Posts in Style
Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

Contributed by Jillian Bliss

Despite being from Dallas, I never once owned Lilly Pulitzer until I got to college and the brand was all the rage at rush every year. My family may have lived in the same zip code as Kam Westcott from #RHOD, but labels just weren’t our priority, though I always found the designs eye-catching and adorable. So when told to stock up for sorority recruitment, I readily followed suit. Looking lovely in Lilly, I’ve always felt bright and positive, and I even met one of my best friends while shopping at Austin’s Domain store. The brand has since become a staple in my wardrobe.

I’ve found ways to incorporate their items into my outfits even after college – like wearing Lilly to meet the President. Sure, the brand is best for brunch and baby and bridal showers, but if you’re smart you can turn it into workwear as well.

 
The dress is a 2011 Lilly, and I paired it with a blazer for a 2016 GOP fundraiser with Reince Priebus and Katrina Pierson following Trump's nomination.

The dress is a 2011 Lilly, and I paired it with a blazer for a 2016 GOP fundraiser with Reince Priebus and Katrina Pierson following Trump's nomination.

For longtime Lilly lovers and those just looking to add a splash of color to their wardrobe, the Lilly After Party Sale is not one to miss. Here’s what’s in my tote:

StyleJillian BlissComment
The 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s 200 degrees outside, I’m 200 months pregnant and Nordstrom and Nordstrom-obsessed fashion bloggers have us all thinking about fall with the 2019 Anniversary Sale underway. #NSALE.

I fell victim to the hype this year and got the Nordstrom card for pre-access shopping. I used to have a Nordstrom debit card which I think has since been discontinued so it wasn’t a huge leap for me, but otherwise I’d never advise someone to take out a line of credit for access to a once per year sale.

Regardless though - I’ve done it and as I get more and more suggestions for fashion and style related content (who knew?!) I thought I would share with you all the items I’ve actually purchased from this year’s sale which is ongoing through early August.

As a reminder I am 200 months pregnant so real clothes are of little interest to me right now. However loungewear and perfume will forever be my jam, pregnant or not.

At the end of this post I’ll also add links to the items that caught my eye for workwear but did not make the cut for me personally just because sizing is going to be my nightmare this fall.

THINGS I PURCHASED FROM THE 2019 NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE

  1. Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Short Pajamas in Navy Peacoat. $35.90 for the set.

    I read that these jammies are super soft and breathable. So I’ve orders a pair for postpartum activities (nursing). I think the button front and soft fabric will be perfect.

  2. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deoderant Trio, $66.00 for the set of three.

    I understand that this is the MOST random item ever. Before I tried it I thought that this was some product that should be in Marshall’s clearance aisle and even then I’d never give it a second look. However, coming highly recommended by the website Things I Bought and Liked, I gave it a shot and now I am sold - its perfect for the summer swampiness of Austin and I like the consistency of a solid deodorant better than the lotion style formula of my previous Kiehl’s go-to. Now I’m afraid it will be discontinued at some point so I have no problem stocking up. FYI this $66 supply should last me 6 months.

  3. Rainbow Icon Sweater, $25.90

    We’re all unicorns and glitters and rainbows around here with a 4 year old girl in the house. Adding this to my cart made me feel less like a selfish jerk for stocking up for myself. I sized up to a 5 in hopes of getting two year’s wear out of it. I’m incredibly cheap when it comes to kids clothes.

  4. Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Running Shoe, $111.98

    My biggest splurge of the sale, I thing post pregnancy motivation demands a new pair of athletic shoes. I have the ambition of getting back into shape after baby comes and having these waiting for me will be a great reminder.

  5. Le Labo Discovery Set, $85.00

    This isn’t really a bargain or a sale item, but these discovery sets just don’t usually stay in stock long which is why I think they are featured in the sale. I wanted to gift myself one for Christmas last year but couldn’t get my hands on it. So there you have it. I don’t have any Le Labo scents but the Santal candle is one of my go-to house warming gifts for friends and I love the Rose 31 shampoo and conditioner from the Fairmont hotels which I hoard like a crazy person whenever I stay there.

