Kowtow organic cotton/tencel Wandering Dress (small)
Baggu fanny pack
Birkenstock BirkoFlor Arizona sandals
I ordered this Kowtow dress from Covet & Lou with their mother’s day discount over the weekend because I wanted a slightly more structured, button front black dress. Black is my color, ultimately, although I am enjoying wearing brighter colors now. It plays nicely with my hair, and allows me to wear more color in my accessories, which I obviously didn’t do yesterday, but could have haha. Anyway, it reminds me of sort of a 70’s style maternity/tent dress, and I’m not mad about it. It’s so oversized, and comes with a belt I could have worn, but didn’t want to. I loved it and wore it all day comfortably; I felt sort of glam in it.
I wish Kowtow wasn’t so difficult to find in the US. It’s one of the most impressive sustainable/ethical brands out there, and has very generous fits/styles for myriad body types. You can find it on Garmentory, but many of the boutiques are overseas, or in New Zealand specifically, and come with very high shipping charges.
I went to Nordstrom yesterday to return an online order and ended up buying an expensive, not “clean” or natural in any way lip color, this YSL Tatouage Couture Matte lip stain in Neutral Underground. I have this Vapour Lip gloss in Fearless which I really love, and this one by Kjaer Weiss, which introduced me to purple/lilac lip color, but man, I HATE using my fingers to apply lip stuff. I did buy a small retractable lip brush to use with the Kjaer Weiss color, but never use it.
I feel a little guilty about the purchase but not really. I believe in the 80/20 rule, as in giving myself about a 20% leeway in terms of buying/doing the “right” things so I’m going to let go and just enjoy my new lip color.
As you know, I’ve felt very out of sorts lately, being sick and pregnant will do that to you. I’m trying not to spend a lot of time outside, because I think that makes the coughing worse, and I haven’t been to Pure Barre in more than a week, so I’m not getting my usual exercise. I’ve neglected taking care of my nails, and haven’t really paid much attention to my “appearance” lately, and I’m starting to feel it.
It’s such a small thing, but I ALWAYS feel better when my nails are nicely manicured, not necessarily painted, but that helps too. I pick at my cuticles a lot and if my hands/nails look nice, I tend not to do it as much. So today I’m forcing myself to go get a pedicure (I can’t do my toes very well by myself anymore!!) today and over the weekend I’m going to do my at-home manicure – maybe red nails?
That’s also where the lip color comes in. I’m specifically crushing hard on LaTonya Yvette lately and her amazing smile + beautiful lip colors. I want to do a better job of wearing something pretty on my lips; it makes me FEEL GOOD even if I don’t.
I’m so bored with everything I’ve read lately so I won’t even mention what that was. I did start the last Discovery of Witches book last night and I’m looking forward to that (I don’t know why I didn’t read it when I read the other two…). I also bought Cribsheet by Emily Oster who also wrote Expecting Better which I LOVED. She’s an economist who dives deep into the data associated with all the parenting studies we see summarized in headlines and debunks some assumptions we have about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc. She’s on a recent episode of Freakonomics also if you’d rather hear a synopsis; it was very good.
Oh, I wanted to ask for your input. I got a trial subscription to Audible and then forgot to cancel it so I have a couple more credits in my account, but I have no idea what books to listen to, as opposed to read, if that makes sense. I decided to try audible because I thought it might be easier to listen to a book rather than read one once baby comes, but I’m struggling trying to decide what type of book to listen to. I have never listened to an audio book so I don’t know exactly what I was thinking…
I’m watching Victoria, which I’m OBSESSED with and will be so sad when I’m all caught up and can’t binge on anymore. I am such a sucker for historical dramas.
Game of Thrones. Sigh. I’ve really enjoyed the TV series, but I’m ready for it to be over honestly, although I still consider the first couple of books the absolute BEST fantasy series ever written. And I’ve read pretty much all of them. It shocked me and drew me in way back when I read the books, same with the tv series. I’m not as disappointed as many fans at the latest turn of events, it’s par for the course for the series, and honestly, I didn’t expect it to end in the way it seemed like it might end – nothing has ever gone as expected in Game of Thrones…
I really need/want to repot several plants, buy some for outdoors, clean my office, work on my quilt, etc., over the weekend, but I probably won’t do any of that if I’m being realistic. I just haven’t felt like doing much. Next week my dad and stepmom are coming for a visit so I’m very excited about that, and hopefully I’ll feel more “normal” so we can eat and shop all week, as we do when we get together 🙂
What have you bought, read and done lately??
