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DEEP IN THE TRENCHES

Jennifer Mejia

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It’s definitely Fall. The weather has turned in NYC, and it’s been cooler, windier, and cloudier this week. And someone’s been doing a rain dance because the showers have arrived. For fashion, that means it’s a great time to break out the trench coat. They are lightweight and perfectly expected on a rainy, cloudy and breezy day like today.

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You guys know my rule for coats. Always buy the best one that you can afford. That said, you also know it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. It means to find one that suits you really well, and if it’s a bit more than you’d like but you can manage it, go for it! Because this is a wardrobe staple that won’t go out of style if you buy something classic.

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I love this coat I’m wearing. At the time of this post, my size (US XXS) is the only one available in this color. I’d say Sizes 0, 2, and 4 could wear the XXS. Their coat sizing is a bit wonky, as I wear an XXS in all coats I’ve purchased from them. It comes in black, as well, and it’s very well stocked. I think black is a wonderful option, and if you can afford to have two trench coats, black should be in the mix. Of course, I’ve listed several other options outside of this style, all at various price points. Most are this stone/camel color, but I’ve offered a few other colors for those who want something a bit different. In the end, if you must have the one I’m wearing (it is a good one), you can enter your email address for your size and they’ll email you if one becomes available. I’m sorry…I had no idea it would sell so quickly. I’ve been sitting on it for weeks.

Simply click on the images below to shop each coat. Whatever you choose, it will also be perfect once Spring rolls around after a blistery Winter. And for those of you lucky enough to live where temperatures are more moderate year-round, well, you’re the lucky ones who can wear your jacket 365 days a year!

SHOP TRENCH COATS

 

No matter which coat you choose, you can never go wrong purchasing a trench that you love because they are wardrobe staples that never go out of style if you purchase something relatively classic.

xoxo,
Jennifer

MY FLEECE WAS WHITE AS SNOW

Jennifer Mejia

 
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Fall arrived last week in NYC, even though it officially arrived on the calendar a few weeks prior. My favorite season is a tie between Summer and Fall. I like Summer because I’m able to slow down a bit with kids at camp and no weekend sports commitments. But I love the crisp air of Fall, apple picking, pumpkin patches, and the excitement of Halloween with my kids. Oh, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

 
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I’m changing my wardrobe a bit. Putting away the cut-off shorts and sundresses and trading them in for leggings, long sleeves, sweaters, and jackets. A good fleece is a necessity for Fall and Winter because of its warmth and versatility. I love throwing it on with my favorite leggings, as I’m wearing here, especially for school drop off at 8 am! It’s also great with denim and sneakers. In the Winter, especially when skiing, it’s terrific to wear under my shell on the slopes and at après ski. And most of all, I often throw it on at home if it’s cold inside and I want to feel warm and cozy.

I was lucky enough to score this one at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and it sold out quickly. But it is fully restocked again and comes in three colors, although white is my favorite (obviously)! The good news is that a fleece is worth the investment because it will never go out of style. You can shop the look of my outfit below, as well as other fleece options that I’m loving right now. And don’t worry, they aren’t all white. So take a look and choose whatever color makes you feel good. Simply click on the images below to shop. And if you don’t have these leggings, I’d recommend getting them because you will live in them. And they suck it all in right were we need it.

SHOP THE LOOK

 

SHOP FAVORITE FLEECE JACKETS

HAMPTONS HOT LIST

Jennifer Mejia

 
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Summertime in The Hamptons is wonderful! BUT believe it or not, the Fall is one of the best times to visit because the weather is still beautiful but the seasonal crowds are gone! The beauty of The Hamptons is everything you read about. The beaches and landscape are stunning. Many of the homes and gardens are simply breathtaking and what dreams are made of. And while many of the rich and famous do, in fact, summer there, it is possible to enjoy The Hamptons as a "normal" person. The Hamptons stretch from Westhampton out to Montauk at the end of Long Island and also north to Shelter Island. If you remember only one thing from this post it's that you should never make an attempt to hit all of the hot spots along that stretch during one summer visit. Hamptons traffic from Memorial Day to Labor Day is absolutely horrible. After Southampton, Route 27, aka Montauk Highway, becomes one lane each way. And although it's only about 13 miles from Main Street in Southampton to Main Street in East Hampton, if you travel at the wrong time, that trip could easily cost you an hour. But in the Fall, that nightmare of feeling like you could walk faster than you can drive, is over. My original Hamptons Favorite Spots post was published over a year ago, and a lot has changed. New businesses have opened, some have closed, and others that were new to me have secured a more special place in my heart (and belly!) I’m publishing it now, after my third summer there, while everything is fresh in my mind. So bookmark it! Or better yet, drive out now. At the bottom of the post, there is a special destination that is only open in September and October, so don’t leave me early. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be much more efficient at hitting more of the spots without all of the traffic if you go now!

Due to my lack of patience, many of the places featured in this post aren't too far from our home in Southampton Village. I simply prefer to spend as much time as possible relaxing versus sitting in traffic, so we usually stay closer to home. Fortunately for us, the main reason we chose to purchase a home in Southampton is because we love the town and beaches, so we don't really feel like we're missing out by not traveling much farther east. Southampton is a great place to stay because it’s a major town and you turn off just as Montauk Highway is reduced to one lane in each direction. But fear not, I’m providing a few of my favorite spots farther east for you adventure seekers.

BEACHES

 
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Cooper's Beach

The one really annoying thing about The Hamptons if you're a day-tripper or even a weekender is that most of the beaches require a resident permit. These have to be permanently affixed to the window of your vehicle. You obtain one only by owning a home or presenting a lease to Town Hall or Village Hall, showing you're officially "living there" for an extended period of time. But in Southampton, you can visit Cooper's Beach for the day by paying a $50 fee upon entering the lot. This gives you in and out privileges for the day. Cooper's Beach is beautiful, and it has clean bathrooms, showers, a beach "shack" (a nice one) with provisions, and the ability to rent chairs and umbrellas. Lifeguards are also present. This is probably the most compelling reason to choose Southampton if you're visiting only for a day or weekend.

