Weekend Reads #72

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three hands in front of a pink background each holding a balloon
Image from rawpixel.com / Amy

Set your DVRs, I'll be on The Today Show this Wednesday, October 2, during the 10am ET portion of the show.  I will be on with Sai from Scout the City and Joanna from Cup of Jo and we'll be chatting about fall fashion trends and how our style evolved once becoming parents. I'm writing this Friday morning on the train to NYC for my fitting for the show and I am so excited.  What has made me more excited is the strangers who have been excited for me.  I took an Uber to the train station, my driver asked where I was going, and then why.  She was so thrilled for me, she asked for my business card and was really excited about this opportunity.  And then in line at Union Station to get on the train, a man was behind me, he asked if it was the right line for his gate, he mentioned he was taking the train just to the airport and asked where I was going and then asked why… we ended up having the most fun conversation about our glimpses of fame, crazy short trips to different countries, and how his wife also cancelled her subscription box.  

I was sharing with a friend recently that being a blogger, an influencer, whatever this job is… it's like climbing a flight of stairs.  Sometimes you climb steps and it's exhausting and you're out of breath but you're closer to the top.  And other times, you hang out on a landing, you catch your breath, you may even get a bit bored.  And the month of October I will be climbing a serious flight of steps and I'm excited.  The Today Show is just one of many fun opportunities that have come by way, though it is the one that impresses my neighbors and family and makes them realize I wasn't losing my mind by quitting Corporate America. It's so easy to get focused on the climb and get frustrated when you're stuck on a landing, sometimes it takes complete strangers to remind you to live in the moment and be excited for what you have accomplished.  

Sale Alert

J. Crew Factory has some great deals going on this weekend with 50% off their picks for autumn that are at this link and their new arrivals at this link are anywhere from 40-60% off. J. Crew Factory goes up to a size 24 or 3XL. My picks?

  • These button-fly straight jeans that have reviews such as, “I hate shopping for jeans. Nothing ever fits right. Except for these jeans.” They're on sale for $39.50.
  • Their Gigi pant in ponte, which this year they updated with positive reviews, “By getting rid of the zip fly, making them higher rise (I always had to pull up the last version throughout the day), and keeping the real pockets and belt loops, they basically made it so I can wear leggings to work and not have anyone think twice.” Also on sale for $39.50.
  • Their full-length Ruby pant in stretch twill, which sounds great for curves: “I have such a hard time finding work pants that will fit curves, while still being flattering. I have a 30″ waist and 40″ hips. It is a struggle. These fit great at the waist, are a little form fitting through the hips, and straight through the leg.” Three colors, on sale for $39.50.
  • This super-cute leopard tie-neck top perfect for work with trousers and the weekend with some higher-rise jeans and ankle boots. On sale for $40.
  • A simple yet not boring sleeveless dress in two colors that can go from work to daytime wedding to date night to being thrown on with a denim jacket and sneakers with ease. On sale for $58.50.
  • For those who love pencil skirts, this wool-blend one comes in four fab colors and is on sale for $47.50.
  • Their tissue turtlenecks are great, so many colors, perfect to put under most everything when the temps drop, and on sale for $19.50.

Bare Necessities has their Friends and Family – save 25% off sitewide with promo code FAMILY19. This code will also give you free two-day shipping on any order over $70. Limited exclusions apply, but the items part of the sale are all found at this link where you can search by bra or panty size or search for a specific brand of intimates or style of undergarment. Bare Necessities is one of my favorite places for underpinnings, they have all the popular brands and comparable prices with extensive customer reviews.

Lands' End is offering 40% off full-price styles and free shipping to most US and Canadian addresses! Use promo code PINECONE.  This is a great time to stock up on outerwear and cold weather gear at a good price. 

ELOQUII has 40% off tops, pants, and jackets with promo code CANTWAIT.  Also with this promo code, you can get dresses for $49 and under available at this link.

Talbots is having 25% off today, sale included, no promo code needed.

Weekend Reads

I've noticed for a while that more powerful women wear dresses than suits, but now they're reporting on it. Why a growing faction of women prefer strong, tailored ‘power dresses’ for the office, rather than the expected blazers. (WSJ)

Quotes from 25 women on achieving success later in life. (The Cut)

On Instagram Stories I asked for clothing steamer recommendations.  Mine is on its last leg, it keeps shutting itself off.  The most popular answer was this one for less than $30

How DC's oldest hardware store, opened in 1866, ended up housing two urban farms. (City Paper)

I wrote a post about natural deodorants that continues to get traffic and comments.  I've yet to find any deodorant that works well and for more than a couple of months.  One of the commenters suggested taking liquid chlorophyll which deodorizes from the inside out and has other supposed health benefits.  After reading up on it, I decided to try it and bought this bottle.  It doesn't taste bad, a bit like mint.  No change yet but it has only been a week.  I take it each morning with my vitamins. 

Have you heard of the site The Age Buster? It's a site that helps women overcome the stigma of aging through stories from women leading self-directed and rewarding lives. (The Age Buster)

I think many women have experienced a doctor that didn't believe her. I know I had a doctor literally tell me I was “hysterical” and “overdramatic” regarding a health issue and was glad to get a second opinion and find I was neither and had a serious health issue. A neurologist suffered from tremors and loss of balance that she attributed to a cyst in her brain.  Her doctors didn't believe her, she tells her story. (ProPublica)

As bloggers, influencers, and even journalist we are public figures.  We knew this was so when we chose this job. However, in this day and age being a public figure can be dangerous and destroy one's career, family life, and self-worth. I've only had a teeny drop of what Sali Hughes, the beauty journalist has experienced. If you think we public figures are being too sensitive and should just ignore negativity and “not feed the trolls” I encourage you to watch this brief video by Hughes. (Instagram, though you should be able to watch just fine from your computer and if you don't have an IG account).

