The Skirt Degree

Along with sweaters, finding skirts in appropriate length to one’s height is a challenge. Albeit initially to a lesser degree than the former category of clothing, the need for length-appropriate sizing is only amplified as one ascends in age. Only one of the plaid skirts from Tuesday’s post was available in longer length and because it is technically a mini-skirt, I would not even think about wearing it sans tall sizing.

Several of the below skirts are available in tall sizes. I have two of the color ways from last year in the first skirt and am consequently obsessively on the look out for the next time a generous promotion posts. Consider the academic green, coral, and brilliant fuchsia as good as in my closet.

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It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World

Autumn is for plaid. Especially after a particularly hot and miserable summer in the city, I look forward to the days when I can wear the woolen tartans. Combined with a cashmere sweater, vest, and knee high boots, it is my go-to outfit for the season. Trends like crop tops and wide leg denim (shudder) come and go, but classics are such for a reason.

While only one of the skirts in this line up is available in tall sizing, I purposely looked for skirts of which the base (and only) sizing has a conservative hemline, save for the Cher Horowitz-esque yellow pleated number. Let’s save the mini lengths for Clueless cosplay and the 25 and under crowd, shall we?

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 294/71

last…

I finally bought the full printed skirt from the Goop x Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. I have been wanted to procure this one for awhile, but resigned myself that it would have to come from the secondary market once it disappeared from the Goop online store around this time last year and did not show up in the last two Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sales.

I found this skirt NWT in my size via Mercari. The first time I found it in my size and not a 00, I jumped to purchase it. I cannot wait to wear it next spring, Carolina Herrera-style, with a crisp white button down.

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Zucchini and Summer Squash Gartin // @2souschefs

“As we passed the autumn equinox and approach cooler weather most people are quick to jump on fall food bandwagon. Replacing peaches with apples, tomatoes with pumpkin and potatoes with sweet potatoes. We are also anticipating the cooler weather and the delicious recipes that come with it; however we are not ready to let go of the abundant produce that summer provides. 

A rich zucchini and summer squash gratin (think the cheesy, thinly sliced potato casserole you grandmother used to make) is the perfect combination of an autumn dish with late summer ingredients. We lightened it up a touch by removing the heavy roux and the sometimes too-heavy white cheddar. We are not without cheese in this dish as we added a generous amount of earthy goat cheese and topped it with some sharp parmesan. This side dish will serve enough for four.

A quick note on the amount of cream in the dish: to some it may seem like it is not enough but you have to consider the amount of water that is inherent in summer squashes. Trust us, it’s a lot. When the gratin cooks, liquid will be extracted from the squash to help with the consistency of the dish.” – Joe

Ingredients

  • 2 summer squash – cut in half and sliced into half circles
  • 1 zucchini – cut in half and sliced into half circles
  • 0.5 yellow onion – julienned
  • 0.25 cup parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 small shallot – minced
  • 0.5 lemon – juiced
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 0.5 cup grated parmesan

Directions

  1. Place a medium sized sauce pot over medium heat on the stove top. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, shallots, and garlic to the pan in that order.
  2. Gently cook the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent, or for about two minutes.
  3. Add the cream, goat cheese, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the cream mixture up to a boil and whisk until the goat cheese is fully dispersed.
  5. Add the cream mixture to the sliced vegetables (in a large bowl) and season with salt and pepper, mix.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the squash then place the gratin in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  7. Cook for thirty minutes, then switch the oven over to broil and brown the top of the gratin until golden
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Sweater Weather (but for the tall gal)

I have found sweaters to be the most challenging to find in tall sizing. Even brands that have liberally offered tall sizing in the past (looking at you J.Crew), I have found to never consider tall sizing when it comes to sweaters. Earlier this week, I bitched about not being able to find tall cashmere. Lo and behold, I found tall cashmere crewnecks, turtlenecks, and cardigans and each style in a ton of colors. You are welcome.

Additionally I found a few sweaters available in tall, though not in one hundred percent cashmere, each with fabric content did not make me immediately want to hurl.