If you have a parking pass, the Cut at Flying Point beach, which connects to Scott Cameron Beach, is a wonderful place for children. The Cut is a part of the bay where the water is about knee-high. It’s warmer and calm, so it’s less stressful than the ocean. Plus there are crabs in the water, making for hours of entertainment for your kids (and you) if you bring along a crab net.

EATS

There is no way I could capture all of the wonderful places to eat in The Hamptons in one blog post. You'd be reading for days. So I'm going to share a few of my tried and true that I am certain you’ll enjoy.

Elaia Estiatorio is my favorite restaurant in the Hamptons. That’s a strong statement, right? Serving authentic Greek cuisine just south of Montauk Highway, this Bridgehampton spot is a must. The beautiful, U-shaped bar is the hub of the restaurant, and this joint takes its ambiance and decor as seriously as its food. Every evening feels like an occasion to celebrate with owner Sofia Crokos, who is also a special events planner, decorating the space with fresh flowers, fresh bread, desserts, and accessories that will transport you directly to the Greek Isles. If it’s your birthday, prepare to celebrate in a big way with Greek music and lots of hoopla from the entire restaurant! On the menu, you must try the Fried Zucchini Chips (you’ll never want to eat potato chips or French fries again!) And they typically offer Saganaki, which is kefalograviera cheese that is coated with sesame seeds and pan-fried. My favorite preparation is with tomato marmalade, but their offering changes and it’s all delicious! Read more about Elaia here.

 
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Closer to our home in Southampton Village is Tutto il Giorgno. It’s Italian food and a welcoming ambiance all wrapped into one. There is a beautiful and charming garden, which is my preference for seating. But don’t dismay if outdoor isn’t available because the inside is warm and cozy and has a wonderful energy to it. Favorite items on the menu are Grilled Octopus, Branzino, and I love the simplicity of the Spagehtti and Linguini with Clams (I always ask for extra garlic in both!) The restaurant takes limited advanced reservations on OpenTable, and each day at 11 am they open up their phone lines for same day reservations. Call as close to 11 am as you can, and keep pressing redial when you get a busy signal. They’re actually pretty good at trying to meet requests. Frank is our favorite waiter there in case you wanted to make a request for him, too!

 
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If you’re in the mood for a burger, head to Union Burger Bar for the best in town. They have veggie and turkey burgers, too, if you’re not in a beefy mood. I LOVE their onion rings. And kids love the decadent milkshakes for dessert. Okay, maybe adults do, too!

 
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Silver's in Southampton is open only for lunch. Situated amongst the many shops on Main Street, you'll want to stop by for one of their $60 lobster rolls. Yes, they're amazing, as you would expect for that price. As you might have guessed, it's a place better-suited for an adult-only meal. Closed Tuesday. 

 
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People outside of the Hamptons know Tate’s Bake Shop, primarily for their cookies. Well, if you’re a Tate’s lover, you’ll be in heaven if you visit Southampton. But truth be told, it’s not the cookies I love. I’m more of a soft and moist cookie kind of gal. But I LOVE their Three Berry Crumble pies. And I suggest you pick up one because they aren’t sold outside of the Hamptons.

 
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For a more casual but seriously delicious Italian dinner, head to Pellegrino’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant, where they serve delicious pizza and so much more. This inviting spot is about 10 minutes from Southampton Village but worth the drive for affordable fare that will exceed your taste expectations. The pizzas are divine, and my favorite pastas are Scampi Wild Shrimp and Amatriciana. Also try the Eggplant Parmigiana Rustica—I’m a meat eater and LOVE this dish!

 
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Another Greek restaurant that also doubles as quite a hot night spot is Calissa in Watermill. You can’t go wrong with seating because the outdoor space is beautiful and summertime festive, while the indoor space is sexy and hip. There is often a DJ at night, and that really amps up the energy. This also makes it tough to secure a reservation, but if you do, you’ll be happy to dine and spend some time having more cocktails after dinner. Check their calendar because the Gipsy Kings have been known to perform there, which makes for an extra special treat!

 
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If you’re looking for the Hamptons with a little touch of New England, head to Sag Harbor for a meal, shopping, and even the beach. Sag Pizza serves up some of the best pizza around in a festive atmosphere that is kid-friendly while still being a place I’d be happy to go on a fun date. While they do offer the expected toppings on pizza, they have options with truffle paste (you’ll die and go to heaven!), kale, and even a pizza with clams and guanciale—yes, all on one pizza! Outdoor seating is available.

Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor (there is another location in Amagansett) wants you to know they are just as serious about food as they are their wine. Situated downtown on Sag Harbor's quaint Main Street, Modern American cuisine with a Mediterranean influence is on the menu, as are most of the delicious and famously Hamptons Wolffer wines. Reservations are accepted only for parties of six or more, but there's plenty to do and see on Main Street if you have to wait a bit for your table. The restaurant is open for lunch/weekend brunch and dinner every day during summer months. 

 
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For dessert in Sag Harbor, head to Buddhaberry for the best frozen yogurt with a million and one topping options. But frozen yogurt isn’t all they do—they have crepes, açaí bowls, waffles, and shakes and smoothies. It’s a very popular spot, but it seems to be the place to be, and it lives up to the hype with so much variety in froyo flavors and other options to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 
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Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton is a Jean-Georges restaurant and has wonderful food and a happening bar and restaurant scene. During our first meal, we dined next to Christie Brinkley, and it's also a favorite of Ina and Jeffrey. Last New Year’s Eve we dined with our children before heading to a friend’s house to ring in the New Year, and it was a surprisingly good deal for our kids, as they ate for “free” with our prix fixe meals. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 
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Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton is a great casual diner, but we like to go for ice cream and milkshakes. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...or ice cream and shakes to go!

