Weekend Antiquing

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I took advantage of the not-as-gross-as-predicted weather this past weekend and squeezed in one of my favorite activities–antique/thrift shopping!

On Saturday, I made my way up to Petworth to check out Mom N Pop Antiques. I’d first heard about this place through Instagram and had seen people share some pretty neat finds, but I hate to say I wasn’t a huge fan when I checked it out in person. It’s one of those antique shops that requires you to really dig, which is cool, as not everything is neatly set out and the store has lots of little nooks and crannies. (As someone who loves the thrill of the hunt, I generally appreciate this kind of setup!). That said, items weren’t necessarily grouped by category and there was just too much stuff to really poke around, and the feel was more “garage sale” than “boutique” (I like how places like Miss Pixie’s still feel very clean and organized, despite also having a hodge podge of items for sale). I did leave with a super tiny pineapple figurine that I thought would be fun for some kind of art project (maybe hot glue gunned to serve as a handle on a little box?).

I also really liked the wall art pictured above–the piece was really light in person and I considered picking up for $21, but I also wasn’t sure 1) where it would go or 2) if I could cover up a small chip I noticed. In the right type of room, it would look absolutely stunning!

On Sunday I went back to the Georgetown Flea for the first time in a few weeks. It’s always one of my favorite places to shop; the weather had just been so bad lately that I doubted any vendors would be outside the past few weekends. Unfortunately, this was still the case on Sunday–it was a total flop, I think almost everyone was worried about the wind coming later and chose to stay inside! I used to swing by all the time when I lived in Georgetown, but now that I’m in Dupont I have to make a bit more of an effort to go. I also will say that the Flea can be hit or miss, as I’ve mentioned before, but I was motivated to go back after spotting some really good finds right before the new year. I’ll have to give it a few weeks and wait until the weather is a bit warmer once again!

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A few weekends ago, I popped into the Opportunity Shop in Georgetown, which I love. I was in the neighborhood already and hadn’t been in for months, and I’m so glad I took a few moments to browse because I ended up leaving with this BEAUTIFUL bust sculpture. It was a little pricey, but I fell in love with it–I think busts are so versatile, even if they’re a little quirky! Many of my favorite designers have incorporated pieces like this into their homes. It’s such a classic look!

What antique finds have you picked up lately/where are your favorite places to browse?

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Happy Hour Recipes with Ruthie of The Wild Carrot

As promised, I’m baaack–this time with some fun, easy-to-make recipes for your next happy hour or dinner party!

I was excited to collaborate with Ruthie on this post because I do love entertaining; I’m just not super comfortable in the kitchen and am looking to expand my recipe repertoire, if you will. Ruthie promised that her recipes would be super easy, and while I don’t think I nailed them 100 percent (it’s me, after all!), I did really enjoy piecing everything together because it did remind me 1) how many fun ingredients I could be incorporating into my usual meal prep (minced garlic, anyone?) and 2) how fulfilling it is to make something delicious AND be all set for the week in terms of leftovers (I filled up three tupperwares with leftover salad, which will be perfect paired with my usual lunch/dinner foods.).

Ruthie provided me with the recipes for her Truffled Turnip Fries and Classic Caesar Salad. If you know me, you know that fries and salad are two of my fave foods (ordering a salad + a side of fries is the way to go, obviously), so these were ideal meals to whip up at home. They really are perfect for a happy hour, because most people are looking to indulge a little with something salty but like having a healthy option available, too. (Though the fries are actually super guilt-free anyway, so no worries there!).

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I modified the turnip fry recipe a bit because I didn’t want to splurge on the truffle oil, since I don’t do a ton of cooking as it is and wanted to stock up on ingredients that I know I’ll use. I’m sure it would have made the fries extra tasty, but I honestly liked them as they were! They would also be great with a little ketchup or honey mustard on the side.