Oh my, that kowtow dress is lovely! It is goddess material.
Regarding audio books: I always check them out from my library using the app Libby. It’s free and has been nice to experiment with, as someone who has never before listened to books. Mainly, I’m a year into working at an indie bookstore and i needed a way to keep up with the stores best selling authors. Libby was a game changer for me. Now I’ve listened to dozens of books which (in addition to all the reading). It really isn’t the same thing as sitting down to read a book, but I can make informed recommendations to customers on so many more authors and titles than before.
I will say that listening to a novel with strong plot points (as opposed to more character focused, etc) has been the key for me. Two recommendations: anything by Maria Semple , she’s hilarious and the narrator for both of her books is spot on. Donna Tartt has won the Pulitzer many times and her book The Secret History is riveting and mysterious. I have listened to three of her books on audio now and loved each experience.
I have almost always chosen novels over nonfiction, but I have heard Educated by Tara Westover is a pleasure to hear read. I read this one myself and was blown away, as someone who is usually not interested in memoir.
Last thing: I listen while I cook (religiously), garden, and do house chores. That’s it … I try to fit in 30min-1hour a day. So far so good.
Have fun with it!
I have such a hard time listening to books (or podcasts, or really people talking at me about almost anything) I have a long commute and many people would use that time for audio books, but unless I can’t get the book from my library (paper or e-version) and it’s ONLY available audio, I don’t do it. Mainly because -I love romance novels. Historical and contemporary. But apparently I skim a lot because I was listening to one on my commute and literally the ENTIRE 48 minute drive was a sex scene. If I had been reading, I would have been done in 5 minutes. Not sure what that says about me, but there you have it 😉
I just finished another Ruth Reichl (I think I’m almost done with all her books….so far) Reading a mystery now, Alice Kimberly (meh, but I’ve read her coffeeshop series under a different name and get this bookshop mystery as an ebook from my library, so….) Husband is camping & flying r/c planes this week so I’m watching whatever I want 😉 Watched Margaret: Rebel Princess (recorded from PBS) and Inside Balmoral (ditto, PBS). We watch Victoria together so I won’t watch that, and I’ve recorded Discovery of Witches but want to see if husband likes it too, so I’ll wait to start when he’s back home. If I have enough data to stream, I might try to watch the last episodes of the final series of Catastrophe (on Amazon Prime). [we live in the boonies with satellite internet; data is expensive and we don’t always have enough to stream – I usually wait until the end of the month and see what we have left, but husband said he increased our plan, so….]
I did some gardening after work yesterday (pulled out bolted spinach, watered seedlings). My in-laws are coming for dinner on Sunday so I need to do some prep for that (I’m doing grilled lamb, naan, salad, so pretty easy…..)
Do you still like your Baggu fanny pack?
Grechen Reiter says
i LOVE IT. the only thing i find very annoying actually is the “baggu” stamped on the strap right across my chest. there’s no way around it though. it holds a ton more than you think it would. it sags a bit when it’s full as you can see in the photo, but it’s easy to carry and get into just slung across my chest. sometimes i carry it like a shoulder bag too..
I listen to Audible all the time, (because of my job) and by far one of the best all around narrations/story was Heft by Liz Moore. The narration was so good, and the story riveting. I really enjoyed it. There is alot of garbage on audible, but they have a great return policy if you dont like a book you get your credit back. I have a subscription) If you like creepy mysteries etc there is one called Baby Teeth about an evil little girl, but maybe don’t listen to that right now……… Another one is An Hour before Daylight by Jimmy Carter.
I use Audible quite a bit. Currently while walking at the park but I started when I had a longer work commute (now my commute is maybe 5 minutes so no time to get into a book really).
I would make sure to read reviews for the audible version as the narrator can make a huge difference. My favorite books on Audible so far are ones I listened to a long while ago have been the biography of Steve Jobs and a Japanese dystopian novel 1Q84 (the English version). Both were significantly long books so I found Audible an easier way. Another was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. More recently I enjoyed Educated by Tara Westover.
