Those of you who follow me on Facebook got a sneak peak of my weekly picks this week (hint: pants), but there are four other awesome things I have to tell you about. This week, I’m eating, drinking, dressing, and banking well. Keep reading to see what I’m loving this week.
1. Gap skinny skimmer pants
A friend was wearing these pants at our Memorial Day picnic a couple weeks ago and I thought sure they were from some spendy place like Anthropologie or Madewell. “Gap,” she said, which excited me because there’s always some promotion at Gap. I got home and, sure enough, there was a Memorial Day weekend sale, so I was able to snag these for cheap. They are comfy, flattering, and super cute, and I am going to wear the hell out of them on every day that is 50-68 degrees outside. Tip: these run a tad big so try sizing down if you buy yourself a pair (I’m generally between an 8 and a 10 — closer to a 10, usually — and got these in an 8 and they fit perfectly).
2. Ally Banking
I saw some financial guru on the Today Show about a month ago who recommended Ally, an online banking company. I was sold the second I heard there were NO ATM FEES at all (and if the bank who hosts the ATM charges you a fee, Ally will reimburse you). There are other perks — interest-earning checking accounts, high-yield CDs, and did I mention the NO ATM FEES?? Also — and I think this is really cool — when you need to deposit a check, you can do it all over your freakin’ iPhone/PDA/Computer. There’s never any need to go to a bank, which is a good thing, since Ally is strictly online. This is banking of the future, my friends, and I like it.
3. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Now, I know some of you are not fans of white wine (Addie Pray), but I don’t want to hear it. When the temp goes above 72, I’m all about the whites, and my current favorite is one I picked up on a whim at the liquor store a few weeks ago. Oyster Bay is reasonably-priced, light and crisp, and tastes like it costs about three times as much as it does. Try it, you’ll like it! Unless you’re crazy like Addie.
4. The best breakfast casserole ever
I found this recipe last week and hoped to make it for the DW picnic on Saturday, but because it was so hot, I opted not to bring it. Instead, I served it at home for brunch on Sunday (we had a houseguest to help us eat it) and it was a huge hit. Seriously delicious — maybe my favorite breakfast casserole ever, and super easy to make.
5. JJ Cole Essentials Blanket
JJ Cole is a brand that makes kids’ stuff, and this picnic blanket is marketed to people with young children, but really, it’s great for anyone. It’s a water-resistant, easy-to-clean picnic blanket that can be folded up compactly into a rectangle with a strap. I’ve used it three times in the last five days alone and suspect it will get lots more use over the coming months.
Jenny June 13, 2013, 1:16 pm
Wendy – do you follow the exact recipe for the breakfast casserole, or do you make any modifications? A lot of the reviewers said they used frozen hash browns, so I’m wondering if that would be better than using potatoes. Thanks for the recommendation! I think my husband will love a surprise breakfast for Father’s Day 🙂
Wendy June 13, 2013, 1:42 pm
Yes! I used frozen hash browns, and I also added some chopped red peppers. For vegetarians, I think it would be easy to swap the meat for mushrooms.
kerrycontrary June 13, 2013, 1:51 pm
yeh there’s no way I’m shredding like 3lbs of potatos, so I’ll go the hash brown route thank you very much!
Jenny June 13, 2013, 2:02 pm
BriarRose June 13, 2013, 1:18 pm
I opened a CD with Ally about 2 months ago, and they’ve been great! They used to be GMAC, so definitely a reputable company. Wendy, as the child of someone who was in the service, you should (I think!) be eligible for USAA, and their banking does all the things Ally does (reimburse ATM fees, deposit checks by using your cell, etc). They have great rates and superb customer service.
rachel June 13, 2013, 2:03 pm
You can actually get a regular USAA checking account if you have no military connection. I have one! I love that I can use any atm!
BriarRose June 13, 2013, 2:27 pm
Really?! I had no idea! That’s pretty cool–I’ve had them since high school, and have had a great experience.
rachel June 13, 2013, 2:30 pm
You need the military connection to get insurance through them I think, and maybe some of the *better* checking/savings accounts? But yeah, anyone can get a basic one which is nice.
iwannatalktosampson June 13, 2013, 1:18 pm
Wow I literally want every single thing on that list. How is that possible?
lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 1:26 pm
Wendy, those pants look great on you!
Wendy June 13, 2013, 5:35 pm
mylaray June 13, 2013, 1:27 pm
You look great in those pants! I recently bought some crazy, patterned jeans and I wasn’t sure at first if I could pull them off, but I’ve been wearing them all the time now.
