Fell into the rabbit hole that is NY Mag’s The Strategist, specifically the "What I Can't Live Without” column.
Here’s my version, tongue firmly in cheek, as I certainly could live without any of these things. Let’s just call this What I Really Like These Days.
I’ve NEVER been able to wear foundation of any kind. Even tinted moisturizer feels too heavy for me. I also never felt the need to wear “real” makeup (thanks to fairly good genes + humidity + a casual work environment + generally being very low-maintenance). But now, at 35, looking a little more polished is very appealing. A makeup sponge has made all the difference in being able to apply makeup that looks natural while still being visible enough not to be pointless. (That’s my high bar. ;-) I use this with L’Oreal Pro-Glow Foundation. It’s great.
Don’t be put off by the silly (albeit true) name and the bright compact colors. This is a great everyday palette for makeup minimalists like me. I purchased this on a whim while wandering around Ulta. This is technically an eye and cheek palette but the lightest shade makes the perfect highlighter and I am convincing myself the brown shades work for mild contouring. I love and use every single color in this palette.
I’ve had this purse for almost five years, I think, and I LOVE it. It is my go-to. It’s minimal and sleek yet surprisingly roomy. I love the open middle compartment (although admittedly, I often don’t fasten it and it bugs my mom that my purse is always hanging open), which allows me easy access to my phone or whatever. It fits my Kindle or a paperback easily, plus my full-sized wallet, AirPods, glasses, whatever. It packs flat, so I always bring it on trips. I love this so much and, even though it’s a little pricy, I will certainly purchase another one if it ever dies.
I’ve had this bag for almost a decade (so my particular bag is a little different than what’s currently being sold). It is incredibly lightweight and versatile. It has tote straps and backpack straps. It’s perfect for travel, as a carry-on, a beach bag, and as an extra bag to keep on hand for purchases. It’s also a great diaper bag, although happily those days are behind us.
Thrift store huaraches
I eyed the Nisolo huaraches for a while and then decided to pop into the nearest Goodwill to see if I could find anything similar, knowing my chances were very slim. (I’m also VERY hard on my shoes so it hurts to spend a lot of money on them.) Can you believe I found the perfect pair, in the perfect color, in my exact size, for three dollars?? I’ve worn these shoes DAILY for the past two months. They go with everything and they are so comfortable.
These were my first purchase when we visited the US this summer. I was looking for something longer I could wear, since I’ve recently realized I really dislike wearing dresses shorter than midi-length at school. I ended up wearing this dress at least two or three times a week. It’s crazy comfortable and easily dresses up or down. (Note: it's shorter than most maxi dresses, which some people might not like.)
Paul thoughtfully bought me clothes from Muji for Mother’s Day, but one of the items didn’t work with my wardrobe. With his blessing, I went to the store to exchange it. Returns and exchanges are generally much more complicated here than in the US and, long story short, I ended up with limited options. I grabbed this cardigan with some hesitation (it’s LONG), but it has proven to be one of my most-used items of clothing. It’s perfect for travel — warm and blanket-like while still being thin. It pretty much goes with everything. I wore it often with the clothing described above.
Apple AirPods + audio media
Will refrain from waxing eloquent since I already did in my last post, but I couldn’t help but mention these again because I love them so much. Instead, here’s a short list of some of what I’ve enjoyed listening to the past month or so:
Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance — Narrated by the author. Very enlightening; a worthwhile listen.
In My Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg — This is special because it intersperses a biography of RBG with actual excerpts from her speeches and opinions.
A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren — Regardless of your politics, I think it would be very difficult to listen to this and NOT be compelled by Warren’s passion and her life story.
I JUST discovered this app (via the Strategist), which pairs long reads from major publications (New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, Pro Publica, etc.) with excellent narration, so you can listen to long form articles instead of reading them. I listen to everything at 1.5x and it’s great.
The Daily podcast
I know everyone knows about this. I don’t love Michael Barbara’s delivery, but the episodes are enlightening, important, and well-produced.
This is a departure from my usual fare in podcasts but I love this. It’s basically two friends talking casually about self-care. The hosts are smart, vulnerable, and endlessly supportive of one another. It’s very uplifting.