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To keep you busy until I return…**

I’m going to be doing a bit of traveling over the next 10 days (Chicago! Seattle!), so posting will be sparse. But in the meantime, I want to forward you to two of my favorite new online reads, if you haven’t found them already.

Life 2.oh!: My high school friend Julie Miller (and 4th grade talent show co-choreographer) has moved on from Seventeen and now maneuvers the quarter-life crisis. She and her friend Lauren Metz just launched this spring Life 2.oh! — an online magazine dealing with fashion, relationships, career advice and party planning tips. Its contributor-style, social media-rich platform makes browsing the site feel more like an actual break-room pow-wow.

XOJane: Former Jane and Sassy founding editor Jane Pratt has a new webzine, XOJane, and it’s hilarious. Pratt’s willingness to take on — and search out — hushed up topics explodes on this site, supported by a team of (yes) sassy, smart, confident (but still self-deprecating) writers who publish articles like “Men I’m Over: Foodies,” “I Am Online Stalking My Dream Dress,” and “How My Friend’s Canceled Wedding Saved a Cab Driver’s Ass.” Please hire, me Jane Pratt!

**Oh, and just in case you were confused, that is not a picture of me getting ready to jet off to Chicago and Seattle. That’s Giuliana Rancic sitting first class, in a picture I stole from Life2.oh!

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Downtown style: do you really sleep in your daytime clothes?

When Alexander Wang released his first collection, he admitted part of his inspiration was the soft, worn-in tees he slept in, then kept on during the day. They were thin, a little stretched out, and instant favorites of downtown groupies like Erin Wasson and other MODs. Comfy and cooly sexy, sure, but also a little gross? Who wants to go out to dinner in the sleep-shirt you tossed and turned in, (and sweated out your downtown partying in)?

Last week Fashiontoast’s Rumi Neely reminded me of the slept-in trend, which is apparently still having a moment, even on the West Coast. She paired her red JBrand 811s “with the tshirt [she] slept in all weekend.” No offense to Rumi Neely, I just keep wondering, if you have enough time and respect for yourself to do your makeup, your hair, and put together a cute outfit, why can’t you pick out a clean shirt?

And if you do love the slept-in look enough to actually do it, are you one of those people who shuffles down to the hotel breakfast buffet in our pjs, shaking your dead skin cells all over my scrambled eggs? I just don’t see the difference.

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For brides who’ve waited until the last minute…

Shopbop’s got new merchandise, presumably for the procrastinating June bride. Lucky for her it’s all sensibly priced and stocked in every size (for now)!

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Leighton Meester to leave Gossip Girl

Photo Source: InStyle.com

Even though episodes don’t return from mid-winter break until January 24, and the plotlines and entertainment value have depreciated since the first two seasons, there’s still a special, ever-hungry void in my fashion-loving heart for Gossip Girl. Except that after next year, I’ll probably have to hang up my capes and headbands for good, because Blair’s going to be leaving the UES (or at least the scandal) for good.

Leighton Meester recently revealed that she’s going to move on from the CW show in 2012, when her contract ends. It should be a respectable end for Blair Waldorf, who’s getting too old to meddle in other teenagers’ lives, and also for Meester, who’s slowly, but healthily, growing her own career in film and possibly fashion.

There hasn’t been any official word on whether the show will continue without Blair or Little J (who’s also leaving), but consistent material fueling awkward-though-passionate Matthew Settle dreams aside, what would be the point? Even Chuck and Serena would be bored.

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Sample sale at Casa de Novia

For all those lucky girls who got diamond rings over Christmas and New Year’s, here’s your first chance at competitive bridal shopping.

Houston’s Casa de Novia — a bridal boutique that sells some of the best gowns and shoes in the city — is hosting a sample sale on Sunday, January 16. Gowns by designers like Monique Lhuillier, Elizabeth Fillmore and Junko Yoshioka will be up to 75% off.

When you go:

Casa de Novia is located at 3331 D’Amico, Houston, TX 77019. Phone: 713.523.9090

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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airs tonight

The previously taped Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airs tonight on CBS, at 10/9 central. Katy Perry performs, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio work their post-baby bods, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley reminds us she’s still a model at heart.

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Taylor Momsen leaves Gossip Girl

At least for a while.

Taylor Momsen (remember when she was this cute?) has obviously been on the outs with GG for the majority of this season, but I wasn’t sure if it was because she wanted to spend less time acting on a teen show and more time moaning into a mic or if because The CW felt the Taylor/Jenny morbid was getting too ick, especially for younger viewers.

As Refinery29 reports (with a little help from Us), it seems like Momsen is behind the split. Said to only work on GG “for the money,” she’s going on “an “indefinite hiatus” from Gossip Girl following next Monday’s episode.” Guess she’s finally been effectively banished to Hudson. Will you miss her?

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