Best Podcasts – Vol. 1

My husband is going to laugh at me when he sees this post, but that’s OK. I’ve been walking around listening to podcasts to and from work, while I do laundry, get my nails done, you get the point… all the while acting like podcasts are a new thing. News flash: they’re not. But I’m just now getting into them and I’m slightly obsessed. Who knew there were so many good ones out there on literally any topic you type in the search field?! And with my less-than-15-minute commute, it’s hard to get into a book or mag, so I love that I can listen to podcasts door-to-door.

So here goes the start of a new blog series… with my favorite podcasts and episodes. I’d love to get recommendations from all of you in the comments so I can continue trying new ones out!

Best Podcasts - Vol. 1

NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz – Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake (April 2, 2018):

I love this podcast so you can’t really go wrong with any episode – scroll back to old episodes and you’ll find stories about how brands like Kate Spade, Patagonia, Framebridge and even Instagram came to be the successful brands they are today. This is a great, more recent episode about how Katrina Lake came up with the idea for Stitch Fix, her online personal shopping service that uses technology to curate boxes of clothing just for you based on your preferences. As someone who has tried – and enjoyed – this service before, this was particularly interesting and inspiring. The company went from Katrina testing out the idea with 20 friends and acquaintances to where it is today with over two million customers and a billion dollars of annual revenue.

Skimm’d from the Couch – Sara Blakely: Founder and CEO of Spanx – Episode 008:

This is another girl boss success story, this time with another company I personally love, Spanx. I practically live in the brand’s faux leather leggings – you’ll find four different colors/styles on constant rotation in my closet. In the podcast, she tells the brand’s story, talking about what made them so unique in the marketplace: the fact that all of their products are essentially inventions, not just a new version of something that already exists. I loved this quote from Sara: “Sell the problem you’re solving, not the product.” She also encourages women starting businesses to think about what they got out of each failure, because there’s always something.

Bachelor Party by The RingerReflecting on ‘Laguna Beach’ and ‘The Hills’ With Creator Adam DiVello Plus His New Show ‘Music City’ (Ep. 13)

If you watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette, this podcast is a must while it’s airing – host Juliet Litman recaps each episode and has lots of guests from Bachelor Nation chatting about it with her. But I’ve quickly discovered that I also love her off-season podcasts… this one bringing me back to high school and college with Adam DiVello, creator of “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills,” which resulted in my Lauren Conrad obsession. I’ve been meaning to watch his new show, “Music City,” and going back in time with him in this podcast made me want to check it out even more – especially because it’s based in Nashville. What I found cool was that he mentioned that “Laguna Beach” was really a reality version of “The OC” – and “Music City” has a similar approach where the idea for the show came from doing a reality version of “Nashville,” which I also love.

Young Adulting by Grace Atwood & Becca Freeman – Ep 3: Advice/ Passions, Promotions + More

I’ve been a longtime follower of Grace’s – her blog, TheStripe.com, is one of the few that I read a few times a week. She’s so real, I love her style and we love the same kinds of books. After she got me hooked on the YA series “The Thousandth Floor” (more to come on that in my next book review!), I was excited to hear she was launching a podcast where she’d be talking about “bad books and good advice” with her former Baublebar coworker and friend, Becca Freeman. Admittedly, I listened to episode 1 and 3 – I want to read the books before listening to the book episodes! Episode 3 gives some good advice about turning hobbies into careers, including the benefits and drawbacks. Read more about this episode in Grace’s latest blog post.

 

Target Opalhouse Collection Finds

If you read my 2018 goals post back in January, then you know that my husband and I are approaching 6 years in our city condo and I’m feeling the need for a refresh… but without going crazy cost-wise. In addition to tackling closets and whatnot with organization bit by bit, I had a few ideas for ways to spruce up our space. The first things I’ve been on the hunt for are a new shower curtain/bathroom set for “my” bathroom, coffee table, end tables and throw pillows for the living room, and other fun décor like kitchen towels.

I successfully found a couple of throw pillows I liked for the living room but hadn’t had much luck in the other areas until this week. In fact, when I hosted a small group of family over Easter, I ran out to the store to grab some festive floral paper napkins because I felt like we had nothing that said “spring” for the holiday. Enter Target’s new Opalhouse collection… I literally want everything! I had a good amount of self-control and stuck with items that were on my priority list, such as this shower curtain, these throw pillows and some floral napkins and kitchen towels. I’ll be reporting back on what works out in future blog/social posts!