 
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Canal Cafe in Hampton Bays is a meal with a view. The food is actually very good, but you really come for the view and to literally sit on the water--many of the tables are on a deck that is an extension of the boat docks. They don't take reservations, but you can have a drink at the bar or one of a few outdoor picnic tables while you wait. I love their lobster roll, and we’ve also been very happy with many of their daily specials. Closed Tuesday.

 
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Ice Cream Outside The Southampton Fudge Company

For a cold treat on a hot summer night (or day) in Southampton, visit The Southampton Fudge Company for ice cream (and fudge and other candy) or Sant Ambroeus for gelato. The Village of Southampton has plenty of benches on which you can enjoy your sweet treats.

We seldom drive farther east than Bridgehampton, but there are a few places that are worth the drive. Take a drive to East Hampton, do a little shopping, and then head to The Lobster Roll, also known as LUNCH, in Amangansett. It’s open every day from lunch until 9:30 pm. It’s such a festive beachside “shack” decorated in red, white, and blue with umbrellas, picnic tables, and a pebbled outdoor space. And the service is warm and friendly. Do I even need to tell you what to order? Well, perhaps. You can actually get a lobster salad roll made with mayo, but my favorite is the hot lobster roll. The lobster comes served in melted butter with the roll on the side so you can stuff as much as you want into the roll or just enjoy the sweet taste of lobster. One last tip: Don’t be dismayed by the crowd of people you see waiting to be fed. It actually moves rather quickly, and they serve up tasty beverages (some with alcohol if you need help chilling during the wait)—I was quite pleased with my piña colada during our last visit!

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A sweet friend of mine is a Montauk regular year-round since her family has a home there. She has impeccable taste about everything, especially food (which she doesn’t like to share…even with her husband…just FYI if you ever dine with her—LOL! But I still love her to pieces!) She recommends The Crow’s Nest for its food, stunning grounds, and a cute little bar down by the water so you can have a drink while you wait for your table. It’s also part of a small boutique hotel. She’s never stayed at the inn, but judging from the website, it’s super cute and boho chic!

If you’re planning to spend a day on the beach in Montauk, make sure to make a pitstop at Herb’s Market on Main Street to pick up provisions for a picnic lunch. They’re known for their fried chicken, even by people who typically don’t eat fried chicken. But there is so much more, including prime meats, if you’re planning to cook a meal at home that evening.

FUN EVENING ENTERTAINMENT

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Sunset While Waiting for the Drum Circle Performance to Begin

Drum Circle festivities at Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack begin every Monday during the summer around 6 pm. The drum circle musicians don't appear to be on a strict schedule, beginning somewhere around 7 pm. Bring your beach blanket and chairs, wine (AND cups to conceal it), and any food you like for an evening picnic. The kids will enjoy the company of other kids who are running in the sand, dipping their toes in the water, jumping from the lifeguard chair, flying kites, and dancing to the beat of the drum circle. To park in the lot next to the beach, you'll need a sticker on your ride. Otherwise be prepared for a parking ticket.

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You might think you need to ditch the kids to go wine tasting. Not in The Hamptons. Make your Friday or Saturday evening a treat for all at Wolffer Winestand. From 5 pm to sunset, it's a "picnic" like no other. Bring your blankets and beach chairs and find a spot on the grounds right alongside the vines. The Winestand sells wines by the bottle, cheese platters, and other lite bites that you can enjoy with friends while your kids run, frolic, dance to the live music, and roll down the small hills into the vineyard.

DAYTIME EXCURSIONS

For the first time this past summer, because my little guy is now 4 years old, we went kayaking. And it couldn’t have been easier thanks to Main Beach Surf & Sport. We arrived at the shop, told them we wanted to rent kayaks, we drove about a half mile, parked the car, and two guys showed up with kayaks and life vests, and helped us launch them into the water. Then they directed us to Georgica Beach. So we kayaked there and had lunch on the sand. This was actually a treat because it’s typically a private beach for residents of the neighborhood, but not when you arrive by kayak! Main Beach even sold us a dry bag to keep our belongings safe and dry when strapped onto the kayak.

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If you’re in the mood for a hike and a quiet beach, visit the Elizabeth Morton Nature Preserve. Hike down to the beach while observing and listening to wild birds. You might even spot a wild turkey. And if you take a little bird seed, stand quietly still, hold the birdseed in the palm of your hand, and a bird may just come take it from you. Hike to the beach and use the free telescopes to see for miles. Or just act like a kid and skip rocks. Parking is $5 on the honor system.

For a splashing good time during Summer months, take the family to Splish Splash in Riverhead. The lines can be long, but for a small fortune, they offer a speed pass to minimize your wait times.

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Berry (and other fruits and vegetables) picking is a favorite pastime for my kids and me in the Hamptons. There are so many places throughout the East End. We’ve been to Hank’s and Seven Ponds Orchards and have enjoyed both. Just make sure you call ahead or check their websites to confirm what they’re currently picking.

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Not really a day excursion, but I can’t figure out where to place this. Agawam Park in Southampton is a wonderful playground, often with some shade, and my kids (and husband and I) have the best time there. And if you’re not into running around, just enjoy the beautiful sunsets.

WHEN YOU'RE THE CHEF

We are definitely not the Hamptons people who go out every night. I'm a real housewife of NYC, but I'm a real housewife of NYC, so I'm used to cooking. But truth be told, I love entertaining and welcoming people into my home. I enjoy visiting local farm stands and markets, and cutting fresh herbs from the herb pots that my kids and I plant every summer, to create something special for our guests. And it's sort of nice to come in from the pool or beach, have a glass of rose, and hang out with family or friends without getting all gussied up every night. So if you're the chef, here are a few of my favorite spots to procure goods for cooking at home. 

