Suburban Snapshots

Fall Stuff I Like
No Pumpkin Anything Edition

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This post is not sponsored, it's just fall, and each season I find myself changing wardrobes and learning to love new things (tights) and let go of others (shaving). Here's what I like lately — some of them are splurges but I never splurge unless: It will match everything else I own/I will wear, use or carry it almost daily/I can hide it from Steve.

1. Rent the Runway ($30-$300) I've rented two dresses and joined the Pro program because it saved me $50 on my anniversary rental. Granted, I could easily buy a nice frock or two at Marshalls for what it costs to rent one (mine were about $100), but I've never worn dresses that felt so amazing on my body. The customer service is excellent despite the lack of a published phone number. My emails are always met with a pleasant response and if needed, a quick reconciliation. I'm making up excuses to rent dresses now.

2. American Apparel leggings ($28-$38) I am not a small person, and I mean that (See below. That's me with a fully-grown adult man.) I'm almost six-feet tall and roughly 35-30-46. Dat azz makes it hard for me to find things like tights, undies, bikini bottoms (sub-shout-out to Athleta's Full Tide bottom), and leggings that fit well, don't bind and are long enough. I take an XL in these  and they are so comfy, they don't slide down, they haven't yet stretched out, and compared to the $12 pair I bought from Old Navy that tore in two wears and were capri-length on me, worth their price. I have both winter-weight and jersey versions and they are constantly on laundry rotation. These are a key part of my fall/winter Mom Uniform.

3. Pack-It lunch bag ($20) A friend recommended these to me when Anna's camp lunch kept getting hot during the day, and my daughter who eats exactly two food items would come home with most of her lunch intact because, "It got mushy." Her tin lunchbox felt like an armpit. You've got to remember to put the Pack It overnight in the freezer and you have to wash it by hand when it comes home full of grass clippings and stained with let's-not-even-ask, but it does what it says and keeps her lunch cool for hours. They also have excellent customer service.

4. Timolino tumbler ($25, I know, but read) I googled "best travel mug" and this was America's Test Kitchen's top pick. So I bought one for Steve, promptly filled it each morning before he could ("Why does my tea mug smell like coffee?" — Steve), and bought a second because he kept sulking at me. I am not lying when I tell you that I can fill this with coffee at 8 a.m. and still have a warm sip in the bottom at 3 p.m. I wouldn't close the lid and toss it full into a briefcase, but I can close the lid and shake it to mix the cream up without so much as a drop escaping. It's also fun to watch the people in line next to me shield themselves when I do that. The mouth hole fits a straw for cold drinks. I donated all my other travel mugs to Goodwill because I am a true philanthropist.

5. Hue Denier tights ($14) Like the AA leggings, these stay in place, and they're soft and cozy without being binding (as in, I can wear them without feeling like I should be strung up in a Little Italy shop window). They have a cotton crotch so Anna can watch me get dressed and then yell that I'm gross for not wearing undies, and probably tell her friends over lunch that her gross mom doesn't wear undies, and then I notice the principal looking at me disapprovingly or maybe I'm imagining that part.

6. This soup recipe ($10) Just make it, adjust the spiciness to your liking. You can find the paste in the ethnic section of almost any grocery store. You can even use veggie broth and get rid of the chicken for a vegan version that is just as good as the original. Give it to people you might need to help you move one day.

Lastly, there's a pair of knee-high, low-heeled black boots on my list, but I don't know how much I truly love them because I have to wait for Steve to do something REALLY dumb before I can justify buying them. I'll keep you posted. What are you guys into these days?

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