Last weekend, I hosted a dozen or so family members at our house which turned out to be a bit more taxing than normal at eight months pregnant in sweltering heat. So, you better believe I called in backup. You know those gorgeous boards full of cheese, fresh produce, olives, dips galore—essentially edible works of art you see on Instagram? Graze New York makes them for you. If you’ve ever assembled a cheese plate or veggie board and found that it looked basic (and you were going for Botticelli) you need Graze in your life. Exclusive to the NYC area, they offer a variety of boards (and recyclable servingware too) for all times of day, all occasions, and all cravings. Honestly their boards are true works of art. I ordered a medium Meat and Cheese Board as well as a medium Crudite Board and they were almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Rest assured, if you’re wondering whether they’re as delicious as the look, let me just tell you this: I was serving 12 ladies and ordered two boards that generously serve 24 (they’re huge). They were both PICKED CLEAN. Indescribably delicious.
I promise a full baby shower post is coming soon. (Did I mention I hosted a dozen family members in NYC? It was the best, but I need some recovery time. Bear with me.) Before sharing the full post, I have to mention Urban Stems, my favorite go-to flower delivery service for YEARS—anytime I want to send something special to a friend or loved one. Their arrangements are stunning (many curated by Vogue editors, so there’s none of that cheap filler-flower crap, you know?), but this was one of the first times I’ve received them just for me, for a special occasion. Yes, I absolutely took home as many bouquets from the shower as I (Rich) could carry, and was so pleasantly shocked by how long they lasted. A fun story that also speaks to their quality: The day before the shower I grabbed flowers from my corner flower market to have some on hand before family arrived. The corner market flowers lasted about four days before giving out on me (despite me actually taking care of them) and the Urban Stems flowers are still going strong as of today—more than a week later. Pretty amazing proof if you ask me.
The Urban Stems team was kind enough to offer my readers 20% off through September if you use code MARYORTON20. My shower arrangements were all made from the flowers of their Macaron Bouquet which is the most breathtaking assortment of blush and coral roses and ranunculus.
It’s happening! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on and open to the public and things are going fast so if you haven’t had a chance to peruse, check out my sale guide here and peep the list of everything I purchased here. If you’ve been feeling like summer’s sales have been a bit lackluster (you’re not alone), this is the sale that’s going to remind you why you wait for sales in the first place.
Yes, I’m still talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but I’m discussing this as a separate item because these particular finds deserve your undivided attention. If you haven’t already, you need to strongly consider snatching up some truly unbelievable investment pieces during this sale. I’m specifically talking about the Designer section, where you’re going to find the timeless and wardrobe-essential pieces that carry a lot of sticker shock the rest of the year. Please remember that these are brand new pre-fall designer items—not the stuff they couldn’t sell from last year. This sale is fresh, people. In particular, I suggest thinking about a few key professional wardrobe investments, like the following: a gorgeous navy fit and flare dress that’s comfortable and effortless to accessorize, a similarly classic (but black wool, so chic) dress that I’m going to get so much wear out of, a blush Max Mara dress that will be worn to every special occasion forever, a St. John knit dress that’s the kind of classic work piece you’ll keep until you retire (and probably after that, too), the cutest wear-with-everything Veronica Beard houndstooth jacket, and an absolutely essential silk blouse that, when properly cared for, will be with you forever.
New Yorkers, may I have your attention, PLEASE. Have you ever felt like maybe having a personal shopper/butler would be the best thing ever? Jetblack is essentially that, but lives in your phone. I have only had it for three weeks and already can’t imagine life without it. It’s a new personal shopping service that feels a little like Siri, if Siri were an actual person who could text you back and bring you everything you need, whenever you need it. Out of diapers? Need new eye liner? Want to find a last-minute birthday party gift for your nephew and have no idea what ten-year-old boys are into? Just text Jetblack and everything shows up to you door within two days (and this expedited delivery is free btw). You have 60 days to return anything (regardless of the retailer) and returns are picked up the next day, also for free. Wonder how they know what size/style of things you like? You can ask them to order you super specific items (they also inventory your favorite household products for you), but when you’re not sure what you want, their simple on-boarding process makes sure that Jetblack knows all of your preferences so they can help recommend items you would like. This is next-level time saving and as a soon-to-be parent I am breathing a big sigh of relief over all the errands I’m not going to have to run.
This service has been so crazy popular, there’s actually a (very long) waitlist to join but the team at Jetblack was kind enough to offer my readers PRIORITY ACCESS off the waitlist if you sign up with code Mary01. I’m telling you, this service is a godsend.
When the outside temperature drops below that which could bake a cake, get out there and picnic while you can. Is there anything more fun in the summer? Some of my best summer memories involve meeting girlfriends in Central Park with a few bottles of wine, some charcuterie and bodega snacks. I love this genius Sunnylife picnic blanket because it doesn’t take up room in your bag—it is it’s own bag. Super slim and easy to tote around, the blanket opens up to 69” x 55" (for some reason this isn’t clear on the product page, but that is indeed the actual size), giving you all the picnic space you could ever need. This is a really smart gift in housewarming or birthday situations where you’re gifting someone who’s really likely to already have everything they need, or a very niche personal style that makes gifting hard. Everyone loves a picnic.
You may have spotted these Homesick Candles around the ‘gram lately. My wonderfully talented friend and fellow Wisconsin native, Elizabeth Eulberg (you must read her new book, Past Perfect Life), recently sent me this incredible Wisconsin-scented “homesick” candle, which if you live away from home is absolutely the sweetest and most thoughtful gift. They have every state, plus other specific, emotion-evoking scents like Grandma’s Kitchen and NYC.
But seriously, READ HER NEW BOOK IT'S AMAZING.
I’ve mentioned these Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeshadow Sticks in past Instastories, but given the heat and my need to be ready quickly (and very easily) I’ve been using them a lot lately. They can be used in a multitude of ways, as classic shadow, blended for a smokey eye, combined colors, etc., but I love using them to give an almost diffused effect as a subtle eyeliner on my top and bottom lids. It’s effortless and color is so smooth and long-lasting, you really can’t go wrong. The hue I've been loving (and using most) lately is Amethyst.
There’s nothing like the Emmy nominations coming out to remind me how much TV I have to catch up on. (Because I need more on my to-do list right now, truly.) So many of my favorites are nominated (helloooo, Mrs. Maisel, Bodyguard, Dead To Me, Veep), but there are many on the list I haven’t seen yet so I’m adding the likes of Fleabag and Ozark (I know, I still haven’t seen it) to my watchlist and going to enjoy diving into these fan-favorite shows while I’m avoiding sweltering temperatures during this last month of pregnancy.