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Sweater Weather

I am really into cashmere right now. This has actually been a twelve year phase, initially started when Old Navy released fifty dollar cashmere sweaters circa holiday 2007. Albeit likely manufactured by sweatshop labor via a supply pipeline arranged by unscrupulous corporate overlords in a time when I was not yet woke to the human cost, I distinctly recall selecting a red cowl neck style and a green heather crewneck style. Shudder.

Around the same time, Gap stepped up and began making cashmere sweaters in tall sizes. I bought the most dreamy gray cashmere pullover hoodie with ivory interior trim at the hoodie, which subsequently lasted until a decade later when I finally noticed the elbows were worn beyond repair. It was then that I purchased several other tall crewneck sweaters in three color ways (last seen here).

It appears that Gap has ceased making cashmere sweaters, let along those in tall sizing. Also tragic? Long Tall Sally stopped making one hundred percent cashmere sweaters.

Until the tides turn, I will have to give standard sized cashmere a whirl. Crossing my fingers that one or more of the below work for my 6’2″ frame.

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 287/78

last…

Again, I have not been keeping up with the Shopping Moratorium series. Rather than the reason being that I have nothing to report back, I have gone through some weight gain lately (water weight?) and literally nothing fits.

I bought two Brooks Brothers dresses, each in several sizes (the discrepancy between the classic label and Red Fleece is real). While the sequin number fit, it was not flattering on my tall frame. Conversely, I was dying for the jacquard tartan frock to zip, alas it did not. C’est tragique.

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The Women Card-igan

Like every other red blooded basic white woman, I am amped af for autumn. The first leaf falling prompts a purchase of a pumpkin spice latte and a cable cashmere cardigan. Though the seasonal drink was released at the end of August, the idea of a hot PSL (iced PSLs are blasphemy!) in 95 degree weather is enough to make me feel nauseous, as is the idea of sweating in cashmere.

Autumn never lasts long enough. I love that in-between weather that does not necessitate a coat. Give me cardigan weather any day. Fingers crossed that this season arrives early and leaves late.

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How to Navigate the Target Collab Redux

Real talk: We are not going to get everything we want from the Target collaboration redux. You and I, let’s make peace with that now. It is fine. Repeat my Lilly APS mantra with me: It is only clothes and how lucky I am that a limited edition supply running out – and it will run out – is my biggest problem.

That being said, shall we strategize and see if we can maximize the fruits of the Target twentieth anniversary?

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before the sale…

  • Locate the brands you want to shop and your local brick and mortar locations. Fun fact: not all locations will have all brands. Type your zip code in on this page and get information about where your prioritized brands will pop up.
  • Memorize the Sunday hours for your brick and mortar Target.
  • Prior to the Target collaboration live date, take the time to register on the website. Should you already have log in information for the site, now is the time to check your registration and sign in on all of your electronic devices: laptop, family computer, smart phone, tablet. Whether you register or just confirm your log in information, make note of it. Seriously, write it down.
  • Download the Target app ahead of time and take time to familiarize yourself with it and the Target mobile site layouts now. Consider the fact that the app may be deactivated (as the Lilly one is during APS) during the launch.
  • Once you are signed in, make sure that both your payment method (ahem, expiration date!) and address is up to date.
  • Make a shopping list of your target items and sizes. Prioritize your trophy brands and then your prize styles.
  • Clear your calendar for midnight this Friday the 13th / Saturday the 14th.

the night of the Target 20th Anniversary sale…

  • Set your alarm clock for midnight eastern standard time and brew yourself some coffee.
  • Traditionally the sales go live midnight Pacific standard time, but it is worth being on Target patrol early.

you’re in…

  • Shop your aforementioned priorities.
  • Having an item in your virtual shopping bag does not reserve it. Check out often because items may be unceremoniously ripped from your bag.
  • After check out, jump back in line on the electronic device.
  • Monitor your other devices for access.
  • repeat

the morning after…

  • Keep track of what you were not able to purchase online. Those are your updated priorities.
  • Be at your local Target prior to opening. Circa 2015 for Lilly Pulitzer, I was in my local Target parking lot by 6 am, though it was not until I saw another shopper pull into the parking lot when I jumped out of my car and actually started a line.