In the meantime, there is SO much to shop in this collection. It’s quickly gaining so much popularity that I personally think Target should make it a permanent line. I bucketed out my picks from the collection by room/category to make shopping easier. Just browse through the widgets using the arrow and click the items you like to be directed to shop.* If you’re not ready to shop, just pin one of the larger images for decor inspiration later!

Target Opalhouse Kitchen, Dining Room & Entertaining Finds

[Read more…]

50% Off Spring Shoe Sale!

I’m always on the hunt for a good sale. Lately, anytime I spot something online that I want to buy, I leave it up on my browser until it goes on sale (or sells out, sadly) and then I grab it. That happened today when I went to buy the perfect gingham dress that I’ve had my eye on – it was on sale, plus an additional 15% off – that I knew would be good for my brother’s graduation, bridal/baby showers, etc.

While I was checking out, I noticed that Lord & Taylor was also having a hugeeee spring shoe sale. So today I’m sharing lots of neutral spring shoes that are ALL 50% off. This sale is so good that you should definitely grab your favorite pairs soon because they’re selling out. And note that while I’m sharing neutral shoes below, many of these come in black and other colors! Shop them all by scrolling through the widget and clicking on the shoes you want.

Spring Shoe Sale - Lord & Taylor

Shop the Shoes:

Derby Day Outfits

Last year, one of my girlfriends had a Derby Day-themed bridal shower and we had so much fun getting dressed up for it. When I was looking for a fun outfit to wear, I put together a post with lots of Derby Day outfit ideas because I didn’t see much for inspiration online. That was one of my favorite posts of the year and I wanted to bring back the topic with my picks for this year. Shop some of my favorite dresses, fascinators and hats using the widgets below (just scroll through & click the pics!).

Derby Day Outfit Style

Fascinators & Hats:

Dresses:

Favorite Lace Midi Dress (& Lots of Similar Styles!)

Ever since our wedding, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect blue dress, similar to the color my bridesmaids wore. I found exactly that last summer – this lace midi dress, which was under $90. It’s a near-exact dupe for the popular Self Portrait Azaelea dress, minus over $200. I was tempted to grab another color when they launched fall colors… and now it’s back again with new colors for spring. They finally have the periwinkle color I’m wearing below back in stock, along with white (great for brides!), black and several new colors, eggplant, lilac, mint, navy and red.

This dress tends to sell out in various colors and sizes, but just keep checking back on Nordstrom until what you’re looking for is there. I’ve found that they are continually restocked and it just takes a bit of patience if you have a specific color in mind. But if you see the one you want, grab it before it’s gone! They are constantly launching and replacing colors, so you don’t want to miss your chance. I recommend you size up if you’re between sizes (I’m 5′ 8″ and got a medium). If you’re unsure of your size, you can easily order two thanks to Nordstrom’s free shipping & returns.

While I personally think the cut of this dress is flattering on anyone, if it’s not for you, try this one. It’s the same brand, same price, but an off-shoulder ruffle style that comes in pale yellow and white. It’s a strong contender for an early summer wedding I’m attending! Along with that dress, I also tracked down lots of similar options to shop via the links and widget below. Click through the links because many of them have several color options available and are at pretty low price points. If you find any others, leave them in the comments for everyone to see!

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Style

Shop the Look:

DressBag / Sandals

**& lots of similar versions below!**

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Season

Shop the Dresses:

Top: Navy / Yellow / Black / White

Bottom: Blue / Burgundy / Light Blue / Pink

**note that most of these come in lots of colors!**

Lace Midi Dress - Wedding Style

Spring Target Shoes Under $35

After brunching with some girlfriends today, I decided to take a trip over to Target to see if they had a pair of shoes I saw online. I actually had a different post planned for today, but after I checked out the shoe section, I had to share what I found instead! Target is oftentimes the best place to find less expensive versions of trendy shoes, but I find that you have to try them on because they vary when it comes to comfort. All of the spring shoes I found were comfortable and so affordable!

You can find links to my favorite picks below – use the links to shop my top 15 – and if you keep scrolling down you can find even more in the shoppable widget. They are all under $35 and most are around $20. Andddd most of these Target shoes come in lots of colors and patterns, so click through to see what your options are. I’m so ready for spring… now I just need the weather to go back to being warm (snowstorm coming Wednesday… ugh!!).

