Emily's August Spire List
This summer has been the season of great transition. I'll probably go into what that looks like for me in the next few week, but in the meantime, let's just say I'm in the midst of a chapter of change. And thankfully, it's for good reason! With that change comes the opportunity to try new things, switch up the same ol' same ol' for some new additions and a little experimentation.
This month, some of my Spire List items are half baked–I haven't had all that much quality time with a few of them just yet. But, that's kind of where I'm at right now: half baked. I'm in transition between two chapters. I've put all the ingredients together, but the process isn't finished just yet. I'm a big believe that we are all on this ride together, so I collected these items because they brought me joy in some way and maybe it'll give you a look into what my ride looks like these days. Definitely give a look into yours in the comments below! Tell me, what products, resources, and sources of inspiration are riding shotgun with you these days?
But before you scroll to the comments section, here is this month's Spire List.
Being very short, there's a lot of clothes that simply don't work for me. Super wide leg crop pants (they look like tents around my legs and are too long). Super long shirts (I wear them as dresses). You get the idea. Maxi dresses and skirts fall into that category. They are hard to find when you're altitude is a little lower than a vast majority of the population.
That didn't stop me from really wanting one. In fact, it was on my capsule wardrobe addition wish list. (Have you checked out the mini-series yet?) So I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when I found one in my favorite local surf shop that fit! This Billabong skirt is totally my happy dance skirt, my favorite new addition to my closet, and it's $50 which I consider a win. I'm hoping to wear it into the fall with a jean jacket perhaps.
My boyfriend and I went on a long weekend getaway to Colorado and we spent a day in Boulder. We both LOVED the crunchy, artistic town and how everywhere you went, people seemed to be utterly happy and extremely active. They have a great pedestrian mall called the Pearl Street Mall that we explored for hours after hiking and there was a shop that sold products exclusively made by local artisans and creators. Pretty cool, right?
In that store, I came across the Be Hippy line and fell in love with their positive messaging and their well-designed hats. I snagged my sister this Be Hippy water hat for her birthday as a homage to growing up by the ocean. Bonus: they give a portion of their proceeds to organizations that support environmental conservation.
Contrary to what I said earlier, I have been using Glossier's Cloud Paint for over nine months now. I. Love. It. If you're unfamiliar with the brand, here's the short version: It was founded by then-blogger Emily Weiss (great name, am I right? 😏) and the goal was to create skincare and beauty products that were actually effective by bringing the customer into the development process.
In turn, the brand has created a line of reliable products that customers sing from the mountain tops about–which includes me! I swear by their Cloud Paint in puff, which is a liquid blush that runs you $18 (or two for $15 each). It's perfect for adding a little color to my cheekbones that lasts all day long.
My girlfriends and I took a trip up to Newport, Rhode Island earlier this summer. One of my friends is from the Ocean State and I myself spent eight years of my childhood living there. It's still one of the most naturally beautiful places I've ever seen and it was so wonderful to spend time there as an adult. That also meant we could go to Newport Vineyards. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods and are with people over 21, I highly recommend going there. We did a wine tasting for $15 that included a substantial amount of wine, plus a souvenir glass. The people were wonderful and really knew their stuff about wine. Afterward, we spent some time lounging between the rows of grape vines, drinking the last bit of wine, and eating delicious cheese, which was where the picture in this post was captured.
But even if you don't make it to Newport, their wine makes a fantastic gift and can be purchased online. My mom told me that she actually used to buy bottles of Newport Vineyards wine at Christmastime because they offer personalized wine labels which make for a cute gift. And you can always just get it as a gift for yourself. I recommend the White Merlot or the Dry Rosé, but sincerely, everything was delicious.
I admire anyone who is able to craft a brand that provides meaningful information to people. What Gwyneth Paltrow has created with her lifestyle brand Goop absolutely falls into that category. They recently kicked off a podcast, where they bring in wellness thought leaders who range from medical doctors to nutritionists to spiritual gurus. With each episode, my interest in holistic wellbeing deepens and I find myself hungry for more and more wellness content. I also love how they discuss chronic diseases, as someone who has seen first hand the impact those kinds of health implications can have on someone. If you're looking for a new podcast, this one is a great one. For more recommendations, check out Bridget's roundup of our team's favorite podcasts.