When picking up ingredients for the salad and its dressing, I couldn’t find avocado mayo and ended up purchasing olive oil mayo instead. But OMG- regardless, the dressing was so good. My mom makes homemade dressing and always served it when we were growing up, but I don’t think to make my own often enough anymore. It’s just so much tastier than what comes in the bottle at the store and is obviously much healthier. What I especially liked about this dressing is that it has the classic Caesar taste without being too strong or heavy. I feel like I could actually eat these leftovers for a few days in a row and not get tired of the taste like I normally might.

Ok, so now for the end results!

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These pictures may look a little funny since they’re just of the fries and salad (aka not a full meal), but I wolfed down this combo anyway because it was so good! If I were making an actual dinner, I would probably pair these things with a bowl of soup, a veggie burger, or really anything else with protein.

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Thanks for following along with today’s collab–and be sure to hop on over to Ruthie’s blog for recipes galore!

 

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A Seattle Apartment’s Bathroom Makeover

I totally have a bone to pick with social media a lot of the time, but then I remember how many amazing connections/reconnections have happened in my life because of apps like Instagram. And this is one of those cases! Recently, I happily reconnected with Ruthie, who was a few years below me in college and was in one of my favorite classes of all time (an American Studies course on gender and pop culture!) during my senior year. Ruthie is so nice and talented and lives in Seattle where she works in a corporate job by day but runs an awesome food blog/Instagram (linked up top!) in her spare time. We talked about how we both love having creative outlets in our lives and decided to do a little long-distance collab: I would help her design her (huge, incredibly gorgeous) bathroom, and she would provide me with some much-needed cooking ideas!

Go follow Ruthie @the_wildcarrot
Go follow Ruthie! @the_wildcarrot

For starters, can I just say how perfect Ruthie’s bathroom looks, even not fully decorated? My bathroom in my current apartment is TINY–which is totally fine since it’s just me, and I have a lot of other storage space in my closet, for example, but eek. My shower is teeny tiny, and the overall feel is very “cabin bathroom” esque, if that makes sense. Ruthie’s bathroom is huge, modern, and the perfect blank slate to make over!

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Since there’s so much decor out there to choose from, Ruthie kindly gave me a little bit of background on the place and her preferences. She told me that she redid the floors and sink after moving in (she says that before, the bathroom was “very 90s with pale green walls”) and that she’s into any style except for farmhouse (noted!). She said that the rest of her apartment is mid-century looking with rose gold and metallic notes (love!) and her bedroom is more blue/coastal. In particular, she is looking for something to place between the toilet and shower on the back wall and is in need of accessory ideas (whether to purchase online or look for at local consignment shops–totally wish I could join!).

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Soooo, off I went to do some browsing! And here’s what I put together to get her started!

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Toilet/Shower area: 

  • I thought that a storage system like this one would fit perfectly in the space between Ruthie’s toilet and shower, and it can hold much needed supplies like shampoo bottles, cosmetics, makeup wipes, etc. She likely doesn’t need a ton of additional storage because there are so many drawers by the sink, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a few products within reach of the shower. The key is to not fill the drawers too high, though, or they’ll start to look junky! I would probably swap out the drawer pull for something a little less sterile in order to add some personality to the piece (one of these Anthropolgie knobs would be gorg!). On top, Ruthie could place a tray (something she could look for at a flea market, since she may find one with character) to hold favorite perfumes and nail polishes. Alternatively, a rolling cart would also look adorable here. You could add some fun touches like candles and succulents succulents while still using it to store essentials.
  • I also love the idea of hanging a wall shelf like this one from Urban Outfitters between the toilet and shower (instead of placing a storage unit there) to keep the space open. It would look gorgeous with some plants, perfumes, and candles. The style matches her bathroom’s modern look, and she could still keep a few items nearby the shower on the day-to-day (extra shampoo bottles, lotions, etc) without it getting too cluttered.
  • I’m all for a good stool–you guys know how much I love this set from Serena & Lily, but this TJ Maxx option is a little cheaper and also makes a statement. I keep seeing stools like this in large bathrooms and they’re so versatile!
  • Since Ruthie’s bathroom floors are a light wood color, I thought she could go for a more colorful bathmat, like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond (which seems like it would go with her “coastal colored” bedroom!). The shade should help brighten up the space and make it a little more lively.