And, I don’t drink white wine (pretty sure the last time I had it was when I was 18 and would drink anything with alcohol in it), but I have tried Oyster Bay Merlot and I love, love it. Tastes so good with a nice home-cooked meal.
Classic June 13, 2013, 2:10 pm
The Pinot Noir is very good, too.
Fabelle June 13, 2013, 2:37 pm
Oooh, I’ve seen Ally banking advertised before, but Wendy sells it so much better. I’m such a loyal banker though, even though I know Wells Fargo is the devil…I’ve had them since 2005. UGH.
Also, I may have to buy that picnic blanker. It looks awesome.
Classic June 13, 2013, 2:46 pm
I am stupidly loyal! I have had the same bank since 1986!
Fabelle June 13, 2013, 2:55 pm
Damn, that is so going to be me! My only logic is that, if they ever treat me badly or something, I can be all, “I’ve been with you ___ amount of years!!” haha
Copa June 13, 2013, 2:57 pm
I’ve had the same bank account since 2002-ish, when I was a high school teenager who started a savings account for her babysitting money. The thought of leaving my bank actually makes me sad in an odd way and I felt mildly offended on my bank’s behalf when I found out my sister switched banks (even though she’d moved to NYC where the bank I have doesn’t exist). So, basicaly, I’m crazy.
Taylor June 13, 2013, 2:47 pm
Kickass terrace! Is that a wicker couch thing? It looks just like one we had when I was a kid – it’s the same color =)
lets_be_honest June 13, 2013, 2:50 pm
I didn’t even notice the terrace! It is kick ass! Wendy, what’s your view from there?
Wendy June 13, 2013, 5:37 pm
It overlooks all the back yards on our block, which used to be nothing but trees, but Hurricane Sandy and a tornado a few months before that wiped out a couple of the more glorious trees, so now there are these sad empty spots where they used to be. Still, the view is pretty nice/quaint for being in the middle of a big city!
Wendy June 13, 2013, 2:49 pm
Thanks, yes, it’s a wicker glider — another of my new favorites!
Taylor June 13, 2013, 6:01 pm
Sue Jones June 13, 2013, 2:48 pm
I want those pants. Maybe I can wear those pants… if I am normally a 6 and occasionally a 4… should I get the 4? Do they really stretch? I hate clothes that don’t move with me, which is why I am wearing yoga pants to work today (with a nice long top…)
Wendy June 13, 2013, 2:49 pm
Yes, try the 4.
MaterialsGirl June 13, 2013, 2:58 pm
I am going to buy those pants! (if they come in a tall.. please please please come in a tall).
Also, I’ve been using Schwab checking (talk to chuck!) for 5+years now. It has completely changed my life. Like Ally, there are no fees, they reimburse my atm, and I can deposit via phone, or stop by any of their brokerage locations for the bigger check (like a bonus check!)
Addie Pray June 13, 2013, 3:07 pm
Haha – best list ever for obvious reasons!!
I had wine pairing at a fancy dinner at Next last week. As you can imagine, the first few drinks were white wines. (I guess even fancy chefs don’t know what they’re doing.) … Anyhoo – not one to let even a sip go unsipped when I’d aready paid an arm and a leg for the meal and wine — I drank them ALL, even the WHITES, and I have to say they were not totally gross – I survived, and I didn’t throw up or break out in hives, which is the nicest thing I have ever said about a white wine.
Addie Pray June 13, 2013, 3:12 pm
Wait, I did get sick after, but I thinkk that had less to do with the whites and more to do with the fact that there were 10+ glasses of champagne, whites, and reds, and then I went to Richard’s and had a captain and diet and a cigarette – did you guys know you can smoke in Richard’s? They are ok with breaking the law there. I think the cigarette made me sick.
findingtheearth June 13, 2013, 5:00 pm
Before the law changed in Montana, and I would have a smoke or two while drinking, I always felt worse the mornings after I smoked cigarettes. They brought so much more oomph to hangovers and were much more brutal hangovers.
Older and (hopefully) wiser June 13, 2013, 4:26 pm
My husband is an Actuary and he just switched us over to Ally Bank too. Good move.
Older and (hopefully) wiser June 13, 2013, 4:31 pm
By the way, remember that piece you posted about women being attracted to men who play guitar? Well that night I had to go to Sam Ash guitar dept. and then drinks with a group of actuaries.The actuaries were way hotter!
findingtheearth June 13, 2013, 3:47 pm
I have been wanting to switch banks, but live in a small town and no other companies offer what Wells Fargo does. I may have to look into Ally.
Boosker June 13, 2013, 5:13 pm
Whoa, I thought you were Joan from Mad Men in that picture. Awesome!