With my August blog post deadline fast approaching, my (still not sure how this happened) boss/editor Stephanie told me that I could write something light-hearted, “like about my favorite nail polish” she suggested. This may sound flippant, but if you know me, and I’m guessing if you’re reading here there is a good chance you do, I take nail polish, and the like, pretty darn seriously. When I was little I would smear my Dad’s Noxema all over my face and call it a spa day. So, no surprise, I do fancy myself a bit of a sage when it comes to lifestyle-ish things as I’ve been at this awhile now. Plus, I just love to recommend stuff. (Bossy eldest child syndrome? All those years in PR? Not sure.)
Here are eight things currently making me happy:
1. Tata Harper skincare: I’ve been using Tata Harper skincare for at least eight years and it is so phenomenal. Crafted on a farm in Vermont, her line is completely natural and non-toxic. While I could sing the praises of everything, the stars, in my opinion, are the masks. They are mixable and matchable according to what your skin needs at the moment. Truly, I could write an entire blog post on the therapeutic benefits of putting on a face mask while completing other tasks. Masking and Tasking if you will (do I need to trademark this?). If you’re new to the brand, I suggest picking up a mini-sized version or two to try. There are a few times a year when the brand is available for 20% off on her website (www.tataharper.com) and at sephora.com
2. Younger (TV Land/Hulu) and Schitt’s Creek (Netflix): I was a little late to the Schitt’s Creek party but Steph invited me to binge watch the first two seasons with her when she was home in California, and it quickly became a new favorite. I was already a huge fan of Younger when they cast Steph (who is back this season).
3. Snazzy bakeware: My cooking skills are seriously lacking, but I can bake with the best of them. I’m also quite adept at putting food into baking dishes and heating it up in the oven. Because I believe that aesthetics goes a long way in making up for poor knife skills, plain bakeware just will not do. Fortunately, this year I’ve found two of the prettiest sets: This one from William Sonoma (Fleur Bakers https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/fleur-bakers/?pkey=cbakeware-sets&isx=0.0.2970) and any set from OpalHouse at Target (https://www.target.com/c/bakeware-sets-cookware-kitchen-dining/opalhouse/-/N-4rqx4Ztgvvk . (The set I have is no longer available, but these are darling too.)
They also make delightful housewarming (or any occasion, really) gifts, especially when paired with a cute kitchen towel and tied up with a bow!
4. Oat milk. Game changer. (And Oatly chocolate milk? Life changer.)
5. End-of-summer books: Technically it is still summer, and while I finished these two books a bit ago, I think they are the epitome of the perfect summer read - engaging, romantic, a little saucy, but still so smart! The Idea of You by Robinne Lee and My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan - both written by actors. Personally, I love when an author makes the book come alive in my mind so easily and these books read almost like a movies (If that makes any sense?), which they are both going to be. And if, by chance, anyone reading this knows Ms. Lee, who is also graduate of Yale, can you please tell her I need a sequel to this book immediately if not sooner? Thanks so much.
6. Anthropologie mugs: This might seem very Pinterest circa 2014 but stay with me here... I have a collection of Anthropologie mugs that is nothing short of embarrassing. (Well, it would be if I were embarrassed by this type of thing... which clearly I am not.) Usually around $12 (or even less when they offer discounts such as 20% off all home, which is happening right now) they add a small dose of quirky and artsy luxury to every morning. You don’t need a set, as they look better mixed and matched (which lends itself to collecting/hoarding, you’ve been warned.) https://www.anthropologie.com/kitchen-mugs-teacups?q=mugs
7. Olive & June The Everything Box: I saw Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of Olive & June, speak on a panel at Create & Cultivate in 2016 and was so impressed with her story and what she has built with her small chain of boutique nail salons in Los Angeles. Recently Olive & June launched a product line (complete with step-by-step instructions) to replicate the experience at home and their Everything Box is, quite literally, everything. (https://olivejune.com/collections/nail-polish/products/the-everything-box). At $80 it pays for itself in three at-home manicures and I have found the tools and polishes to be fantastic (And cute! Which counts!). I’m also quite fond of Essie Gel Couture polish and topcoat (you must use the two of them together). With this combo I’ve given myself manicures that have lasted up to two weeks.
8. Clare V.: Clare V. Is a Southern California brand by way of Paris, and Parisienne, Claire Vivier. Distinctive even without a logo, her signature bags and accessories are classic (and useful!) silhouettes in bold colors, playful patterns and scrumptious fabrics. I’ve loved this brand for a long time, as it manages to be both cheeky and preppy, classic and still modern. The pieces are pricey enough to be considered a high-quality investment, but not break the bank expensive (and make perfect gifts, too). My favorites are the fold-over clutch, sac brettle cross-body, and wallet clutch. The Flore is on my wishlist. Clare V. also makes the chicest fannypacks you ever did see (I have one in light-pink perforated leather from a couple of springs ago but they currently have one in a gold velvet which someone - anyone - needs to buy because even I cannot justify having two fannypacks.) Oh, and they monogram! Icing on the cake! (www.clarev.com)
By Marissa DiMaggio
CHECK BACK NEXT MONTH FOR ANOTHER MUSING!