My friend Anneke read Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss and told me I had to read it. She explained that it was a year-long story told in only emails, texts, and illustrations. She also said that as New Yorkers, I'd really resonate with some of their NYC-specific references. Her recommendation did not disappoint. It was perfectly crafted and an extremely innovative approach to a story about female friendship. It's also absolutely hilarious and at times completely ridiculous. If you need one last beach read of the summer, make it this one.
Okay, full transparency: I just got this bag today. As I'm typing this, the box is still in my apartment. Told you some of these items were half-baked. BUT, hear me out. I had to share this now. I'll explain why.
As I mentioned, I've been in the midst of a transition and there was a particular milestone I've been working on reaching for a while now. For the past year or two, I've had my eye on Dagne Dover. They create products that just understand the busy, multi-faceted woman. And that is a brand I can get behind. They have a work bag, called The Classic Tote, that I've been wanting to buy for two years now but I don't shop all that often and try not to make any big purchases just for funzies.
So I made a promise to myself that I'd wait and buy the bag once I reached said milestone. Well, I met that milestone last week and immediately went to buy the bag. To my surprise, Dagne Dover was having a sample sale!!! The bag I had been eying for what felt like forever was 50% off. To say my guardian angel has been working overtime these past few months would be a massive overstatement. This just solidified that.
So I bought the Classic Tote in palm (which is a little darker than the picture) and it arrived today! I love every single inch of the bag. From the neoprene cup holder to the laptop sleeve to the pockets for tech chargers, it feels like they read my agenda and crafted the perfect bag for me. I'll likely write about it in a future capsule wardrobe post and by then I'll have a more legitimate opinion on its daily use, but it arrived and I'm happy, happy, happy.
I don't know about you, but my lips are the worst in the summer. It's like I walk outside for a minute and they are sunburnt and chapped. My friend introduced me to Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask and it is saving me a lot of chapped aggravation. I also had this weird series of occurrences under my eyes where I was getting super dry, almost scaly skin in my undereye bags. There wasn't an eye cream that was solving the problem so one night I tried putting the lip sleeping mask there as well and ta-da, I woke up and my eyes didn't show a remnant of dry skin. I'm curious to see how this helps me going into the chillier days of the fall.
Fun fact #1: Jessica's Granola was a sponsor of Spire & Co's summer conference back in 2015. Fun fact #2: Everyone I know who has come into contact with this granola is addicted to it. It is that good. I bought a bag of the non-GMO, all natural granola at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and the next day my roommate went to Whole Foods for her own bag because it was so delicious. Both bags were eaten in a matter of a few days. It's amazing on Greek yogurt in the morning and definitely encouraged me to actually eat breakfast (I have a tendency to rush out the door before an egg has exactly been cracked). Our favorite is the vanilla maple granola, but when it comes to Jessica's Granola, you can't go wrong.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm in LOVE with Reese Witherspoon. Her career. Her lifestyle brand. Her mission to tell women's stories. To say I'm inspired by her would be an understatement. And that has been constant since her days as Elle Woods. I'm fascinated by her newest project, Hello Sunshine, which is a multi-platform entertainment company focused on telling stories of women. I actually talked about their first podcast, How It Is, in May's Spire List.
Anyway, through Hello Sunshine, she just released her latest show, Shine On with Reese, which is a short talk show series where Reese herself is interviewing women from all different walks of life about their remarkable careers and contributions to society. She's interviewed director Ava Duvernay, activists and authors Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach, founder of SPANX Sara Blakeley, Pink, Dolly Parton, and my personal favorite, poet Cleo Wade. And that's just the first few episodes!
I love that they are 20 minute deep dives into who these inspiring women are, what their work actually looks like, and what challenges they've overcome. Plus, it gives viewers an even closer look into the powerhouse that is Reese Witherspoon. The show is on DirectTVNOW and I cannot recommend it enough.
So, back to my question for you: What products, resources, and sources of inspiration are riding shotgun with you these days? Share with me in the comments!