  6. BaubleBar Cintia Pave Heart Pendant Necklace, $37.90

    Having a young daughter has made me more whimsicial in my accessory choices at times, and this heart necklace fits into that category. She loves to help me pick out jewelry and I find myself gravitating towards inexpensive and fun items to keep her entertained. At a low price point, it can be fun for as long as it lasts without a major investment. I think the pave design keeps it a little classy. There are also matching earrings which I didn’t purchase but can be found here.

  7. Topshop Supersoft Sweatshirt and Knit Joggers, $25.90 each

    The alleged softness of this set sold me on the order, I’ll report back when they arrive but I’m pretty optimistic about a matching cozy set for fall. It won’t be nursing friendly but some things just have to be all about me and I plan on spending a lot of time snuggled up in these come cooler weather.

    THINGS I WOULD HAVE PURCHASED FROM THE SALE IF I WASN’T SO VERY PREGNANT

  1. Halogen Pleated Midi Skirt in Leopard, update SOLD OUT

    This skirt is a classic for your closet and could work for date night as well as in the office if paired with a jacket or appropriate back top and heels.

  2. Madewell 9-Inch Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans, $84.90

    You may be able to find these at a better price from Madewell directly sometime this fall, but I am a fan of Madewell’s high-rise denim and these are a little cool with the raw edge hem, but not over the top with a ripped knee. There’s also a nice version available in the sale from Rag and Bone but at a higher price point. I also like these Paige Jeans with a ripped knee.

  3. Zella Splits Ribbed Tank, $25.90

    I’ll never feel completely comfortable in the sports bra running look, but I love a great loose tank and I think this ribbed version would be an affordable option for layering your work out attire without feeling completely exposed in just a bra and shorts or tights.

  4. Treasure and Bond Leather Biker Jacket, update SOLD OUT

    A real leather biker or moto jacket staple has been on my wish list for awhile now. I’ve been hunting for one that doesn’t have too many zippers and doesn’t look too boxy. This was a strong contender but at the $200 price point even on sale I couldn’t bring myself to take a chance on the sizing quite yet. Looks like this one got away but I’ll be referencing this post later in case of restock.

  5. Avec Les Filles Leopard Mock Neck Dress, $84.90

    More leopard! This dress is a great price for something I imagined wearing constantly throughout fall. The short sleeves also make it work for Austin’s fall. It has a classic silhouette, seems comfortably cut and would adjust to size fluctuations experienced soon after baby arrives.

  6. Madewell Oversized Denim Jacket, $84.90

    My Levi’s classic jacket has been a key aspect of my wardrobe through summer and even through pregnancy. But I really liked the look of this oversized Madewell version. It feels a little more millennial than I would normally embrace but it would be a nice way to ease out of my fashion comfort zone with the oversized cut.

  7. Gibson Rebecca Ruffle Puff Sleeve Blouse, $43.90

    This ladylike blouse won me over with the timeless rope and chain pattern, paired with soft ruffles and a slight puff sleeve. “Slight” being key.

  8. Nalani Bootie in Nude, $64.90

    These are the ones that got away, I deliberated too long and they sold out in my size but I think these nude booties are very smart without being over the top. Wish I had nabbed them.


If you’re looking for good deals on a few things that I can vouch for because I own them, I recommend this hair dryer (I have the same one at home in white), I have a very similar Sole Society duffel bag to this style and love it for quick road trips, a black North Face vest is always a good idea and I ALWAYS get compliments on this perfume, my favorite from Hermes.

Finally, Diptyque candles make great house warming gifts, hostess gifts etc. and I love this set of travel minis that could be broken up for various occasions and to have a great last minute gift always on hand. I may end up ordering one before the sale is up.

StyleAmy WhitedComment
2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Because every blog on the planet is required to have a gift guide at this time of year, AND I’m sitting on my parents’ couch watching football - I figure why not try my hand at it? Some of these items I own, some I’ve purchased for others. All geared towards our more professional purposes - none supported by ads or came with perks for me to make the recommendation. Enjoy.