Wall Space: 

  • Ruthie already has some art hanging in the bathroom, but she has so much wall space that she could definitely fit some additional pieces! I love incorporating figure sketches in the bathroom, but abstract pieces, photographs, or really anything else would look good if styled nicely. I really like this print from Society6, which would look beautiful matted in a white frame, and this sign from Anthropologie.

Vanity: 

  • As for the sink area, I love these marble bathroom accessories, which are useful and will match the bathroom’s modern look. And she already has the right idea by placing candles and a little cactus on the vanity!
  • Ruthie could also prop up a piece of framed artwork, like this Seattle skyline print from Etsy, to have something to look at while getting ready (a framed photo would work, too!).
  • Fingers crossed this post provides Ruthie with some inspo–and stay tuned for her recipe reveal!

Stay tuned as I work on Ruthie’s recipe recs, which will be coming to the blog this evening! I’ll share more details soon, but they’re great if you’re hosting a small get together or just want to add something new to your usual weeknight dinner routine.

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Affordable Cane/Rattan Serving Trays at Target

If you’re a cane/rattan lover who can appreciate a good deal, get excited, because I’ve found the Target product of your dreams!

But first things first. Earlier this year, I spotted these beautiful cane trays from Pottery Barn on a blog and fell in love. However, I have so many serving trays as it is that I couldn’t justify the price tag. I love using them for different things–yes, for food, but also on a bar cart, in the bathroom, on a dresser, etc.

Earlier this morning, I was doing my usual “scroll through Insta stories and see what happened overnight” AM ritual (anyone else totally guilty of lying in bed doing this every morning?!) and saw someone had picked up a gorgeous rattan tray at Target on sale. In trying to search for the product, I found something WAY better–a beautiful, vintage-looking, Pottery Barn look alike cane tray for only $30!!!

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Shipping was out of stock for the item, but I managed to put one on hold at my local store, so definitely try to do the same. While doing a bit more browsing, I also discovered a gorgeous cane basket and an amazing but slightly more expensive plant stand.

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For comparison, here is a pic of the Pottery Barn tray, which appears to be out of stock anyway:

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They’re practically the same, right?! This Target one must be new, because I definitely haven’t seen it on the website or in stores (I also feel like I would’ve heard people raving about it by now!).

Happy shopping!

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My Fave Articles Lately on Apartment Therapy

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Happy Thursday! This week has been a bit of a mess–after taking the snow days off from working out, I decided to hit the gym at 7 am on Tuesday to squeeze in some exercise before getting back into the swing of things. Well, as soon as I left the apartment, I slid down the four concrete stairs outside our building and had an awful fall. I was in a ton of shock and thankfully landed on my back/butt/legs rather than my head, but I was still in a lot of pain. Being the weirdo I am, I decided to go ahead and walk over to the gym because I know that moving around can actually be good for you after a fall–not to mention, I had a ton of adrenaline in my system after that! After starting a spin class and having to leave midway through, I climbed back into bed with a bag of peas and fortunately was able to work from home and rest (and surprisingly was very productive, which was a plus!). I went to the doctor’s office that afternoon, and while thankfully everything looked and felt ok, I was warned that I’d be in more pain on day two. Well, the doctor was right, and I ended up spending Wednesday doing a lot more icing while working remotely. It’ll be a few days before I can work out again, but I’m glad that all in all, everything is ok (minus the aches in my back, neck, and arms!). So if you’re heading outside after a snow or in the early morning, be careful! When I got back from the gym on Tuesday morning, I realized that our ENTIRE DOORMAT had frozen over, making it basically impossible to not slip and fall when leaving the apartment, eek! I was honestly glad that it was me that fell and not an older person, and I went back downstairs and taped a sign to the door to warn other people to be super cautious when stepping out!