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reminders…

  • While you are in the virtual line, be patient. Refreshing the page will not get you into the sale sooner.
  • This is not a life or death situation. It is not worth stressing over limited edition items, and if this is the biggest problem in your life, consider yourself charmed.

My Target Redux 20

Did you have FOMO for missing the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection? Missoni? Zac Posen? All of the above?

All of the above.

I shopped the original online rollout of the queen of resort and was the first person in line at my local store and I still felt like I missed out on some of the styles. How fortunate that Target is giving us a second chance. I was completely jazzed to see that the bullseye retailer is reissuing highlights from not only the Lilly Pulitzer collection, but twenty years worth of designer collaborations.

I mean, way to give the people what they want, amirite?

In honor of the Target twentieth anniversary of collaborations, I picked out my top twenty picks. This is what I will be shopping come Sunday Saturday early morning. Shall we get into it?

For the laaaaadies….

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For the baaaaabies….

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Shopping Moratorium 2019 | 213/152

last…

I haven’t been keeping up with the Shopping Moratorium series. That is primarily because I have nothing to report back and though it feels so great to say that, it also feels like I have nothing to confess.

I broke my streak last Thursday. I bought one dress in three colors and in two sizes each. They are for an upcoming meeting, and potentially an upcoming job. My appearance is the last thing I want to worry when my professional skills are up for appraisal; for this reason I stopped wearing button ups tucked in to pants circa 2012. I want and need something that I can zip up and not worry about becoming untucked and appearing sloppy.

This dress will work.

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Chili-Lime Chicken and Quinoa Bowl // @2souschefs

“Looks like I did it again. I was able to find another recipe that includes quinoa that Andi really seems to enjoy. It is a challenge to make it palatable to her tastes as she does not enjoy the taste of plain quinoa or the texture of the under cooked seeds.

I was flipping through a taco cookbook when a recipe caught my eye: a grilled chicken taco with roasted corn salsa, red peppers, and chili-lime. The flavor combination really stuck with me while I contemplated what dish I could make for a quick weekday dinner. I thought I would go out on a limb and try the recipe sans-taco shell. Place the roasted chicken in a bowl filled with quinoa, roasted local corn, red pepper, and garnish it with avocado and fresh, raw red onions. There was no complaint from my wife about the aforementioned seed when it was served on her plate; in fact she finished her bowl before I was able to eat half of mine. Winner, winner quinoa bowl dinner!

Not all quinoa is made the same. Some lesser quality brands can have small pebbles or other debris mixed in with their product. Even with higher end products it is always best to sift through the seeds and give it a quick wash. We enjoy tri-colored quinoa for its visual appearance on the plate.” – Joe

Ingredients

For the Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa – sifted and rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 0.25 cup red onion – small diced

For the Roasted Corn:

  • 2 cobs corn – peeled, corn removed from the cob
  • remaining red onion – medium diced
  • 1 red onion – seeded and medium diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 0.5 lime – juiced
  • 0.25 cup cilantro – chopped
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • dark chili powder
  • salt and pepper

For the Roasted Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • ground cumin
  • dark chili powder
  • 0.5 lime juiced
  • 0.5 avocado – thinly sliced
  • red onion – julienned

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set a medium sized sauté pan on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil.

  2. Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and dark chili powder.

  3. Add the chicken breast and sear on each side until golden brown, or for about three to four minutes per side.

  4. Place in the oven and continue to cook for approximately fifteen minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken.

  6. In a sauce pot with a lid on medium heat, add two tablespoons olive oil and the small diced red onion and minced garlic and gently sweat down for about three minutes.

  7. Add in the quinoa and water and bring to a boil.

  8. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for ten minutes.

  9. For the last pan, place a large skillet on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil and place all the remaining vegetables in the pan.

  10. Stirring regularly roast the vegetables until golden brown, or for about five minutes, and add the cilantro and lime juice.

  11. Remove the pan from the heat and season with the salt, pepper, cumin, and dark chili powder.

  12. To plate, slice the chicken on a cutting board. Scoop about one half to three-quarters of a cup of quinoa into a bowl, about a cup of the roasted corn sauté, and place the sliced chicken on top. Garnish with sliced avocado and raw red onion.