For the business traveler:

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The Concourse Rolling Computer Bag from Mark & Graham. I own this bag, complete with my initials. I love it. It fits perfectly under the window or middle seat on Southwest flights and never does a trip go by where a complete stranger doesn’t ask where I bought it. Men and women have both asked. It’s a good find and I’m thinking through adding to my Concourse collection with the other carry-on pieces. I also have this iPad sleeve from the same company, which I also find quite handy.

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Also - if a loved one flies through major airports on a regular basis and doesn’t have CLEAR. I’d suggest a membership is in order. The gift of CLEAR will speed them through either pre-check or regular security lines - and admittedly make them lazier at getting to the airport on time. It’s worth every penny of the cost and I’ve even heard that many major airlines offer deals for membership to their loyalty program participants. It also makes a great gift to self. It seems unnecessary and frivolous - until you need it. Now I’d never go back.

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Other great travel items to consider: this Lug brand “nap sac” for long flights is a game changer, I’ve mentioned it before. ANY of these Sephora face masks would make a great stocking stuffer. I mostly love how they are packaged. You can squirt out just what you need and then use them over and over again. There are always a couple in my overnight bag because the only time I get to actually use face masks is when I’m alone in a hotel room for the night. Finally - if you work out when traveling this mini foam roller is a great option for staying flexible on the go. Let’s just say I’ve purchased more than one for my husband over the years.

Beauty:

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My feelings about fragrance are ever changing but I never leave home without one. Right now this DEBASER is all I want to smell like for the rest of my days. I bought it at a local shop in downtown Asheville a few weeks back and haven’t regretted it despite the admittedly steep price tag. They also sell a mini that could be perfect on the go. I love keeping a roller ball handy. I’ve also asked Santa for the Le Labo Discovery Set this year. Fingers crossed he makes it happen.

If you have a big person in your life to give a last minute gift to it’s always loved and easy to grab a gift card to Milk & Honey spa online. It’s a top notch place with locations in Austin and Houston - and soon to be in Ft. Worth. Also they do nails and sell products in the salon. So even a smaller gift card is classy and could go a long way if you’re not ready to pop on a 90 minute swedish massage for someone.

I’m also a firm believer in (if you’re able) to gift items your friends are unlikely to splurge on themselves. For me Aesop’s Resurrection Hand Balm fits this bill - plus it comes in 2 sizes. I have yet to meet a woman in her 30’s who hasn’t thought about buying it for herself.

For the True Texan:

A friend of ours, Jay B. Sauceda, is a pretty accomplished photographer and he’s just come out with a great book of aerial views of our great state called A Mile Above Texas. I’d recommend snagging a copy for any Texan on your personal or professional gift list and right now you can get a signed copy on his website for $40.

 
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Another great idea for family members that are really into the idea of you working in and around the Captiol - last year Governor Abbott sold Capitol Christmas ornaments that were signed in exchange for a $40 political contribution. I’m not sure if this will be done in 2019 but it made for a great gift. Even if unsigned Capitol Christmas Ornaments are always a good idea.

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And for the teeniest Texans, Biscuit in Houston makes the sweetest cactus-ridden jammies. Get yours here. I also love their Wimberly and Marfa stationery.

For the Entertainer:

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I’ve had a colleague gift me this Domaine Carneros sparkling rose duet each Christmas and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s so good and a welcome bottle to have around during the holiday season. Get your gift set here. It’s so good I eventually became a member of the winery myself.

For hostess gifts I’m pretty predictable usually bringing a bottle of wine, or this candle if it’s a big party and a VERY good friend. I also love the idea of gifting something like Reese Witherspoon or Chrissy Teigan’s new book. If you know they don’t have it it’s a fun way to encourage them to continue hosting. I’ve also been known to show up with $25 Central Market or Whole Foods gift cards in a Christmas card for my hosts and those also always seem appreciated.

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If you have more time on your hands and want to get very personal - consider personalized stationary from Dixie Designs. The designs are quite southern and unique you’re guaranteed to be one of a kind - I’ve gifted the fleur de lis notecards to a good friend from New Orleans and she loved them. I also have these company print my professional Christmas cards each year as well as my personal correspondence cards. So many great designs!

