to shop / recent purchases

I’ve been using Method hand soap in my Muji containers for years, but I guess more moisture couldn’t hurt. I like L’Occitane hand products, so when a promo gave out, I promptly ordered the Verbena shea butter liquid soap refill. I would’ve ordered the ultra rich soap if it had a refill. I fell in love with their Ultra Rich shea butter collection during a summer trip to the Canadian Rockies (it’s super dry there) and also highly recommend their newer intensive hand items. Use code FACE or BODY for 20% off, free shipping over $10, and an Almond Discovery set (mini Almond hand cream, skin oil, and shower oil). Doesn’t work on sale items.

Image: Nordstrom

These Melissa Papete + Rider Sandals are new arrivals at Shopbop, and I caught them during the recent sale. I opted for the nude/black combo over the neon or black options. They fit true to size and the nude bottom makes the wide Teva look much more flattering on my feet. I like that they are all rubber for ease of cleaning and rainy climates. Available at Shopbop (my color is OOS at the moment), Zappos, Amazon, and Melissa.

Image: ShopBop

Birchbox Skincare Multitaskers KitAs posted on my Instagram (should I update more often?), I had Birchbox points to use up. I quite like some of Birchbox’s kits, value sets, and holiday sales. I don’t like their monthly boxes (review here) and think their website could be greatly improved, but the deals and brand curation keeps me as a customer. This kit has Huxley (have tried multiple products, love the smell), Dr Lipp (curious), Kiehl’s cleansing oil (curious), Sand & Sky (curious), and Mighty Patch (slightly curious).

Image: Birchbox

I think the Garnet Hill navy toile bedding has been on my wishlist for sooo long but I don’t like buying at full price if I don’t have to, especially for a flannel that is seasonal. The navy color (my fave) got discontinued and I was sold when I saw it was sale on sale.

Image: Garnet Hill

to shop / birkenstock sandals, pt. 2

I returned the two pairs of Birkenstock Arizonas I wrote about last time. The rose gold upper leather was too stiff and I wasn’t in love with the rose gold. The white pair was just too white.

Verdict: I love the Birkenstock Arizonas in EVA in black. I tested them for warm weather for a week in rainy Taipei and heartily give them two thumbs up.

Pluses:

  • Price point
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • The non-leatherness is not that obvious (for the black color; other than white, the other colors do not have matching buckles)
  • Arch support is softer than the leather/cork version and breaks in easy
  • Leather-free for those who do not like animal products

Cons:

  • If the straps are on too tight and it’s hot, your feet won’t be able to breath.
  • The strap material doesn’t look that durable in that I wouldn’t change the strap holes often.

Sizing: I am normally a US 8 and wear a 38 Narrow in Birkenstocks. I could get buy with 39 (what’s recommended for US 8) but I like 38 more.

Where to Buy: Nordstrom (women, men), Birkenstock, Dick’s Sporting Goods. Amazon is not an authorized seller due to counterfeits — I would avoid Birkenstock. If you are going to Europe, they are cheaper there and have more styles. Birkenstock is a German brand.

I also got the Arizonas in dress blue patent/red bottom. Those need breaking in. I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal color, but only Birkenstock carries this color combination.

to shop / new balance polka dot sneakers, old navy and birkenstock sandals

(1) New Balance 696 Reengineered Polka Dot Running Sneaker – I like polka dots. They come in navy or brown (looks very brown here but reads warm/burgundy to me). I found the brown ones on super sale and went with that, but won’t be using them as running shoes. Available on sale in very limited sizes at Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdales and in more sizes at Free People. I sized 0.5 size up.

(2) Old Navy Laser-Cut Peep-Toe Sandals. These have been semi-restocked. They run wide in the front and slightly long. I’m going to see if sizing down works. I love the delicate lace look but don’t intend for them to last past a season or two. Reasonable for $15 (on sale) and synthetic material. They come in gold, black, coral and white/nude. The nude is out of stock.

(3) My feet are craving some arch support. I haven’t worn Birks in a while (and actually sold my old ones), but it’s time to get some again. I’m not sure if I love these Arizonas in rose gold or white (too white!). You can find them at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Zappos. I sized down, but was on the border of going TTS and take the narrow width. I.e. I’m a US 8 and should be EU 39 but went with EU 38.

to shop / summer sandals

Currently wearing Salt Water sandals in gold. They are true to size (in the ‘big kids’ sizing) and also come in baby/toddler/kid sizing! Gold is my favorite! At some point I also ordered them in red but never wore them so I sold them. I’ve had them for 3 years and they still look pretty new. I’m not sure how inventory is right now, but in prior years, the coveted colors quickly sell out as the weather gets warmer.

Continue reading “to shop / summer sandals”

to shop / a look at old navy spring 2015

I love Old Navy‘s spring collection. It reminds me that bare legs and warmer weather isn’t too far away, and it is super affordable*. They tend to use breathable fabrics like cotton and rayon for warm weather styles, unlike some other lower cost brands that go heavy on polyester (*cough* F21). The quality isn’t amazing but it’s good enough — I have yet to see anything fall apart under multi-season use. Many items come in petite and tall sizing and are lined, which makes it work appropriate. My favorites so far are the dresses in the first row and the chambray shirt and sweater in the third row.

*There was a 40% off promotion last week for cardholders. The current promotion is 35% off for Old Navy and Gap with code DAYLIGHT through Monday, March 9, 11:59 ET. I’m a big Gap Inc. fan — the Gap credit card is totally worth it.

Ponte-knit tank dress (also in black), Eyelet dress in white, Maxi cami dress, Striped linen-blend dress (also in red) 

Eyelet shirtdress (also in navy), Belted shirtdress (also in dot print), Ponte knit sheath dressEyelet dress in blue (also in white)

Sleeveless eyelet shirt, Mesh-knit sweaterChambray boyfriend shirt (oversized, inky blue), Gauze eyelet top

Ankle strap sandals in black, white, neon yellow (not pictured)

Image source: Old Navy