As I’ve shared a bit on here/Instagram, I’ve been doing some freelance writing for Apartment Therapy in addition to my work for Country Living, so I wanted to link to my latest piece here. It’s all about ways to bring some warmth into your home this winter, and it was of course a fun one to write since I talked about products and routines that I personally love. The funny part about freelancing writing is that you never actually know when your piece will hit the site after turning it in (at least, that’s never been the case anywhere I’ve worked!), so I find myself checking the site more frequently than usual (although let’s be real, I log onto Apartment Therapy at least once a day as it is!).

While browsing AT, I came across some other articles that I had to share with you all!

“9 Simple Ways to Start Living a More Minimal Lifestyle”: Who doesn’t want to do this?! I know there are a lot of maximalists out there, too, but minimalism, even in small doses, just goes in hand with starting a new year. You don’t need to KonMari your entire home to make a bit of an impact in this area!

This piece on how to read more: I’m all for this advice and am constantly impressed with people who carve out time to read, as it’s been something I’ve worked hard at doing over the past couple of years! I managed to read 55 books in 2018 and hope to see that number grow in 2019–and yes, you can read a ton and still have a life, promise! I don’t watch a lot of TV, for example, and fill what would be a lot of people’s TV time with reading. Rather than napping or listening to podcasts on long flights, I’ll read a book or two. It’s that simple!

This piece about people spotting fiddle leaf figs at ALDI: Uh, brb, calling an Uber to the nearest Aldi (which is pretty far away but still within DC city limits!). Yes, fiddle leaf figs can be hard to care for, but that’s why a $13 one is the answer! I’m going to have to call my location and see if they have these in stock!

 

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An Easy Winter Cocktail Featuring Sugar Island Spiced Rum

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Having Monday off thanks to the snow was such a dream. I read two books and started a third, cooked a healthy dinner (Brussels sprouts from the farmer’s market + Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocci with vodka sauce + roasted corn), and got to try out this new cocktail recipe (which I’ll hardly call a recipe because it’s so darn easy!).

(A quick note: a wonderful PR company that I work with for the blog kindly sent over a bottle of the rum for me to try, but all reviews are my own!).

I usually just set out wine when I entertain at home and would love to be better at cocktail making, so I’m always happy to try new spirits and mixers. Sugar Island Rum is full of caramel and vanilla flavors, as well as a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove (what better combo for winter?) and is said to be similar to Captain Morgan spiced rum. I wasn’t sure what kind of cocktail I wanted to whip up, but I know that rum and ginger beer go great together (who doesn’t love a dark and stormy?), and since I keep spotting ginger beer at Trader Joe’s, I figured I’d pick up a pack of it. FYI- ginger beer is nonalcoholic and is a great drink on its own if you’re doing dry January or just trying to cut back on alcohol!

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To create this super yummy dark and stormy variation, all you need to do is fill a glass halfway with ginger beer (one bottle was enough for two people–my roommate tried the cocktail, too!) and then top it off with a shot glass portion of rum. Then, just stir everything together and add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your liking (I happen to love adding lime to drinks, alcoholic or not), and that’s it! Super easy and delicious and perfect for this time of year.

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What’s your favorite rum based drink, and what are your go-to cocktails to make at home?

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An Amazing Cane Headboard DIY Inspired by Serena & Lily

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I’m so excited to share this post with you guys, because I know how much everyone loves a good DIY- and while this one is a little more advanced, the end product is absolutely STUNNING!

As you may remember, the other day I rounded up some Serena & Lily lookalikes that I found while browsing TJMaxx.com. Soon after, a reader named Alicia messaged me on Instagram sharing her own DIY replica of a Serena & Lily headboard. From the moment I saw her pictures of the piece, I was blown away!

Alicia fell in love with the Harbour Cane Headboard on Serena & Lily’s website, but she wasn’t thrilled about the price tag and figured she could make her own instead. (As she put it, “Who doesn’t want to save $1,150 plus?!).