StyleAmy WhitedComment
Adelante's Game Day This Weekend!

One of my favorite days of the year (and the most harsh on my pocketbook) is Adelante Boutique's Game Day sale. This Saturday half of the store will be converted to basically every cute burnt orange top or dress you could ever want. 

I didn't go to UT but I like to fit in - so I always go big at this sale. As in, hide the bags in the trunk of the car big. There are so many cute pieces to choose from even if you're not a longhorn. Maybe I'll see you there!

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StyleAmy WhitedComment
The Only Guide You May Ever Need to Saving Your Feet Around the Capitol
Jenna Lyons' Shoe Collection   Via

Jenna Lyons' Shoe Collection Via

I wish I wrote this fantastic post about how to save your feet around the Capitol and I normally don't post to just one piece from another blog but this info is too good to keep to myself.

It's such great info. brought to you by fashion blogger Abra Belke at the Work Edit, formerly Capitol Hill Style. Read the full guide, and add to the Amazon cart here. If you have any additional tips to offer please leave them in the comments section too. I'd love to hear.

StyleAmy WhitedComment
Inexpensive Suiting Options

I'll be moderating an event for work soon, and while my first thought of course was "what will I say?" I'll admit I'm as human as the next gal and my second thought was, "what will I wear?"

The event definitely calls for professional attire so I'm thinking a suit and would love an excuse to scoop up a new one. However, after a very recent home renovation we're a bit poor. I need a bargain. Like, J.C. Penny bargain. But who knew? Check these out. 

 
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I am most fond of this dress and jacket set. For about $76 total it seems to be a total steal and I really like the high contrast piping. It's interesting and I love the fact that the piece underneath is a dress which is helpful for the mom bod - should you have one.

I also thought this navy striped number was very clean looking, it's pretty and traditional.

This tan suit set also looks great, but just not for me because my suit, my skin and my hair would all be the same color. I've made that mistake before, but for you it may be the perfect neutral at a great price.

And last but not least, I'm not convinced I don't need this American beauty in my life. Wink.

StyleAmy WhitedComment
Girl Friday, 2018 vol. 3
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It's 105 degrees out but in 1 hour it will be the weekend my friends! I had a lovely lunch at epicerie with Pink Granite alum Alyse Meyer (read her interview here). I ventured beyond the borders of my comfort zone and tried the salmon toast. It was very very tasty and I took a photo to prove to my husband that I ate it. He's the healthy one - toasts usually fall within his domain.

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Have you heard that Wildfang is selling "I really care, don't u?" jackets and the money goes to RAICES. Needless to say ZARA missed that boat, although the trolliness of it all is more a Wildfang move. Kudos to them.

But enough politics! Girl Friday is for the unnecessary.

This weekend wraps up a massively expensive home renovation that the Mr. and I have completed on a rental property (anyone need a house in South Austin?) and to celebrate I want to buy myself something that doesn't need to be installed at a 20% markup or eventually painted white.  In reality I'll be waiting until we get a renter in to truly celebrate with any purchases but here's what I'm dreaming about for when that sweet sweet day comes:

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Reiss is having a big sale right now and I specifically need a gray dress for my sister's upcoming wedding. I'm not in the wedding but I need to coordinate as the mother of the flower girl and all. I know what you're thinking, I am basically Kate Middleton in this entire affair. 

Speaking of the Reiss sale I also love this blazer for more wintery times, these nude kitten heels for anytime, and this pink number for a date night.

Speaking of the royals - Town and Country's instagram account tells me that Meghan Markle wears this lipstick so now I think I need it too.

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I do love the tool on Charlotte Tilbury's website that let's you see a lipstick on a similar skin tone to yours. As a rule I actually never buy lipstick online and wouldn't advise you to do so either.  Unless Meghan Markle wears it too.

Until next Friday...

Girl Friday, 2018 vol. 1

New series alert! As soon as I'm able to procure a snazzy header image, you'll all be the first to see it.  GIRL Friday is the new safe space for the glossy, fluffy, perhaps frivolous content that we all need leading into the weekend.

