Q: Brown sugar container.
A: I love this one. It is actually airtight (I also have several of the OXO pop containers and do not feel they have a good seal) and the terra cotta disc prevents the sugar from drying out! Genius.
P.S. More food storage finds here.
Q: Summer dresses good for this sticky heat!
A: I feel like a broken record, but on hot days, I live in nap dresses, SZ Blockprints caftans (don’t let the sleeves fool you — these are so lightweight and breathable), and sleeveless cotton dresses that are cut loose at the bottom like this, this, this, and this. Anything that allows air to circulate!
Q: Chinoiserie framed panel.
A: I had some fun picks here! The short answer is that Etsy is truly a gold mine for this sort of thing (and usually for less than you’ll find elsewhere, from bigger chain stores). The panels from this shop are probably a good starting point because the boutique has so many five-star reviews. However, you can also find options at One Kings Lane that come framed!
Q: Formal dress for my daughter’s Christening.
A: I received several questions along these lines for Baptisms/Christenings, some with sleeves, some white, etc., so am consolidating all my picks here:
+I have shared this Saloni several times on the blog over the past year, but it’s now on sale for 50% off and such a sophisticated pick.
+Blogger Emily at Born on Fifth did a recent collab with Dillards and several very pretty dresses from the collection were just discounted to $119 — this and this would be lovely possibilities for a Christening. (You can see the lovely Caitlin of Daily Cup of Couture wearing one of them here. Chic chic!).
+This Tory Burch is also TDF.
+A touch bolder, but this Zimmermann-esque Beulah is absolutely gorgeous, and it has long-sleeves and a high-neck to balance the shorter hemline.
Q: Basic solid girl’s tops/t-shirts.
A: I like these from RL (form-fitting, which I like when paired with trim shorts), these from Target, and polos from Lacoste (size up) and RL (if in between sizes, size up in this style, too — runs a tad slim). If you like more of a sporty/unisex look, these pocket tees from Les Gamins come in fantastic colors.
Q: Kitchen island stools (preferably with backs).
Q: Gift for a soon-to-be big brother from his baby sister (arrive next month). He’s 3.
A: A Magpie wrote in to suggest a digital toddler camera so the big sibling can help with photographing the newborn and participate in that way. I also like the idea of a Janod doctor set (have given this as a gift several times and my children have loved playing with this set for two years now) — there will be lots of talk of doctors, hospitals, appointments for baby, check-ups, etc., and this can sort of facilitate or anchor those conversations…and then I’m sure big brother will enjoy giving his sister check-ups (supervised of course) as a lightweight way to “play” with the new sibling.
Q: Guest room bedding.
Q: Under $500 blue rug (XL) for great room. Will be over hard wood floors.
A: I love this coastal Safavieh style, which reminds me of something from S&L.
Q: New undereye cream.
A: I’ve written a few times that I’ve never found a fantastic undereye cream that actually does everything it says it will (e.g., erase undereye circles and fine lines). I have therefore gone the inexpensive route with this product category and use Olay’s Ultimate Eye Cream for moisturizing the area, though it does a little brightening, too. I like the formula. It’s thick but not greasy and absorbs nicely. However, I have been testing Clarins’ V Shaping Facial Lift Eye Cream over the last few weeks (full disclosure: Clarins gifted me a tube), and think I will stick with this one. It is totally different from an eye cream/product I’ve ever used. It’s a thin gel and you apply it with this cooling silver tip and then pat gently around the entire eye area. I truly find it tightens the entire area, and I like that it just sort of drinks into the skin and makeup applies wonderfully on top of it. Very, very excited about that discovery! However, I think that if you are just looking for an inexpensive cream that moisturizes nicely, Olay is just as good as products 3x its price.
Q: A 27th birthday gift for my bestie. Thinking a vase or pitcher.