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First things first, she did a search for DIY caned headboards on Pinterest and found this tutorial, which she ended up modifying slightly. With the help of her dad, Alicia recreated the look using a roll of woven caning (six feet’s worth to fit her queen bed) and crown molding/baseboard, which she painted using this shade from Home Depot). She and her dad then added a center piece of wood to make the result appear more similar to the Serena & Lily product and used these to secure the corners. Alicia says she also used lots of staples to hold the caning and make sure everything was tight!

Alicia then shipped the piece up to DC from her parents’ home in Florida via Greyhound bus! (I’ve heard of people doing this and was always curious about how the process worked, but that’s a post for another day). She’s since attached it to the wall above her bed using command strips.

While the project isn’t beginner level (as Alicia put it, “There were definitely saws involved!”), it’s so worth it given that the total cost of making this beautiful piece was $100 (minus the Greyhound shipping!). Alicia, you have me SOLD. Definitely check out the full tutorial for more detailed instructions (I also found this one on Apartment Therapy that’s also Serena & Lily inspired), and let me know if you decide to make this yourself!

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Recent Winter Buys

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I’m writing this post while watching the snow fall out my window after having had the laziest start to the morning, and it’s kind of the best thing ever. While I spend a lot of time making my home someplace that I want to be, I admittedly like to cram a LOT into my weekends (especially in the mornings), and I don’t spend much time just lazing around in the apartment (unless I’m taking one of my glorious 2.5 hour afternoon naps, which is totally a thing on the weekends). On a typical Sunday morning, I’d probably be out the door early heading to a workout class or running errands or doing fake “errands” (like browsing the Georgetown Flea), but it’s definitely nice to have an excuse to sit around and do nothing but read, nap, and write.

I thought this would be the perfect time to write about some of my favorite cozy winter items, as it looks like there may be some more snow in our future this coming weekend (woo!), and the chilly weather in general is definitely here to stay.

I first wanted to share these weighted products that a PR company kindly mailed my way last week–and they’re AMAZING. I was gifted a small, fuzzy weighted blanket and a weighted eye mask, both sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I immediately put both to use after opening the package on Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t heard about the weighted blanket trend, you’re definitely missing out–they’re said to help with anxiety and insomnia, first and foremost, but they’re also just super cozy and make you feel a little more snug and “glued” to your bed, if that makes sense (I’ve always been someone who likes sleeping with a lot of layers, so I like this feeling). I had ordered this weighted blanket off of Amazon over the summer and definitely like it, but the fuzzy one I received (while smaller) takes things to another level because it’s just so warm and perfect for this time of year. And the eye mask, omg- I napped while wearing it on Saturday afternoon, and it was so peaceful and the pressure was just right–totally soothing without feeling too heavy. It’s also said to help relieve headaches and sinus pressure, which is a total win. In general, I haven’t really been able to sleep with eye masks (and I tried wearing this one for a full night but woke up with it buried under my sheets), but this was perfect for a quick rest. I already am looking forward to using it again during my next nap!

Speaking of fuzzy items, I wanted to share this super soft vest I just ordered from J.Crew factory. With sales, the total cost came to like $23, which is such a steal! It likely isn’t something I could wear it work, unless I kind of kept it at my desk to throw on when the office gets cold, but I think it would be ok in many more casual workplaces, and it will be perfect for lounging around on winter weekends. It’s also gotten great reviews!

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Last but not least, while this isn’t a purely “winter” buy, this modern-looking black sconce is recent purchase of mine that’s made such a difference during these dark evenings that I figured I would share! I knew I wanted more light in my little sitting area upstairs, and I’d tried different variations of lamps and sconces, but nothing was really cutting it. As a caveat, sconces can be pretty expensive, and I shopped around a lot before coming back to this one, which I had first spotted on the Urban Outfitters website over the summer. Once I settled on this one, I knew I would need some professional help to hang it up (I pride myself on being able to do a lot of home-related tasks, but using a drill is a little beyond my capacity), so I hired a TaskRabbit and less than 45 minutes later, the sconce was hanging in my room! I’ll need to get some nicely-lit shots the next time I have someone take photos for me, but above is a picture I took when it was first hung. The look is definitely a little trendier than I often go for, but so far, I’m loving it, and it’s really brightened up the space and isn’t purely aesthetic. (My only complaint is it looks like maybe in an older iteration, the sconce arms were able to be bent into different positions, but that is definitely not the case now–although the image on the Urban Outfitters website suggests otherwise. Also, the size of lightbulb mentioned in the description is incorrect–you’ll need an E12, just as one of the reviewers luckily noted!).