So let's get to it.

None of us are over the Royal Wedding, so why pretend? Last night I watched this old interview with Meghan Markle and she is an effing delight.  I've never watched Suits or Craig Ferguson for that matter, but the way she handles Ferguson's general creepiness while remaining warm and endearing is a lesson to all of us. I also enjoyed this opinion piece from the New Yorker on Doria Ragland.

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In the world of Instagram accounts you should be following, I give you @ObviousButAmazing. You will thank me later. It's not about the pictures it's about the captions.

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The constant struggle to fake it til I make it resumes. I joined Rent the Runway's unlimited plan yesterday.  I'm probably not supposed to tell you that - forget I said anything if you see me out looking amazing and never in the same dress twice.

My first order is full of rompers - I've decided that's the only responsible way to wear them... on loan.

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Finally, last night I started reading the Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and it's already hard at work in my head. If you're too busy or uninterested in reading you can watch Sarah's TED talk here and you'll get the point.

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend, take a moment to remember those who gave everything they had for freedom and perhaps take a moment to drop a comment here and let me know what you think of this GIRL Friday thing.

7 Skincare Products that I Use and Like

No cutting edge journalism here folks - but I did find myself thinking about this little blog tonight while cleaning my face, which led me here. Honesty. That's what you get late on a Thursday night.

So it's no secret that Pink Granite posting is sparse at best these days, but the truth of the matter is that I think of something to post at some point in the day every single day. I just (lately) rarely sit down to write it all out. Sometimes that is because I am afraid that whatever idea seemed interesting in the shower is now no good, or even (gulp) too girly, too frivolous or I just happen to also be thinking about another bagillion things at the same time and it gets moved to the back burner.

Here lately I am trying to be smarter with my various commitments. So for Pink Granite that is going to mean reserving time each day to try to post something - following through on all those ideas that pop into my head, and may not seem "worth it." If people keep reading it then I'll keep writing it.

So tonight, in an effort to maintain some level of content - I give you the stuff I put on my face every night in hopes of looking 28 again.  Would love to hear your recommended products in the comments area as well.

And as always, none of this is paid, perked or sponsored. I buy this stuff with my real hard-earned American dollars and hide the receipts from my husband.

Makeup Removal

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Just to warn you, these makeup remover wipes from Neutrogena are probably the cheapest thing on the list but I NEVER leave town without them. I have bought boxes or travel sized packs of these in almost every major US city because I love them that much and need them when I'm traveling. I'm a wipe girl, generally in life. Household cleaning, kid cleaning, car cleaning - if there's a wipe to do the job I want it. No cotton balls in my house and these do the trick just right. 

Cleanser

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Around Christmas I finally got around to using a gift card to milk + honey salon that had been burning a hole in my pocket since the previous March.  At the time I was using this Laura Mercier face polish that I paid a pretty penny for and saw on a blog - had to be good for my skin right? Plus it smelled great. 

But my face kept breaking out in a big way and I couldn't figure out why. I was spending tons of money on skincare products for my face only to make my skin worse. Then, a lovely gal at the salon mentioned (during my facial) that I was clearly over-exfoliating. I had sensitive skin and didn't even know it. Enter CosMedix benefit clean and the foundation of all the other gunk I throw on my face has been better than ever. Clean, but not scrubbed raw by an overzealous product. It was called face polish afterall - I should have known!

Exfoliation

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Cleanser switched - happy me. But after a few days it still feels good to just really scrub my face a little extra you know? So enter Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion Paste.  I'm not sure what all is in this stuff, some combination of chemicals and salt and sugar I think - but you start scrubbing with a dry face but afterwards are left with nothing but "magic town" as my sales rep calls it. BUT it doesn't dry my skin out like the old cleanser did. I haven't been using it long but so far it's a score. I use it about three times a week IN PLACE of my cleanser.

Anti-Aging

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At 36 I feel like there are just some things I need and a retinol product is one of them. The jury will decide if it was worth it in about 10-15 Years. Here's the one I use, I buy it locally at Westlake Dermatology. They say don't use it if you're trying to have a kid. No worries here.

