typically is, if I allowed myself to make a purchase. Things are more likely to appeal to me or start looking like a good idea, even though part of me knows they're actually impractical, or not remotely close to being an arguable "need."

One recent trend I've been really taken by is croc-embossed leather in slightly unusual colors, think burgundy, blue, or green. Items that I've found particularly pretty are this Coach Charlie bag in croc-embossed blue, this Kate Spade Andi circle bag in croc-embossed deep bottle green, and this pair of Kate Spade loafers in croc-embossed red leather. (Oh, and I also like the Kate Spade faux snakeskin-looking Romy in burgundy.) Are these a new trend this year? I don't think croc-embossed bags or shoes, particularly in these types of colors, were very common in recent years past. I don't think I'm likely to end up indulging this craving. If I do, it's more likely to be with a pair of shoes than a handbag. Those items, and a few others, are linked in the widget below. 

A very truncated link list post today! I hope all is well with everyone as we head into the last quarter of 2019. If you ended up reading Prachi Gupta's essay, or had already read it on your own, please let me know what you think. It's such a complicated and heartbreaking story, and I think she perfectly captures the experience of loving a family member, even if you fundamentally disagree with them, don't particularly like them, and have, in fact, been almost completely estranged from them for years.