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North Sea Farms

I love to visit North Sea Farms for fresh chickens when I'm making beer can chicken. In addition, they have all the fresh produce you could want, including organic corn that's wonderful on the cob or in my simple but delicious summer corn salad. My favorite thing about this local farm stand is that they have a sign every day detailing what is organic and what is conventional, and this is terrific if you're like me and are finicky about what you feed your family.

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Eye Candy at North Sea Farms

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The Green Thumb's Wooden Train

The Green Thumb in Water Mill is a short drive from Southampton and a reliable place for quality produce. They also sell fresh herbs in pots so you can plant your own for the season. Most weekends, they sell pies prepared by local bakers. They're delicious, even if they are on the expensive side. And outside of the farm stand is a wooden train that your kids can play on while you're shopping, and it's right next to a small chicken coop that also houses a beautiful peacock. And you may get lucky and run into Katie Lee or Brooke Shields (who is so lovely!)

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Round Swamp Farm has two farm stand locations, one in Bridgehampton and the other in East Hampton. It has a reputation for two reasons. First, they have amazing baked goods, fish, meats, prepared foods and produce. But second, some of the items for sale (especially their prepared foods) don't have a price tag or they’re hidden on the bottom, which is sort of obnoxious and one of the reasons The Hamptons gets a bad rap. So be sure to pay attention when you're checking out. Thanks to a friend of ours who appears to be a grill-master, we visited Round Swamp to purchase burgers from Pat LaFrieda, a meat purveyor that used to pack meat in our old 'hood, The Meatpacking District. The burgers are the best I've purchased and grilled in The Hamptons. 

If fish is on your menu, be sure to visit the Clamman Seafood Market in Southampton. They have every kind of fish you could imagine, caught daily, plus more live lobsters than the waters of Maine (well, not really, but you get the point). And if you're not in the mood for cooking, they have a fantastic and reasonably priced takeout menu with everything from fried clams and oysters to grilled fish. 

Peconic Prime Meats is right next door to the Clamman. Any cut of meat you could want, along with housemade sausages, are available for the best cookout of the summer. 

If you've never made it inside its location in New York City, you may want to try Levain Bakery in Wainscott to get a thick slice of their chocolate chip banana bread or one of their killer giant cookies. They have lots of other flatbreads, breads, and pastries, but I just named my favorites. This location is open Friday-Sunday.

Ye Olde Bake Shoppe in Southampton is the best kept secret in The Hamptons. Stop by and get one of their to-die-for cinnamon rolls. Really. Don't leave without buying one. You will thank me later.

HAMPTONS SPECIAL EVENTS

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Taking in the Scenery at the The Hamptons Classic

The Hamptons Classic is a horse show that happens every August in Brideghampton. The kids will love watching the jumping competitions, as will you. And because it's in The Hamptons, it's sponsored by wonderful brands who bring lots of extra stuff for the family to enjoy. There is typically a kids tent with loads of arts and crafts activities like cookie decorating from Citarella, an area with farm animals, pony rides, and even playground equipment. For the adults, food trucks, cars on display from luxury automotive companies, and a shopping tent and mobile shopping trucks from brands like M. Gemi.

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The Southampton July 4th Parade is the quintessential small town holiday parade. Residents bring their beach chairs to line Main Street and watch old cars, marching bands, and the like stroll by. 

There are a few carnivals in the Hamptons that my kids love. The big one is the North Sea Fire Department’s Carnival during the week of July 4th. This is the Mac Daddy of summer carnivals because they have a great fireworks show a few nights at around 10 pm. I also like that it’s run in large part by volunteers for the fire department, so it has more of that hometown carnival feel than some of the others.

The Southampton Carnival seems to come and go a few times throughout the summer. It’s a small town carnival with a huge potato sack slide, a small roller coaster, games, candy apples, and the whole shebang. It’s a great carnival for smaller children. The carnival sets up shop on County Road 39 as you're driving into Southampton. 

There’s also a carnival in Bridghampton on Montauk Highway near the Carvel store. It’s probably the closest to North Sea’s in terms of size and types of rides. All carnival dates change every summer, so just check local updates when visiting.

 

FUN SHOPPING

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Kite Flying on Cooper's Beach (Kite from Kites of the Harbor)

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Kites of the Harbor in Sag Harbor is a must if you're in The Hamptons and have kids (or just like kite flying). The beaches usually have a nice breeze, perfect for this pastime. The best thing about the shop is that the employees know which kites are easiest to fly and those that are more difficult so that your kids won't be disappointed on even their first attempt. The shop also carries fun costumes, toys, and gadgets and is located on the town's quaint Main Street.

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Topiaire Candy Shop in Southampton Village is reminiscent of the old penny candy shops that I frequented as a child to purchase Mary Janes and Squirrel Nut Zippers. It's a charming spot and will delight kids and adults alike with the candies from our younger days, as well as giant gummy sharks that my kids seem to enjoy.

One King's Lane has a wonderful store, now in a new location on the corner of Jobs Lane and Main Street in Southampton. Stop by to see some of the beautiful things that you typically only see online. Their staff is quite helpful and has assisted me in purchases to complete our home decor.

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A beautiful tabletop at Goop

For at least the last two summers, there has been a Goop Pop-Up in Sag Harbor. There are so many wonderful shops in The Hamptons that I can't list them all. But many of them, like MONC XIII, are in Sag Harbor, so if you can only shop one day, make it the day you visit this beautiful town that is reminiscent more of Nantucket than the rest of The Hamptons.

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The view inside MONC XIII

Serena & Lily only has a handful of brick and mortar stores throughout the country, so be sure to visit their Beach Market location in Wainscott. They have lots of fun events with cocktails and book signings throughout the summer, so be sure to check their Instagram and website if you'll be in the ara.

