Coffee Break: Colorful Double Letter Tray

green-colorful-desk-accessoriesI’ve posted a lot of clear desk accessories lately — but when I saw this colorful desk accessory I couldn’t help myself; I love those saturated colors! I think they’re fun and they’d add a lot of personality to a drab office at work or at home.  There’s only one review, but (sad trombone) it isn’t that great — but if you’re on the hunt for one of these eight saturated colors you just might want to take the chance. The set of two letter trays, a pencil cup, and two smaller trays is $29. Source One Acrylic Deluxe 5 Piece Set Stacked Desk Oragnizer Double Letter Tray, Accessory Tray, Odds & Ends Tray, Pen Cup


The Busy Woman’s Guide to Last-Minute Cleaning

Do you adhere to a cleaning system for your home? Have you hired a cleaning professional or cleaning service? And — if you only have 3 minutes to clean your home before a new visitor walks into your home, what do you clean? 

We’ve talked before about the wonders of hiring a cleaning professional, and talked about our general cleaning systems and methods before — but something we’ve never talked about is total last minute cleaning. As in, “I wasn’t expecting my friend to come over after dinner and now I have two seconds to run in and make the place look vaguely presentable!” quick cleaning hit list.  (I’m half-remembering a quote from Working Girl where Harrison Ford’s character warns Melanie Griffith’s character that if it’s a day or two before his cleaning professional is due to come, it can be pretty bad…. I totally agree!) I’ve adopted my own systems, and read some other things, so I thought it might be an amusing conversation today.  (Pictured.)

Given limited time, I clean:

  1. Whichever bathroom sink a guest might use (if you only have one bathroom the answer is clear!)
  2. The toilet in that bathroom (and a quick Lysol wipe of the toilet seat, too)
  3. If time permits I wipe the bathroom mirror down if it needs it
  4. If time permits I put any dirty dishes in the sink instead of the counter

I read in Apartment Therapy years ago that you should dust your TV at the last minute, but I often feel like with toys, shoes and a zillion Amazon Prime boxes sitting around, the TV is the last of my worries — and I’d much rather people know I’m messy than suspect my house is a petri dish.

So how about you, ladies — what does your last minute cleaning routine look like? (I now see that we haven’t really talked in general about cleaning since 2012 either — so let’s discuss! Do you have a cleaning professional come on a regular basis? How often, and how did you find him or her? (Any tips on cleaning for your cleaner — organizing everything so surfaces are clear enough for them to be sprayed and cleaned?) Do you adhere to the Fly Lady system or anything else? If you have roommates or a partner, do you like the current division of labor or do you feel like it’s a work in progress?) Another fun topic we haven’t ever discussed — do you have a similar “cleaning quick hit list” for your office if your office is on the messier side


Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Saskia Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

saskia-dress-evergreen-lk-bennettThis structured dress from L.K. Bennett would be a perfect new wardrobe essential. It comes in two beautiful but work appropriate colors, evergreen and pink, but what I love most about this dress are the details: the assymmetrical neckline, notched sleeves in the back, hidden zipper, and it’s fully lined. The elastane in the fabric also provides a touch of stretch. Available in sizes 2 through 14 (size 10 is sold out in the evergreen color). Saskia Dress

For a more affordable dress with a similar vibe, check out this dress from Nordstrom, or check out this dress for an affordable plus size option.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Deal Alert: Ann Taylor’s Sale is On MAJOR Sale (60% Off!)

ann-taylor-sale-on-saleDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Ann Taylor, but written by your regular friendly blogger Kat Griffin.

Happy Sunday, ladies! Ann Taylor’s sale section just got even better: you can take an extra 60% off all sale styles, starting now and ending tomorrow night (9/26) at 10PM EST. This is one of my favorite sales of the year, and it can be a great time to stock up on basics, newer trends, and even get multiples of things that you already own and love so much you want them in a second (or third) color. A note up front: there are lots of lucky sizes in the sale, so start by filtering by your size first.

Some of my favorites from the sale include:


Pictured: shell / blazer / dress / pants

  • (at very top of post) – There are a ton of wrap dresses in the sale, and they all look amazing. Some of them are only available in lucky sizes, but this leafy wrap dress still has a bunch of sizes left, 00-18, in regular and petite sizes. It was $98 at full price, then marked to $85; with the sale it comes down to $34.
  • (in collage above) This lacy pleated shell looks lovely — it’s available in winter white and black, sizes XXS-XXL (regular and petite), and was $79.50, then marked to $64.99, but it comes down to $26 in the sale.
  • Also in winter white: this collarless jacket, available in regular and petite sizes 2-16.  It was $198, then marked to $170 — with the sale it comes down to $68!!
  • Oooh: this swaying flare dress looks great for desk to dinner — I like the almost sporty cut of the shoulders and the breezy rayon/spandex blend.  It’s available in navy, black, and “amethyst haze” for $28 in the sale (originally $98!).
  • These birdseye ankle pants only come in limited sizes, but they’re a great classic piece to stock up.  They were originally $129, then marked to $99; with the sale they come down to $39.  Nice.

They have some awesome suits and shoes not included in the 60% off sale, but definitely worth checking out as well. Ladies, what are you eager to get at Ann Taylor?

Thank you to Ann Taylor for sponsoring this post!


Weekend Open Thread

zellagoddesspantsSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Readers love Zella workout gear for its quality and ability to hold up to multiple washings, and after years of leggings being the only option in workout/lounge wear, it’s nice to finally see the brand offer a more relaxed flared leg pant, whether for yoga, lounging, or more. The pants are available in black and grey in sizes XS -XL from Nordstrom, where thery’re winning rave reviews. ‘Goddess’ Flared Pants

I can’t find a similar pair of pants in plus sizes, but do note that there are a lot of great Zella sale items in plus sizes.

Psst: It’s triple points days at Nordstrom right now — earn triple points on everything through 9/25. Great time to stock up on beauty supplies and other basics!


Weekly News Update

news-update-body-positiveLike these posts? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! You can also follow us on Pinterest and Instagram, or via our RSS feed.

  • GOOD reports on H&M’s decision to only offer their plus-size collection online, no longer in brick-and-mortar stores. Meanwhile, PBS talks to Mallorie Dunn, the founder and designer of clothing line Smart Glamour, a “body-positive clothing line of customizable, ethically made clothing.”
  • Fashionista shares their picks for the best drugstore anti-aging products.
  • From New York magazine’s The Cut: The average woman now wears a size 16, and a U.S. Court of Appeals just ruled that employers can refuse employment based on hairstyles, including styles with cultural roots, like dreadlocks.
  • The Careerist looks at new information showing that “female grads of the top 10 law schools … drop out three to five years after joining Big Law at a much higher rate than women from lower-tiered law schools.”
  • Create & Cultivate tells you how to apply Marie Kondo’s home-tidying methods to your career.
  • Forbes reports on a new survey: “only 7% of office workers feel like they’re most productive at their workplace desks” (rather than in a remote location).
  • Harvard Business Review ponders how to talk politics without losing friends. Speaking of talking, Harvard Business Review also looks at how women are interrupted more often than men.
  • Recent articles in The Atlantic and British Psychological Digest have looked into the “replication crisis” facing psychology — researchers have had difficulty getting similar results when studies are repeated. (On the other hand, earlier this year this Washington Post article said, “scientists … condemned the results of a 2015 landmark study that concluded more than half of 100 published psychology studies were not replicable.” Hmm.)

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