A: So sweet! These handmade hobnail vases (under $100) are on my lust-list. Can you imagine with a few fresh peonies inside?! For pitchers, these from Sophie Lou Jacobsen are basically works of art, and these Amanda Lindroths are basically an invitation to sit outside with lemonade or sangria all afternoon. A reader pointed out that, sans handle, this pitcher would not be super functional, but how pretty on a brunch table with fresh juice?!
Q: 40th birthday dress (yikes) for a fun, out of town weekend with close friends in late summer.
A: Happy birthday! Ooh, enjoy! Get thee to Farm Rio or Celia B for a proper celebration dress. I dare you to put one on and NOT smile! I am turning 37 this month and bought this fun little Farm Rio for the occasion (I’m imagining lots of margaritas in it), but I also considered this happy Rhode, this SEA dress, and this ultra-fun beachy mini.
For something with a bit more coverage, this caftan is BEYOND and comes in such great colors. Imagine with a bold lip!!!
P.S. Lots of fun celebration outfits here!
Q: Raffia natural sandals. (Think Carrie Forbes.) But under $100!
A: These are dead ringers for Carrie Forbes, but under $50. Slightly over at $109 (though this site frequently runs promotions!), but Talbots recently sent me these and I find them SO easy to slip on with my everyday outfits. Go with everything and so comfortable. I also like this pair from them, also raffia!
Q: Chic flush mount for a nursery.
A: I’m always drawn to a scallop style for a girl’s room, like this or this. For a boy’s room, this rope style is SO fun, this comes in great colors, and this or this would add a little polish/gravitas to a child’s room.
Q: Floor length robe for post partum.
A: I also treated myself to a new robe post-partum. So practical and comfortable for layering over a nursing nightgown! I actually have this long robe in a cute star print in my cart at the moment — it just looks so inviting! It comes in other fun prints, too. This simple black style looks soft and sophisticated, too. This is not a floor-length style, but I keep hearing rave reviews of Parachute’s robe. I would stay away from waffle/terry robes because they are SO hot and I was always running hot postpartum!
Q: Fancy yet casual summer slacks that I can wear out to dinner or chasing kids.
A: I would go for these in black with a coordinating top. Ultra chic and could be paired with heels, but comfortable/practical enough to pair with sneaks while running after your littles. If you are a bit more adventurous, these printed trousers from Tory Burch would be fun! They have other prints, too!
Q: An all-white dress to wear to a US Open party.
A: My first thought was this Hunter Bell, which feels like a mix between a garden dress and a formal dress, which is kind of perfect for a tennis-related affair? But lots of other chic white dresses here, and if you want to commit to the theme, this dress is so cute. I also feel like I’ve seen this SIR dress popping up all over — the back is SO on-trend with that ruched strap! Similar look for less with this or this.
Q: Light blue sandal heels that are an investment, but not going to break the bank.
A: These LRs!!!! Have been eyeing them for myself for a long time, too!
Q: Beach photo dress — fitted in bodice but flow on bottom, white/blue/pastel palette!
A: This Wayf dress!!! So good. The print is gorgeous and I love those slim ties. I also adore this LSF and seriously considered this Caroline Constas for my own family portrait but ended up worrying that hemming it would ruin the proportions (I’m 5’0).
Q: Gift for a sister-in-law that just had a second baby.
A: A big bag of groceries with easy grab-and-go meal fixings (think sandwich fixings, fancy mustard, good bread), oatmeal pouches for a.m., and fun snacks (yogurt covered pretzels, chocolate raisins, gummies) OR some Lake Pajamas nursing pajamas, especially the kind with the buttons down the front. I also gifted myself this ring with my daughter’s initials and birth date on it right after she was born and it is one of my most treasured pieces of jewelry. (Also surprisingly high quality for the price — wear it close to daily and still looks amazing four years in.)
Q: White round kitchen table.
A: A tulip style can look very chic with a range of different types of chairs around it. This PB style is clever — not only does it have storage beneath but it has drop-leaf sides so could be configured differently for different spaces, for additional seating, etc.