ON A RAINY DAY

On a rainy day, there is still lots to do in The Hamptons. Long Island is home to wonderful wineries on the North and South Fork. Near Southampton alone are Wolffer, Channing Daughters, and Duck Walk. The Parrish Art Museum is a wonderful place to visit and get some culture. Just don't go on a Tuesday because they are closed.

If you have young kids, they'll enjoy The Children's Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton. Or take a short drive to Riverhead to Safari Adventure, an indoor play area with bouncy slides, arcade games, and a multi-level human crawling maze, complete with slides, that even adults can enjoy. You can also hit the Long Island Aquarium to feed stingrays, see sharks, be entertained by a live sea lion show, or walk around with a butterfly on your head in the butterfly conservatory. This aquarium is truly worth a visit. The Montauk Lighthouse is a fun destination because it’s literally right on the end of Long Island. Kids will enjoy walking up the spiral staircase to the top. Just be patient because it’s a narrow staircase and can get a little cozy with people going both directions.

HAMPTONS OFF SEASON

I’m publishing this at the beginning of October. The Fall is one of the best times to visit the Hamptons because the crowds are gone, rental homes and hotels have lower rates, but the weather is still wonderful. Just look at the weather the past few weekends—perfect beach days. And you don’t even need a beach pass, so you can park for free, without fear of a ticket, at some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. Most shops and restaurants are still open. The one destination I’ll add for the Fall is Hank’s Pumpkintown. This is a child’s dream spot for the day. And they have everything you could want to celebrate this season on one plot of land. Pumpkins, of course. Apple cider donuts, apple picking, a hayride of the best kind (without hay to make you itch and sneeze), corn mazes, slides coming out of giant farm equipment, pedal dune buggies, a giant bouncy pillow, face painting, apple blasting (a MUST!), a corn train ride around one of the pumpkin patches, mums and gourds for sale, and even more, but I’m exhausted listing it all. Trust me, you and your kids will have a fabulous time, and they’ll sleep well. Pumpkintown is only open from the weekend after Labor Day until Halloween, giving you one more reason to visit after Summer’s end.

This list is always work in progress. My hope is that it will make your trip to The Hamptons stress-free and more enjoyable.

xoxo,
Jennifer

My favorite neighbor.

My favorite neighbor.

MY PICKS FOR ONLINE PILLOW SHOPS

Jennifer Mejia

 
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A guest bedroom in our Southampton home. Pillows from Danielle Oakey. Designer: ME!!!

I’ve had a heavy fashion focus on the blog and social media lately. With Fall arriving, it was easy to do with everyone putting away their shorts, sundresses, and swimsuits and hunting for sweaters and coats. But I’ve learned that many people who have an eye and love for fashion also strive to have a beautiful home. If I could afford it, I’d probably renovate our apartment every few years, but alas, I don’t have that budget. The great news is that one easy way to refresh and beautify your abode is by changing up pillows. I love the idea of a neutral sofa so that textiles can be used for an easy and affordable update. Some think I’m crazy because I love a white/off-white sofa (we have two in our beach home!) Rest assured, they’re covered with stain-resistant fabric (Perennials). The same goes for my beds—I like white bedding dressed with pillows and quilts at the end to add texture and/or color.

When I first started this blog, I wrote a post to share My Favorite Online Pillow Shops. And as time goes by and I “meet” more fabulous creators and business owners through social media, my list of favorites has grown. Hallelujah! So this post will feature a repeat or two and some newcomers. Here comes the fun stuff!

 
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Howdy, Danielle! (Danielle Oakey. Photo via danielleoakeyshop.com)

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Photo via danielleoakeyshop.com

 

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having a girl crush on Danielle Oakey. Danielle started her business on Etsy and was unexpectedly removed from the site, so she established a shop on her own at lightning speed to save her business. She’s weathered the storm (literally) through natural disasters like a flood in her basement that destroyed much of her inventory. She recently moved across the country. What started as a small business to supplement her family’s income while her husband was completing his medical residency/fellowship, has blossomed into a very successful woman-owned business. Can you say “girl power?” Danielle’s pillows dress the bed in a guest room in our Hamptons home (opening photo), and with the launch of her new Fall Collection, I’m dying to update elsewhere. Other reasons to love Danielle? She assembles pillow combos to make your life easy and take the guesswork out of decorating. Her textile patterns all work really well together to bring warmth and style to one’s home. It’s also fun and helpful to follow her on social media for tips on growing your small business.

 
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Photo via linenandcloth.com

 

Linen and Cloth is also owned and run by a hardworking wife and mother of FOUR! Michelle has done it all: owned a home decor store, a staging and design business, and has enjoyed designing and decorating homes for others. She uses vintage textiles, as well as designer fabrics, to offer a diverse collection of both neutrals for soothing spaces and pops of color for a more lively aesthetic.

 
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Photo via harbortheory.com

 

Two shops that have a smaller selection of pillows are Harbor Theory and Pillowpia. They both have offerings outside of pillows. Harbor Theory creates her own designs, and in addition to offering pillows made from them, she offers fabric by the yard in case you want to coordinate other parts of your room like window treatments and other bedding. In addition, she offers a small art collection to complete the look in your room.

 
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Photo via pillowpia.com

 

Pillowpia also sells home items other than just pillows. But what I like about this shop is the collection of solid pillows with beautiful texture. She also carries pillows in found indigo fabrics and a few other patterns, but I find it’s often difficult to find solid colored pillows that aren’t custom, so three cheers for Pillowpia!

 
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Photo via chloeandolive.com

 

Chloe and Olive is a wonderful place to go for pillows from your favorite designer textile makers. Think Schumacher’s Vanderbilt fabric (one of my new favorites). They also carry pillows in the Antelope design that I first fell in love with in a rug but now also love in pillows. You can shop by colorway. They offer $1 swatches so you can try before you buy. And pillows ship for free within 1-3 days.