Spring Target Shoes Under $35

Shop the Shoes:

Row 1: Left / Center / Right

Row 2: Left / Center / Right

Row 3: Left / Center / Right

Row 4: Left / Center / Right

Row 5: Left / Center / Right

Floral Tank in Palm Springs

A few weeks ago, I was out in Palm Springs celebrating my mom’s birthday. We had a great long weekend exploring – hiking, eating and relaxing – away from the cold New England weather. More to come on my Palm Springs recommendations in an upcoming travel post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share an outfit I wore while I was there – mainly because I love the tank top and it’s on sale for $9.99 and available in all sizes. We got a taste of warm weather for two days last week and I cannot wait for spring to finally be here to stay!

This floral tank top is nice and lightweight and perfect for either wearing on its own with shorts or jeans or using as a layer underneath something like a jean or leather jacket. I love how flowy it is because it’s a loose-fitting top while still being flattering. I also picked up these sunglasses and cross body bag before the trip and they’ll both be staples in my spring wardrobe (& beyond!).

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Shop the Look:

Tank Top ($9.99!)Similar Shorts ($35!)

Sunglasses (under $100)

Bag (also black, blush & blue; larger version here)

Sandals (also black & similar in gold)

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Floral Tank Top in Palm Springs

Empty Bottle Diaries – Vol. 1

I’ll be sharing details on my everyday skincare and beauty routines in the coming months, which I’ll update and re-share periodically, but I also wanted to start up a new series: Empty Bottle Diaries. I know not all products are the kind that you use up entirely, but I’ve been trying to do exactly that whenever I’m trying – and liking – a product.

I’ve learned over the past year or two that you can’t really tell it a product is working unless you try it out for a few months. And once I like a beauty product, there’s no point in changing it up until I try something I like something better. So, with that, today I’m sharing a few products that I’ve stuck with and have actually repurchased after they were gone.

Empty Bottle Diaries Vol 1

Shop the Products:

Urban Decay Mascara

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum

My thoughts on each:

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: I got a taste of this mascara when I got a sample at Sephora and have been hooked ever since. I’m not the type to be loyal to one mascara (I tend to switch it up depending on if I’m going to work or out for the night/a special occasion – or I layer different types), but once I have a good experience with a mascara, I usually go back to it and buy again. Urban Decay is probably most known for their Naked eye palettes (which I also love!), but this mascara was actually the first product I tried from the brand.

I think this is the perfect everyday mascara because it’s the perfect blend of volumizing and lengthening. I like to put on one coat before work or when I’m being casual (paired with my Lash Boost that I apply each night for longer, fuller lashes) and I’m good to go. My lashes are very blonde, so I look asleep with zero mascara! I’ll add another coat and sometimes another mascara before or after if I’m going somewhere else.

Burt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover PadsFinding a good eye makeup remover has been a struggle for me for years. Either they’re not good enough and I end up scrubbing so much that I lose an eyelash or they’re way too oily. With these, you get a natural, gentle wash that still removes the makeup, even waterproof (just need a little more patience). Extra bonus: they have no added fragrance and are free of parabens, phthalates, SLS and petrolatum. And they don’t leave behind an oily residue that makes it so you have to wash again after the makeup is gone. But even with the best eye makeup removers, be gentle to your lashes, eyelids and under your eyes! That skin under and around your eyes is so thin and sensitive.

Rodan + Fields Unblemish Sulfur Wash: I went through a phase a couple of years ago where, after not having acne for my entire life, I suddenly started getting it here and there. I guess this is what happens when you hit 30, but I was not a fan. I wasn’t ready to fully commit to a full acne skincare regimen, so I decided to try out a face wash first. Ever since then, I haven’t turned back. I use this once a day – and 2-3 times a week, I use my Microdermabrasion Paste as an exfoliator (I put it on before I get in the shower then rinse off) and then this face wash as a mask for 5-10 minutes afterwards. I have several friends (and customers – I’m a R+F consultant) who also swear by this stuff as well. I’m not writing this to sell anything, but if you do want to learn more, try it out and save 20%, shoot me an email at katy@dailykaty.com – always happy to help!

Tula Volume Defense Wrinkle Serum: Keeping your skin hydrating is so important. If you do that, you’re one step closer to staying wrinkle-free. But if you need a little help, this serum is a great place to start. It’s a milky, concentrated serum that uses natural probiotics with retinol and Vitamin C to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I applied a thin layer on my face after the above face wash and then use a day or night moisturizer afterwards depending on the time of day. I love how this serum is hydrating but also sinks into your skin pretty quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to apply moisturizer.

