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Guest Strategist Haul: What Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson Bought in June

Photo: Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson

Every month, the Strategist editors do their version of a haul blog, jibber-jabbering about their favorite purchases of the last four weeks. To get that same personality and taste insight (via receipts), we’re inviting interesting friends of the Strat to run down their own buys. For this installment of the Guest Strat Haul, Kate Spade’s senior director of brand creative Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson (also known as @white_lightning) tells us what she bought in June.


I have a 40-minute train commute so I am currently living the dream of reading a ton of books because I have nothing else to distract me (my internet barely works on the train). I save recs either in a collection on Instagram, or in my Amazon cart, and then I try to buy them at a real bookstore. A ton of people recommended this book so I went and bought it at my friend Emma’s store Books Are Magic because I love bookstores and I love my friends and how can you not love your friends’ bookstores!?!? PS: The book is WONDERFUL. I read it as fast as I could and now tell everyone I know to read it too.


Once your kid reaches a certain age, birthday parties start to rule your weekend. The latest wave was all for kids slightly older than my son (2.5) and I bought two of my current favorite go-to gifts for 3- or 4-year-olds: a Lite-Brite. I had one when I was a kid that I LOVED and I am happy that it’s still around. It fulfills all my requirements for a good gift: It’s fun, it’s creative, parents like it, and it’s around 20 bucks. WIN WIN WIN WIN.

Let me start with the real talk. This stuff is expensive as hell (compared to my usual beauty stuff) but oh-em-gee. It’s goddamn magical. I love the smell and it makes my skin the smoothest it’s ever been.

All of the merch at the Wing is just so, so good, I can’t help myself. Whenever I go to do some work or take a friend to have some lunch, I usually end up with something. The matches are so good — so pretty, useful, and inexpensive; I buy them in bulk and keep them all over my house.

My husband Preston and I love records. We have a huge collection in our living room and we honestly listen to music on vinyl more than any other way (aside from Moana or Coco on loop in the car). Preston has been into this podcast that is basically an R.E.M. deep dive/love letter and we have been talking about them so much. (Remember Michael Stipe’s statement T-shirts at the MTV Video Music Awards? Every time they won, he peeled off his shirt to reveal another and they all had political messages. Major.) We were like, Wait, how do we not have the absolute best R.E.M. album of all time on vinyl??! So I Primed it.

On Wednesdays there’s a farmer’s market in the parking lot by our train station. It’s small and cute and has a pickle stand that always has a huge line. I was able to leave work early enough a couple weeks ago that I made home in time to beeline to the pickle man and buy vast quantities of half-sours and Castelvetrano olives. Two of my favorite foods.

I don’t know if you have ever dipped a toe into the world of “best gray paint,” but it’s pretty freaking insane. I asked for recommendations on my Instagram and my in-box exploded. We want to paint a large chunk of the first and second floor of our house in a gray that is pretty but not bland, but not too blue, but not too ANYTHING, and good grief it’s kind of hard to deal with, but we ended up with Gray Owl from Benjamin Moore, which people stan like crazy.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatmentsrolling luggagepillows for side sleepersnatural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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Guest Strat Haul: What Elizabeth Spiridakis Bought in June