For Your Entertainment 

This video by Kristine Flaherty, better known by her stage name K.Flay, debuted the same day as the United Nation's Global Climate Summit. “We're looking out at a world that is getting hotter and scarier by the day, and still nothing seems to compel the government to take action,” says K.Flay about this video. “The video imagines a trash universe in which social isolation and littering and bad policing are the status quo — a universe that doesn't feel so different from ours now.”  All that with a catchy hook, maybe it will become an earworm that sparks change?

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. About the steamer, have you used it? It has mixed reviews. I have a nice Rowenta iron that can be used to steam but it’s heavy to hold upright for steaming. thanks for providing honest, helpful info in every post

    1. I have not. And it’s a 5 star on some sites and a 3 star on others. The only steamer that I positively loved was a pro one. I worked for Express and helped close a store and was told all the equipment would be thrown away. I asked for the steamer, a heavy steel thing on wheels and was able to keep it. It was AMAZING, it steamed curtains and wedding dresses and all my clothes. I stored it in my toolshed and a mouse family moved into it and ate through the steamer tube and I had to get rid of it. I know it cost a lot, likely close to $1K now. Since then I have bought anything from a $15 to $150 steamer and no matter how much I’ve paid they haven’t lasted more than a few years even with proper care. So I’m thinking I’ll go with this one because I really haven’t had any steamers that have blown me away and been drastically better than another.

  2. I’m the one who saw you at Penn Station yesterday and said hi! I wish we’d both had time to chat instead of running to catch our trains. You are a DC superstar….now taking on the rest of America! Keep rocking it, Alison!

    1. Hi Katy, it was so good to see you! I must have looked wacky, I was so on a mission for gum and a snack I could eat in an Uber that wouldn’t be filthy or messy. I’m so glad you introduced yourself! We’ll have to see one another again back in our home city!

  3. I am so happy for you Alison! You will do outstanding! It is funny you are with Joanna from Cup of Jo. Her blog and your blog are the only two that I faithfully read. So cheers to you both.

    1. Thank you Carly! And I too read Cup of Jo and have for years. last week when we had our recorded segment I walked in and saw her and said, “I know you! Well I don’t know you but, you know!” And she knew, it’s the wacky world we work in! She’s great.

    1. Below someone shared if you put the title into Google you can get a readable version. That’s how I read it, I don’t have a membership but I guess it did something with the cookie and made it non-readable to non-members.

  4. Re: deoderants, I’ve had the same disappointing natural deodorant experience you have! I was researching alternatives, thinking some microbiologist out there somewhere must have legit advice for how to make pits less hospitable to bacteria … ,I ran across several recommendations for acid application, which changes the pH in your pots enough to keep bacteria from growing and therefore stinking. I tried applying a little apple cider vinegar with a cotton pad and once it dried ….. I didn’t smell like anything! I only apply the vinegar one or two nights a week now (not right after shaving, yeouch!) And can finally use more natural deoderants during the day without smelling like a hot mess. Some folks mentioned using Paula’s Choice BHA or the PIXI glow tonic as well, I just happened to have the vinegar on hand. I was just so relieved to find something that actually helps I had to share, given all the time you’ve put into the natural deoderant reviews!

  5. Looking forward to seeing you on The Today Show! But … you said it was on Tuesday, October 2. Tuesday is October 1, and October 2 is Wednesday. Which is it? I don’t want to miss you! Good luck … you’ll do a fantastic job!

  6. Is there a way to read the WSJ article without subscribing? I no longer have a need for that one in my world but would LOVE to read the article. I was a “tailored dress wearer” in a room full of suits

  7. Congratulations on your television appearance — I’m so excited for you!

    Re deodorants. In a quest to avoid aluminum and alum salts (which rules out the crystal deodorants), I found this one. I’ve used it for three years now, and my husband for two. We’ve settled on the unscented, which works amazingly well. On super hot days, I apply twice, but generally, once is enough for 24 hours.


  8. I watched Sali Hughes’ Instagram post earlier this morning before reading this. There are very few individuals from whom I look forward to the next post, article, or video. She is in my select few, and I am just heartbroken to see and hear what she has gone through and continues to deal with. I cannot for the life of me fathom why a group of people gather to spew and promote such ugliness to target someone who has had, what…the absolute “gall” to have a career in the public eye? I have found Sali to be nothing other than upfront and professional in her writing and videos. Like you, she is very upfront about everything – what she is being paid for (or not paid for, more often than not), what she has been gifted, what she has purchased. Alison, I know you have dealt with some of this kind of behavior as well from websites that I will not mention so as not to promote their sad and angry behavior. I am sorry that this is what life in 2019 has come to for people that work on line or in the public eye. No one should have their family, friends, and personal and professional reputation maligned by a group of bullies hiding behind computers. What a day and age we live in where this is seen by ANYONE as acceptable behavior.

    On a happier note, so excited for your Today show opportunity! Your success brings a smile to my face.

    1. The Internet has been amazing but has its dark sides. I don’t know a solution because I do feel there should be free speech and those who deserve to be criticized should be able to be, especially if they are profiting from others. It’s just scary when it becomes so malicious and personal.

      And thank you! I’m excited!

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