August 1, 2017

My Top Five True Crime Podcasts

I have an incredibly long commute. I work in Boston’s Back Bay, but live in the ‘burbs. During rush hour, it’s a two-hour commute from my driveway to the front door of the office building. It might sound torturous (and some days, it really is), but I’ve gotten really into podcasts to pass the time. It’s a great way to be entertained and to learn about any particular topic.

I listen to a variety of subjects, so I’ll break up my recommendations by general category. Today I’m sharing with you my top five true crime podcasts.

true crime podcasts my favorite murder

My Favorite Murder

This one needs no introduction. My Favorite Murder is wildly popular, and their Facebook group has just shy of 151k members. The hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, are like your funny girlfriends that love true crime and want to chat about it with you. They are incredibly conversational, mispronounce things, make fun of themselves, normalize the discussion around mental health, stick up for sex workers, and advocate for the victims. It’s not the most somber of true crime podcasts, but they’re a lot of fun to listen to and I basically want to be their best friend.

true crime podcasts casefile

Casefile True Crime

First, the host of the podcast is Australian, and I love listening to his accent. That being said, it’s an incredibly in-depth look at a given case. The host is very respectful of the subject matter and of the people in each investigation. Each episode is a new case (with the occasional case being covered over multiple episodes).

true crime podcasts crimetown

Crimetown

This series was created by the same people that created HBO’s The Jinx, so you know it’s good. Each season will focus on crime in a given city, and the first season is about Providence, Rhode Island. This is true crime of a different type: it is about how organized crime and corruption shaped the city and public life. There’s the mob, crooked politicians, betrayals, and heists. I’m not quite through Season One yet, and I can’t wait to see what city they choose for Season Two.

true crime podcasts stranglers

Stranglers

A contemporary, in-depth investigation of the unsolved Boston Strangler murders. I learned so much about this 19-month reign of terror in the early 60s that took place in neighborhoods I walk through every day.

true crime podcasts up and vanished

Up and Vanished

An investigative podcast that looks into the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and high school teacher from Georgia. This 11-year cold case has the largest case file in Georgia’s history. Host Payne Lindsey digs into old evidence with fresh eyes, as well as conducts new interviews with people involved in the case. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are some very interesting discoveries and breakthroughs along the way.

Do you have any recommendations for new true crime podcasts? I’d love to hear your suggestions. If you’re not into true crime, not to worry because I have some other really great, really un-crime focused podcasts that I’ll be sharing with you soon!

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July 20, 2017

Clean Beauty for Summertime Weddings

Summertime and wedding season are synonymous in New England. I love any excuse to get dressed up, and a wedding is a perfect occasion to do so.

However, my makeup bag needed it’s own mini-makeover. I’ve been cleaning up my skincare routine, but my clean beauty journey has barely begun. I am partnering with Follain, one of my favorite shops in Boston, to get this process jump started just in time to look my wedding-guest-best.

Here are my favorite picks… clean beauty follain

Orgaid Vitamin C & Revitalizing Organic Sheet Mask

Good makeup starts with good skin! Prep for the big day by kicking your feet up, putting on this mask, and relaxing while the Vitamin C-rich sheet mask does it’s work. Vitamin C helps to brighten and even out skin tone. It also has hyaluronic acid for plumping hydration.

Jane Iredale Mascara (in black)

I got this mascara in black, and thought that it looked really subtle. If you prefer an extremely natural look, this is also available in grey and brown. I also want to try this paired with the Jane Iredale conditioner for an even more pumped up lash look. (I haven’t tested this out against crying, so let me know if it holds up to a father-daughter dance.)

Ilia Pure Eyeliner (in Havana Affair)

I’ve been an eyeliner girl since I started wearing makeup. I usually wear liquid liner, but I figured that this old dog can learn new tricks. It is smooth and easy to apply, so consider me converted. Best part is that this eyeliner contains castor seed oil, which targets free radicals aka helps to prevent premature aging. I don’t mind smile/laugh lines but might as well keep signs of aging when you can.

