Alo Cropped Hoodie: Anytime I want to look my best, I rely on my old standby uniform: something high-waisted with a slightly cropped top. I stick to that ratio almost always, but surprisingly don't give it much thought when it comes to my workout clothes. On a hike with a friend recently, she showed up in high-waisted leggings and a cropped hooded sweatshirt that was so cute I immediately asked where it was from. The proportions were perfect - slightly boxy and oversized, but still flattering due to its cut. I promptly ordered two right when I got home (gray and black) that I can't wait to wear when on walks and under coats with trousers for a high/low look.
Darner Socks: I'm not someone who typically spends money on socks. In fact, they're usually such an afterthought that I still wear pairs I've had since college. But over the holidays, while shopping at Mohawk General Store (one of my favorite boutiques in LA), I came across Darner, a brand that made me rethink my entire strategy. They're delicate and beautiful and I even surprised myself with the brown and navy plaid pair that I bought. They're an investment, for sure, but each time I see them peeking out from my loafers or clunky black boots, they really do make any outfit immediately chicer.
UGG Women’s Adirondack III Boots: A few days after arriving in Minneapolis post-Christmas in the desert, I was greeted back into my home state with a -12 degree morning. After taking approximately three steps outside, I realized my current wardrobe was ill-equipped to handle such monstrous weather, and hit the mall. After much internet research and trying on various coats, boots, and hats, I walked away with an unlikely pair of winter boots from UGG. Trust me when I say these things are WARM: They performed surprisingly well in my own sub-zero temperature test (I walked around outside in the snow for 15 minutes in -5 degree weather, which is certainly less rigorous and fun than the ice bath and river wading tests performed by the experts at Outdoor Gear Lab, who led me to this fabulous boot). This isn’t a cheap option by any means, but the performance and not-too-bulky style were it for me. Slowly but surely, we’ll make a Minnesotan out of her again.
Sherwin Williams 'Shoji White': New year, same old me. My boyfriend and I are in the process of painting his apartment right now, which is a cute Craftsman-era duplex with a lot of dark wood. We took a big risk and decided on a white paint color without doing any testing first, and decided the color was a little bit too light, and a little bit too yellow. After convincing him we needed to at least consider changing it, I dove headfirst into researching different whites from Sherwin Williams, and settled on Shoji White (named for the doors often seen in Japanese architecture): a not white, not beige, not grey neutral color that completely and totally works in the space. Buying paint without testing it first is not at all in my nature, but deep-diving into internet research absolutely is, and it led me to my new favorite white paint for charming older homes.
OSEA Undaria Algae Body Oil: If I'm being completely honest with you, I bought this months after wanting to try it...mainly because once it hits August each year, I compile a list of items I'd like to buy and patiently wait for the Black Friday deals to arrive. This one paid off, as I scored it for 20% from Bloomingdales and am so. into. it. The smell is delicious and it feels expensive as you apply it – leaving my skin velvety smooth and moisturized for days. Plus, the smell is glorious.
Attica on Showtime: I'm familiar with the injustices of the American prison systems (I've read and recommend The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and plan to tackle American Prison by Shane Bauer this year), but Attica was my first true visual education on how disturbing and racist our correctional facilities are and have always been. The 1971 Attica uprising wasn't an event I'd ever learned about in school, and this documentary wove stories from the previously incarcerated people, family of guards, bystanders, and other figures central to the riot seamlessly. It was heartbreaking, infuriating, and captivating – and though it happened 50 years ago, I guarantee you'll be more passionate about prison reform after watching.
Fashion Forms Women's Tape It Your Way Breast Tape: As a very committed member of team no-bra, I've tried my fair share of bra alternatives and this boob tape just might be my new holy grail. It's more seamless than stick-on petals and I appreciate the flexibility it gives me in adjusting my shape, depending on what piece of unconventional clothing I'm wearing that day. I picked this up at Target (surprise, surprise, yet another Tar-jay find) and am very happy with its performance. Previous brands I've used would lose their stickiness if I tried to readjust the tape. This one feels just so malleable. It's soft and stretchy but stays in place. I'm currently in the Philippines and the fact that the tape has stayed intact during the overwhelming humidity has cemented its place in my favorites list.
Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow: You know how sometimes your parents come home with questionable items that no one really needs? I was worried that was the case when my parents came home with this pillow they got at a holiday party but being the professional sleeper that I am, I easily accepted when they offered it to me. I've never tried memory foam-anything but now I get the hype. This pillow feels incredibly dense but isn't all too heavy. It was a welcome upgrade from the light, unsupportive pillows I'm used to. It has since been on a couple road trips and you best believe it'll be making its way back to LA with me.
UO Stormi Zip-Up Fleece Jacket: This fleece was a Christmas gift from me, to me (had to snag it online when I saw it was on sale!), and it has since quickly become my go-to jacket. I’ve been looking for a practical fleece for some time now – one that’s just cozy and soft enough, but also has a cute or unique pattern to stand out. This little number ticked all the boxes. I love the blue color with white flowers and contrasting green lining and pockets. I’ve basically been living in it since purchasing, and it definitely made its way to the top of my best buys of 2021.
Spotify Wrapped: Ever since getting my Spotify membership years ago I’ve been passionate about creating curated playlists for different genres and moods. I don’t think I ever go a day without listening to one of them on repeat! One of my favorite things about Spotify is that at the end of the year, it compiles lists of users’ top music artists, genres, podcasts, and more, based on data collected throughout the year. It even creates a playlist of your top music from the year, and if you’re familiar with this feature, you might love it just as much as I do. I found myself listening to my Wrapped playlist nonstop throughout the month of December.