Tula is a brand I love because their products are not only clean and safe, but they’re also effective and actually work. I have a hard time actually sticking with better-for-you beauty products when they don’t work – and that is not the case with Tula. Next on my list to try from Tula is their Kefir Ultimate Moisture 3pc Collection, which features all three of their full-sized Kefir Products – Kefir Replenishing Cleansing OilMoisture Repair Pressed Serum + new Ultimate Recovery Mask. The bundle is only $65 for the month of February – and it’s worth $153!

Tula Skincare on QVC

Thank you to Urban Decay, Burt’s Bees and Tula for providing samples for me to try out. I am a Rodan + Fields consultant and this post also contains affiliate links, which means that if you click the links and make a purchase, I’ll earn commissions. As always, all opinions are my own.

Weekend Reading – February 18, 2018

This has been a great long weekend and it’s not even over yet. We flew out to San Fran on Wednesday night and have been staying with our friends who live north of the city. It’s been the perfect mix of exploring and relaxing with friends we don’t get to see very often, which included a 1st birthday party for their little one. On Thursday, we took the ferry into the city, grabbed lunch and checked out a few spots we hadn’t been to on past trips, such as the Painted Ladies. Another day was spent in Sonoma at a few vineyards and lunch.

I’m definitely not looking forward to trekking back home tomorrow – but hope you were all able to relax and enjoy the long weekend. On the positive side, it looks like it’s going to be 60 degrees back home for a couple days this week. Before we close out the weekend, here’s some weekend reading with some of my favorite links, shopping picks and sale finds.

Weekend Reading

Links I Love:

  • I’ve been considering trying acupuncture because I have carpal tunnel in my wrist and have heard it can be good for lots of other things too. This post breaks it all down and made me even more into it. We’ll see if I can get over my fear of needles and actually try it out.
  • How cool is Chloe Kim?! I have a slight obsession with the Olympics and have been loving the snowboarders. This article made me even more excited for her big win.
  • This post about how to re-energize yourself at work talks about everything from organization to finding your community at work. The suggestions are all simple, but also important.
  • I started my blog about a month after our wedding and really didn’t put much thought into the layout. This post about how to choose the right template for your website or blog is helpful and made me start thinking about changing mine up in the future.

Shopping Finds:

  • I love a good thermal shirt (two of my favorites here & here). This one is next on my list – it comes in lots of colors and looks super cozy and like it will be great for layering or wearing on its own, dressed up or down.
  • These fun tassel earrings also come in a bunch of colors and look like they are also pretty lightweight. I love big earrings but not when they feel heavy. I might need to grab these in white for spring.
  • I’m into a good leopard print as a neutral and have my eye on these slide sneakers. I think they’d be so cute with jeans for work with a cute top, or with yoga pants for running errands. I also like these, which are on super sale in some colors/sizes.
  • Cozy sweatshirts that don’t look one bit like my old college hoodie that I wear around the house have been on repeat for me lately. This one has a twist hem in front that gives it the look of being perfectly tucked in. I’m into the pink but it also comes in a nice gray – and it’s only $45.

Sale Picks:

  • Last week I posted about this straw bag that would be perfect for summer. I just found a similar black crossbody bag that’s on sale for $24! This one is even more similar – not on sale, but under $100.
  • This leather backpack is on super sale for $115, down from almost $400! I have another bag from this brand and it’s great quality. Their bags are good staple items that will last.
  • Two of my go-to lightweight jackets (that I also wear over t-shirts) are on sale right now. Here is the faux leather jacket and here is another that’s a very soft faux suede.
  • I got these Loeffler Randall heels last year that are perfect for wedding season, but I just spotted very similar sandals that are on sale for just $48. I love that they’re cognac and will go with lots of dresses and other outfits.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide… for You!

I made it through my 31st birthday this weekend and now its onto Valentine’s Day. We’ll be heading out to San Fran to visit friends after work for the holiday – we typically prefer travel over gifts. But I do think Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to treat yourself to something fun you’ve had your eye on.

So today I’m sharing my Valentine’s Day gift guide… for you, all of which you can shop using the links below! You can’t go wrong with a nice pair of PJs, fun earrings or a good candle. I went ahead and grabbed the faux suede jacket below when I spotted it 40% off, so stay tuned for that! How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Shop the Post:

 PJ Set / Earrings / iPhone Case 

Jacket (also in black, both 40% off!)

Underwear Set / Candy Set

Heart Sweater / Lip Set / Robe

Sneakers / Candle

Bag / Earrings 1 / Earrings 2