Ilia Moondance Radiance Translucent Powder SPF 20

My fave fave of the bunch. Obviously, everyone knows that sunscreen is really important. Slathering on traditional creamy sunscreen on your face may feel more beach-y than wedding-ready. This portable powder can be used to keep excess oil in check as well as you from harmful UV rays. It also has a very subtle shimmer, which reads more “radiant beauty” than “preteen discovering glitter.” Serious hero product.

Hurraw! Moon Balm

Last but not least, the humble lip balm. Don’t pass this over thinking it’s just a standard old balm. Coconut butter plus a blend of avocado, coconut and jojoba oils, this packs some cray hydration but also feels really nice on your lips.Slather it on when you’re getting ready, slather it on at night. Your lips will be freakin’ smooth as buttah.

Tell me- have you incorporated clean beauty items into your makeup routine? Let me know what I should try next!

 

This post was in partnership with Follain. All opinions are my own. I’ve been a long-time customer of Follain, and I am happy to get a chance to work with a company that I whole-heartedly support. Read more about how they choose their products here.

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April 26, 2017

Sun Ready with The Paper Store

off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger

off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger

Earlier this year, I got to hang out with some blogger pals and the fashion merchandising ladies at The Paper Store. Despite the impending snow storm, we chatted about spring trends while nibbling macarons.

One of the trends we focused on is the off the shoulder neckline. This style was popular last year, and I am so excited that it’s still in full-force. Shoulders are sexy in a subtle way. A woman’s decolletage is delicate and feminine, and this style neckline shows it off so well.

While I like to wear this style so that it shows off my shoulders, it can easily be worn in a more conservative manner. Simply slide the arm band from around the upper arm to the top of your shoulder. Tah-dah, instant sleeves.

When packing for a quick weekend trip to St. Petersburg, Florida (not Russia!) for a wedding, this was one of the first pieces I grabbed. It was great with sandals for Sunday brunch, but with heels and a swipe of lipstick, it would be a date-night worthy piece. If your work environment skews more casual, just add ballet flats and a denim jacket for an easy outfit. I love a piece that you can reach for no matter the occasion, and this off the shoulder dress will definitely be in heavy rotation.

off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger off the shoulder dress spring champagne thursday jess levy boston based style fashion blogger

Outfit details

Dress: The Paper Store. They have a other dresses that would be great for spring. Two of my favorites are this flutter sleeve dress and this chambray dress.

Shoes: Steve Madden. These are available in a million colors and are so easy to walk in.

April 24, 2017

A Blue and White Scenario in San Diego

pattern mixing san diego boston blogger fashion style jess levy champagne thursday

Pattern mixing can be so so so good when done right. Even the most unlikely of patterns can go together with a little finesse and a lot of confidence. This is a more subtle approach to the style. I love polka dots and stripes together. The skirt has a very petite polka dot pattern and allows a louder patterned top to take center stage. Any color striped top would have worked well. Not that I need any more striped tops, but a kelly green or yellow striped top would have given this outfit a little color punch. A bright bandana around my neck would have added a pop of color too.

pattern mixing san diego boston blogger fashion style jess levy champagne thursday pattern mixing san diego boston blogger fashion style jess levy champagne thursday pattern mixing san diego boston blogger fashion style jess levy champagne thursday

We shot these in San Diego’s Balboa Park. That is one seriously gorgeous park, with SO MUCH to do. I have a ton of content to share with you about my California adventures, so stay tuned!

Outfit details

Skirt: Thrifted. Similar here, here, and here. I’m obsessed with pleated midi skirts. Wardrobe superheros IMHO.

Shirt: Madewell

Sandals: J.Crew from a million years ago. Madewell has a similar shape.

Bag: Vintage. This is a similar option, as is this.