 
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Photo via dearkeaton.com

 

Dear Keaton is a home decor site going way beyond just pillows. But I love so many of their pillow options because it’s a mix of designer and found/vintage offerings. And who doesn’t love a one-stop-shop to purchase other accessories once you’ve found the perfect textiles to anchor your room?

 
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Photo via mcgeeandco.com

 

McGee & Co! ! I feel like I shouldn’t even mention them because their brand in home decor is probably as well known as Kleenex is in every American household. But they are that admired and well-known for a reason: they make some darn good stuff. And if you’re lacking inspiration, there’s no shortage of it on this site or that of their interior design studio, Studio McGee. Most recently, to help you style these pillows, they’ve released a tutorial (complete with video) on styling a sectional sofa! What more could you ask for?

 
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Photo via susanconnorny.com

 

Susan Connor has a special place in my heart because she is based in Brooklyn and creates the most beautiful textiles. I first discovered Susan when one of my favorite designers, Kelly Nutt, decorated a home with her stunning creations. (See Kelly’s site for some serious design inspiration!) I’ve never met Susan, but she seems like such a humble person…difficult to believe with all of that talent. And a big congrats goes out to her, as she recently launched a new pillow collaboration for McGee & Co. How’s that for recognition of a job well done? Go, Susan! Beyond pillows, Susan also sells fabric by the yard to make coordination of upholstered pieces and window treatments easy. And wallpaper? Yep, that , too! You can order swatches of fabric and wallpaper for a try-before-you-buy service.

 
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Photo via kerrirosenthal.com

 

Kerri Rosenthal is a Jane of All Trades. What doesn’t this woman do? She’s an interior designer, artist, and textile maker to name a few. Her vibe is bright and cheerful. You can’t help but feel energized and happy when viewing any of her creations. I love her pillows for a child’s space or a beach home. Her pillows are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add that pop of color and joy to a home. And if you just can’t get enough, there’s always her art and wallpaper. And if you want to wear it all day and spread sunshine, she even makes clothing!

 
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Devon and Paloma. (Can I bring my sleeping bag to your shop?)

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Photos via shoppalomaandco.com

 

Paloma & Co. is the latest endeavor from talented interior designer, author, and now shop owner, Paloma Contreras, and her shop partner and fellow interior designer, Devon Liedtke. This Houston-based team has an absolutely gorgeous design aesthetic, flawlessly mixing old and new, modern and traditional, wherever they go. And they’ve brought that vibe to their shop so that you can carry it into your home. They travel the globe to bring unique home accessories to Houston (and anywhere you are because they ship!) I can’t get enough of their one-of-a-kind silk ikat pillows—this particular one is my favorite. And the best part? Their home accessories make it easy for you to complete the room…all delivered to your doorstep in one package from one of the best interior designers around.

 
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Photo via clothandwool Instagram

 

As luck would have it, I received a new follow on Instagram from a company call Cloth & Wool while writing this post. I clicked on their profile, and my eyes were so thrilled with what a saw. Beautiful textiles from a Washington, DC based shop that will launch its online presence on October 1. I’m from the Washington, DC area, so I had to give them a shout-out. Plus, I love the vibe of her images. Think African mud cloth, indigos, and other found vintage fabrics. Here’s wishing you a successful launch and bright future, Katiana!

Pillows! The easiest and most cost effective way to transform the look of a room. Fresh flowers and coffee table books help, too! If you like to change things up a lot in your home, do yourself a favor and buy neutral furniture that would look great dressed in many different fabrics.

xoxo,
Jennifer

BE A BAG LADY

Jennifer Mejia

 
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Sometimes when I run to school drop-off, I joke that I look like a bag lady. I’m not even sure that’s a socially acceptable term to use these days with the staggering amount of homeless people in this country, especially in NYC. It’s a topic that’s important to me, and my family and I have volunteered to help the homeless on numerous occasions. I suppose I’m dating myself. So I’m changing things up a bit and making the term “Bag Lady” a positive one! Because a great looking bag…one with style…can truly make an outfit. My rule for coats, bags, and shoes is the same: that you should always purchase the nicest one you can afford because you can use them every day, and because of that, you need it to be durable. It’s also one of the first things people see, so you want to make a good first impression.

 
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There are SO many beautiful bags. But so many of them are not within my budget…at least until my boys graduate from college. I’ll be hooking it onto my wheelchair then! Celine, Givenchy, and Bottega Veneta to name a few. Perhaps someone who loves me will read this and surprise me one day. (Insert fingers crossed emoji.) A friend of mine is on the hunt for a new bag. She has beautiful taste but told me she doesn’t want to spend $2,000 on a bag and asked if I’d do a blog post on more affordable handbags with style. So yes, I suppose I now do requests. (Of course for you, my dear Laura!) Keep in mind that “more affordable” is a relative term when it comes to handbags. While I don’t have any $2,000 bags listed, several are more expensive than my recent purchases from Target. But I think they’re worth it because of their quality and beautiful design. So the handbags below will be in two groups: Under $100 and All Others. For this post, I’m focusing primarily on satchels, as they seem to be my latest obsession. BUT if you look closely, I’ve snuck in a dupe of the Bottega Veneta clutch of the season—it’s $350 versus $2,400. You’re welcome! Simply click on the photos below to shop the handbag.

HANDBAGS UNDER $100

 

SHOP MORE HANDBAGS

 

I’ll plan to do another post with other styles of handbags such as clutches, my favorite for a night out on the town!