Night Cream

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I can't stress enough the importance of going into a Sephora or somewhere else and testing out night creams, or talking to someone that works there about what you need. There are 539,834 on the market now and there is no way to know what may work best for your skin without help. I did that when purchasing this cream and it's been exactly what I needed. Plus, it's from some company I'd never heard of and likely wouldn't have picked up on my own in Sephora - I used to be a die hard Clinique girl. Look at me now. Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb. As a side note, I'm a big fan of Kiehl's products and this is a very good face cream as well. 

Eye Cream

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Another nice inexpensive product, CeraVe's night eye cream does the trick - I think. I assume all it is supposed to do is keep your eye area super hydrated while you sleep and it does that. Plus it doesn't smell like anything so it doesn't irritate my super-sensitive eyes. I also just purchased this one from Rodan + Fields but haven't tried it long enough to give any feedback yet. Plus it costs the same as about 5 CeraVe's so we'll see if it stays in rotation.

Lashes

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Don't judge me folks, this list just keeps going.

I was super skeptical about over-the-counter lash serums as being trendy and silly. But childbearing does weird things to your body and for some reason my formerly "okay" eyelashes were now totally non-existent. So I bought Lash Boost on a pretty expensive whim - but guys I'm now hooked. You really have to use it every day but it works. I apply mine before I go to bed easy peasy and didn't see much difference until about 45 days in - and then all of a sudden these crazy long lashes just appeared from nowhere. They are real and spectacular. 

So that's it friends. Just a million products that I put on my face about 5 nights a week - the other two I probably just didn't wear make up that day and figured "what's the use." And because I'm too into this stuff I'd love to know what your favorite products are!

Weekend-ing

We interrupt your regularly scheduled election and political posts for a few thoughts on things of minimal importance.

What I'm Watching

I'm having a Margot Robbie moment. Have you seen I, Tonya? It's so very good. After two days of constant attention to my child - mom needed a break and I dropped her off at a drop-in daycare and went to the movies. Gloriously alone.

I was torn between The Post and I, Tonya. She won, and I don't regret it. 

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Right now, while I'm typing this, I'm watching The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) on Netflix. Don't judge me for all the screen time, there's only so much I can do with a sleeping three year old at 9 PM, alone.  I'm only about 10 minutes in to this movie and I'm already hooked. The first few minutes of Adam Sandler and his daughter trying to park the car is solid gold.

What I (Will Be) Wearing

Did you know that Ann Taylor has a great price adjustment policy? I don't care to admit how much I spent in that store last Friday - all full prices items. That in itself is a pretty dumb move at AT considering they've become the Joseph A. Banks for women - everything goes on mega sale eventually.

However, if within 7 days your items go on sale, just bring your receipt back in and they adjust the prices no questions asked.  The sale is still going on and here's what I've picked up in the last week. Today and tomorrow there is an additional 70% of sale. It's no buy one get three free but still a deal.

Click on each image for a link.

Cooking

I've been looking to cook more at home lately and this weekend Southern Living got me with their beef stew on the cover. You can find the recipe here.  My only variation is that I threw it all in an Instant Pot for 35 minutes instead of watching it on the stove top for 3 hours. For real. Such a time saver.

The January issue also includes a recipe for Capitol Hill soup which I'd like to try next. Apparently it's quite the hit in the Senate cafeteria, which I know may not be a glowing recommendation but SL makes it look scrumptious. Here's the recipe from the Senate website. 

In more related news:

  • Annie's List is hosting Elizabeth Warren here in Austin on February 2nd. Learn more here.

  • Emily's List is throwing a LOT of money at campaigns this year.

  • Former Trump Supporter now running for Congress to "Fight" Him, via Huff Post.

  • Women Get Tips on Running for Office, from the Houston Chronicle.

  • 22 Women in the US Senate! And yes that's actually a record.

  • The Texas Tribune reporting on how law makers may consider policing themselves on sexual harassment allegations.

  • Finally, is Texas ready for a gay, latina Democrat? Lupe says yes!