Books I didn’t like: one of The Minimalists books, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life. I believe they may have just combined some blog posts to write a book and on audio, repetitive vocabulary and/or concepts become even more obvious. I suspect Marie Kondo’s book would be the same as the translation says “tidy” again and again.
Books I have on my list include Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming”. I am also currently listening to the reissued Getting Things Done (self help books can be a good option too). I listened to the original Getting Things Done on audio but that was years ago, I’m refreshing myself for motivation as I have fallen off the wagon.
LOVE THE DRESS!!!
Love that dress on you! I started looking at Kowtow thanks to you and I can find some great deals on TheRealReal (thinking about getting a black Kowtow dress from them right now). Oh and I’m halfway through Cribsheet and I love it! I wish I had read it while I was still pregnant because there are so many great tips and things to think about before the baby is born that I couldn’t take advantage of. Ah well better late than never 🙂
I just blew through Bluff by Michael Kardos and Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. I don’t do audiobooks, just podcasts, but if thrilling suspense makes for a good audiobook, Bluff is the one.
I recently rewatched Inherent Vice, which was very rewarding. Have you seen First Man? That’s a truly excellent period piece.
Ooo! That dress is good and really well-priced. I’m in agreement on the GOT final episodes. I’m not sure what they could’ve done to make everyone happy…truth is, you just can’t win. Also, I’m a HUGE Victoria fan. I love that they’re a couple in real life, too! (At least, they were a month or so ago.)
Have fun shopping and eating!
Lol! (re:48 minute sex scene/drive) Catastrophe is so worth it!
Maybe an obvious choice, but anything by David Sedaris is a pleasure to hear read out loud! My personal favorite is Me Talk Pretty One Day.
Audible is the most fun thing in the world – I would go for a genre that you are comfortable with and an author you know to start with. But they have a lot of free stuff to try as well. I actually have ‘Audible day’ in my diary, because I look forward to my credit so much. And don’t stress about getting something you hate, you can return if you need.
But what I meant to say is, I am a long-time lurker; and I was and am so thrilled with your pregnancy. I am 52, and didn’t get around to it myself, so I am with you all the way. However it all works out, you carry a lot of love from other women with you. xx
Michelle Johnson says
I love that Kowtow dress (on you). Thanks for the intro to Latonya Yvette. I love audiobooks, but find convoluted plots with different voices hard to follow. Hence my preference for first-person narratives. I love memoirs, especially of comedians. I am a new reader to your blog so I do not know if this is your speed, but I really loved Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat, read by the author. She describes, in terrifying honesty, a side of America that was unimaginable to me. At the same time, she genuinely funny.
Kowtow really does make amazing clothes. That dress is beautiful.
I’ve been buying a lot of indoor plants and repotting plants myself. I’m also obsessed with getting little tree saplings I’ve seen pop up in my yard and repot those in efforts to make myself some bonsai.
Grechen Reiter says
oh! what a great idea!! i never thought of that. i’m going to try it too 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
thank you for the recommendation michelle – i love autobiographies/biographies, and anything historical! that book sounds interesting.
and enjoy LaTonya Yvette, I have been since I first started reading…
Grechen Reiter says
thank you so much mercy 🙂
and i took your advice and got an audible book that i read many many years ago (dean koontz, watchers) that got a great rating as read, and will start with that.
Grechen Reiter says
i’ve actually never read anything by david sedaris. sounds like a good author to listen to?
Grechen Reiter says
thanks for all the recommendations nora. they’re all on my reading/watching list now 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
yes, therealreal does have some good kowtow stuff on occasion, i forgot to mention that!
That dress!!!! Looks really amazing on you. I have thought about ordering Kowtow in the past but was put off by the shipping charges — maybe I will check it out again.
For me, with audiobooks the most important thing is the reader (as some others have commented). I don’t really like a lot of the generic readers who sound kind of robotic and much prefer when the author is reading the book. I’ve had great experiences listening to David Sedaris books for that reason. But my most recent and favorite listening experience was Michelle Obama’s memoir. She reads the audiobook and I felt like that really added to my enjoyment of the book! It’s very reflective and interesting and inspiring. Also, I’ve heard that the reader of the Harry Potter audio books is wonderful, but I haven’t listened to them myself yet.