XOXO,
Jennifer

BLAZER WEATHER ROUND 2

Jennifer Mejia

 
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This is “Round 2” because I blogged about the same subject last year. Why? Because I loooooovvvvve a good blazer. If you were to ask me if there was one piece of clothing that made me feel most like myself, it would be a wonderfully tailored blazer. With a crisp button down or a beautiful cami underneath. And in colder temps, a cozy turtleneck sweater. But truth be told, I could wear a blazer any way, even with nothing underneath…but let’s not get carried away.

 
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I love the menswear look on a woman, but it has to be done right. A blazer is the answer. This is one wardrobe staple that I think is worth the investment because if you buy right, you will wear it for years. I always love a great fitting tailored suit on a man. And I love when they mix patterns in their shirt, tie, and suit. The patterns need to be subtle and all come together with some common thread, but if done well, it’s very sexy (IMHO). I suppose that is what inspired my outfit featured in this post. The blazer I’m wearing fits so much better than I thought it would. It runs true to size (TTS). It’s not as tailored as the blazers I typically wear, but it still has a great shape. I paired it with one of my new favorite button downs that has a subtle pattern, and I happen to love the mix. There are a few sizes remaining in this exact style, but I’ve listed a few that are very similar.

 
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Aside from the plaid blazer, I’m sharing a few additional favorites. Personally, I feel H&M has been killing it lately with their blazers. I have this style in two colors, white and a blue/gray tweed, and the cut is amazing! It feels so feminine, and the gathered sleeves add the perfect unexpectedness to keep it from being anything but boring. As for brands with a great fit, I love L’Agence and Veronica Beard. L’Agence’s Kenzie (I own this style in a shade of blue, and no, it’s not just because of the name) is a wonderful knock-off of a favorite Balmain blazer. Actually, last year’s blog post feature photo was of Jennifer Aniston wearing a navy Balmain number. Veronica Beard blazers are cut very similarly…still not a bargain but not the crazy splurge of Balmain. And finally, I purchased this Theory blazer this season, so you’ll be seeing that in future posts. One tip for buying Theory: If you take any old Theory item into a store (one that someone could still wear), they’ll donate it and give you 25% off of your purchase. Score! And you’re welcome!

 
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To shop my favorite blazers of the season, simply click on the photos below. And if you’re wondering if you can still wear white, yes. Yes you can!

SHOP TODAY’S LOOK

SHOP FAVORITE BLAZERS

 
 
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Fall is perfect blazer weather. I hope this post helped you find one that’s perfect for you!

xoxo,
Jennifer

MAYBE FAUX...BUT NOT A FAUX PAS

Jennifer Mejia

 
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Allow me to begin by saying that there is a black faux leather A-line midi skirt (that’s a mouthful) in my closet that I’ve had since 2001! Yes, 18 years…not a typo. My friend and co-worker at the time, Pearl, purchased one for herself at The Gap for $19.99 on clearance. I fell in love with it, so she, being the doll she was/is, went back to get one pour moi! It’s a bit snug around my waist now (I did have two children), but I’m not giving it up. I’ll squeeze into it and breathe every 30 seconds if I must in order to make it work.

 
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So now when I see a fabulous faux leather skirt at a great price, I buy it. Why? Because leather NEVER goes out of style. It’s classic. It’s timeless. The burgundy faux leather skirt I’m wearing is that ridiculously good! It does not look faux. At all. And with a price tag under $50, it’s almost too good to be true. Yes, black is always safe. But this color goes with everything, yet isn’t the basic black that everyone will expect. It pairs well with black, gray, oatmeal, camel, white/cream, and even pink or lavender. The possibilities are almost endless. I’ve styled it here with the cardigan I debuted yesterday. And the same camisole. And the same shoes. (Hip hip hooray for that cardigan and my shoes for their versatility, right?) For size reference, I’m wearing a 2 (smallest size they sell), and it’s a tad bit big in my hips, but nothing I can’t live with.

 
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But if burgundy isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sharing a few other options for this look. Some are faux. Others are genuine (that’s pronounced “jen-u-wiiiiiinnnne!”) Black is in the mix, of course. And remember last year, pre-pregnancy, when Meghan Markle stunned in a green leather BOSS skirt? Well, of course that skirt sold out about three minutes after she was first spotted wearing it, but I’ve offered a faux green option and another that is the same style as Meghan’s skirt but in “Ruby.” Simply click on the links below to shop today’s look. And then keep scrolling for other leather and faux leather skirt options. There’s even a few minis for the young and hip crowd…whether that’s in real numbers or in your heart (and legs!)

SHOP TODAY’S LOOK

SHOP OTHER LEATHER & FAUX LEATHER SKIRTS

 

Now I’m going to go back to changing my skirt behind a tree in Central Park. You’ll see the end result later this week in another post.

XOXO,
Jennifer

 
 

WHEN LEOPARD PRINT HITS THE SPOT

Jennifer Mejia

 
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A girlfriend and I were texting last week about how her husband makes fun of all of the leopard print she owns. And we both agreed that neither of us can get enough of it. Especially after I had just purchased the featured dress in this post. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to own lots of leopard or any other animal print. BUT it’s not recommended to don it all at once. Some might feel it’s acceptable to wear two pieces of leopard print simultaneously, but I disagree. One at a time is plenty. Because one is enough to add that unexpected splash of sass and sexiness to your outfit. Plus, it’s highly unlikely that both animal prints will be exactly the same, so if you’re wearing two or more pieces, you then have a cat fight on your hands! ;-)

 
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If you look for clothing and accessories a lot, or if you read fashion magazines and articles, you may be overwhelmed by all of the choices for leopard print. It’s REALLY in right now so almost every brand and retailer carries some version of the pattern. You also may wonder when it’s going to go out. I’ll say this: If it goes out for a season or even a few years, it will come back. It always does. It’s classic. But if you’re skeptical about its longevity, I’d recommend purchasing it in an accessory that won’t break the bank.

 
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Personally, I choose to own (as evidenced by this post) many different pieces. Why? Because sometimes I’m feeling really feisty and want to have my leopard print make a big statement, and on other occasions, I use an accessory to add just enough pizzazz to an otherwise boring outfit. So to help you do the same, I’m rounding up some of my favorite leopard print pieces that are presently available to shop, and MANY of them are at very affordable prices. Today’s dress is absolutely amazing! The fabric is light and forgiving, and the dress flows beautifully. The proportions are perfect. The 3/4 length sleeves and the midi dress length are perfect for fall, winter, or spring. I love the slightly flared bottom that gives it a sexy sway as you walk. The belt around the waist gives it shape. It’s perfect for work or play and very well priced. My accessories (except the shoes) are all affordable, especially my earrings at $8 and the handbag at $45 (I’m salivating over both of them!) You can shop below for today’s dress and the entire look. But don’t stop there. Keep scrolling to see some of my more recent looks and to shop the leopard print pieces featured in each.

 
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SHOP TODAY’S LOOK

 

LEOPARD SWEATERS

 
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LEOPARD ON YOUR FEET

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LEOPARD BAG & BELT

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And finally, just for a little added humor…I’ve heard a few men say that you can predict the craziness/level of insanity of a woman by the number of cats she owns. I’m not sure if there is any truth to that. I don’t have cats. Instead, I have severe allergies. But I’m hoping that this theory doesn’t stretch to cat-like accessories. If so, I guess I’m completely nuts. ;-)

xoxo,
Jennifer

 
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THE SEXY BLACK SANDAL

Jennifer Mejia

 
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If there is one thing I adore, it’s a shoe that doesn’t go out of style. And if the shoe is sexy, well, that’s even better. I really want to help my followers build a closet full of staples that you can wear again and again for years to come. I’m not a fan of spending a lot on “disposable” clothing. Of course, I won’t throw in the towel on trendy pieces because they’re so much fun, but I typically try to find those items at a steal versus a splurge. I believe in investing in pieces that are versatile. Sometimes you have to spend to get quality, but sometimes you just get lucky. (Anyone remember the $50 espadrilles that just died after I had owned them for 12 years?) I have things in my closet, mainly shoes and bags, that I’ve had for over a decade.

Today I’m rounding up my favorite choices for the sexy black sandal. Why? Because they’re a wardrobe must. They’re versatile. If you choose the right one, it won’t go out of style. You won’t regret the purchase. And for many of them, they can be worn with dresses, trousers, jeans, and for some (but not me), even shorts. My go-to pair is Stuart Weitzman’s Nudistsong in Black Patent. And to be candid, they were a splurge, but I don’ regret it one bit given how frequently I wear them.

 
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Simply click on the images below to shop each shoe. If you don’t own a pair of sexy black sandals, it should definitely be on your list. And finally, when people ask me if they’re comfortable, I typically reply with, “They’re not uncomfortable, but I don’t expect heels like this to feel like I’m walking on clouds!” As women, we sometimes make sacrifices to simply look good! (Note: There is one green pair below, but I promise it comes in black if you click on it. The app was not cooperating.)

 

EYE LOVE CADDIS

Jennifer Mejia

 
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Getting older is no laughing matter. Or is it? Can we be confident and bold enough to look age in the face and say, “Take that! I’m proud and happy to be 45. I’m owning it. And I’m going to look damn good doing it.” That’s now my motto.

My friend Paul and I had a conversation one night at dinner when we both needed our readers and our phone flashlight in order to see the menu. We both agreed that this not-being-able-to-see-close-up business happened overnight. Like literally…we each woke up one morning and all of a sudden we had to hold the morning paper at a distance in order to see it clearly. In a separate conversation, my sister (who is a few short months away from 50) the need for readers was a sign that I am old. Pot calling kettle black, but anyway…

So when I discovered Caddis Eye Appliances, I felt like the universe had been listening to the voices in my head, as well as the aforementioned conversations with friends and family. You see, Caddis is all about owning where we are in life. And for many my age, that life now comes with readers. So instead of these things being an embarrassment, they’re now something I’m excited to don. In fact, my sight is now so dependent on readers that I am frequently seen walking around the city with them on top of my head or hanging on the neck of my shirt. Proudly.

About a month ago, I asked my Instagram followers to vote on a pair of Caddis readers for me to keep. Caddis made choosing new readers beyond simple. Much easier than going to a retail store to try on endless pairs. I chose five I thought might do the trick, and Caddis shipped them to my doorstep for free. I tried Bixby in Pink and Matte Black, Miklos in Matte Black and Pink, and Navin in Burnt Torte. Everyone voted, I kept Bixby in Pink and returned the other four—free of charge—thanks to their flexible 30-day return policy. How easy is that? Just for kicks, here are the photos used to solicit votes.

Caddis readers are presented in beautiful boxes that look like gifts themselves. And to keep them looking like new, they come in a microfiber bag with a cleaning cloth. Let’s hope I am disciplined enough to use the bag, as I typically toss my readers unprotected into whatever handbag I’m carrying at the time. The best part is that they feel sturdy and substantial, yet they don’t feel heavy on my face. At just $89 for the pair, you can’t beat the price. Before Caddis, I purchased my last pair with the help of insurance, and the bill was still over $200. If you have a Flexible Spending Account, Caddis will accept it. And although I haven’t had any issues, nor do I expect any in the future, Caddis vows to stand behind their products 100% and will work with its customers to resolve any problems. Based on my experience thus far, I believe them.

 
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Give Caddis a try! I’ve shared my favorites, but every face is different, so branch out and throw a few new ones into your mix . They also have Sun Readers with “backside” bifocal reader lenses so no one can tell you’re wearing bifocals (because that’s a term you hear when you’re REALLY old!) This post was NOT sponsored, but when I find something I like, especially when it meets my needs for form and function, I feel compelled to share it.

 
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