What products are you loving this winter, and have you been taking advantage of the time indoors to make any new home improvements? xo

 

 

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All About Anthropologie’s Sister Store, Terrain!

Happy Friday! This week has been a busy one, and this weekend should be, too! On Tuesday, I grabbed drinks with a girl who I met at the Michelle Obama book talk back in November (we both work in higher ed and learned we were both former sociology majors, so we had a lot to talk about!); on Wednesday, I had my volunteer orientation at N Street Village, a local women’s shelter in DC (so many new volunteers showed up, and I can’t wait to get started!); and last night, I saw Jen Sincero at Sixth and I, which didn’t disappoint! Tonight I’m grabbing dinner with a friend and then taking it easy before attending the Washington Winter Show with a few design blogger friends on Saturday morning–can’t wait!

I wanted to pop in and share a bit about a new-to-me store that I think many of you will LOVE–Terrain! Terrain is a sister store of Anthropologie with limited brick and mortar locations (though there’s a new one in Bethesda if you’re local!), but it has an extensive website full of gardening and home supplies (so basically perfection for all of you #plantladies out there). I recently wrote an Apartment Therapy piece on it, so I’ll let you go over there to read more!

A few of my favorite Terrain products at the moment:

I love this heart serving board, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

This is supposed to be a dip bowl, but I think it would also make a beautiful jewelry dish on a dresser or nightstand.

I bet this hot cider candle smells amazing, and I love that you can reuse the mug after you burn it through.

I shared this watering can in the Apartment Therapy article; it’s so pretty!

 

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Shop Serena and Lily Lookalikes for Less at TJ Maxx

I’ll start this post off by noting that I love shopping at/browsing high-end home stores like Serena and Lily just as much as discount places like TJ Maxx (and this post is not affiliated with either place!). Serena and Lily’s pieces are so “relaxed chic” (if that’s a thing) and stylish without being too overboard in terms of color and pattern, making them versatile and classic. (Oh, and I own these stools and absolutely love them). That said, most items run in the triple digit range, and as someone who enjoys decorating their space very often, it doesn’t make sense to make a splurge unless I’m sure that an item will stick with me forever (I also live for the hunt and kind of feel let down when making a big purchase directly off a website, if that makes sense, because it doesn’t always feel that exciting or unique! However, I know that I’m in the minority and most people prefer convenience and reputation over scouring the internet–or traveling around the city in real life–for an item on a used or vintage site that may be a gem but may not be so great in person!).

Anyway, when it comes to places like TJ Maxx and HomeGoods there’s kind of a happy medium, because the store isn’t filled with dozens of one particular item, so the “thrill of the find” element is still there, but returns and exchanges are also super simple, eliminating the uncertainty that many people experience when thrifting.

I say all this because…drumroll, please…I’ve noticed lately that TJ Maxx (or TJ Maxx online, which I browse pretty frequently because they send out tons of emails!), has been filled with tons of pieces that look like Serena and Lily items (like, scarily so…) but are priced at so much less. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites to share with you guys (some of which I’ve ordered already), and you’ll have to let me know what you think! Honestly, these are just a few of the similar items I noticed–there are tons more! This throw is very Serena and Lily, for example, and better yet, it’s an amazing price.

As for my TJ Maxx roundup:

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Chair//Wicker lamp//Dyed ottoman//Candle pillars//Moroccan pouf//Woven basket 

As for the prices, the chair is $300, the lamp is $50, the ottoman is $60, the candle holders are $40, the pouf is $100, and the basket is $50.

GRAND TOTAL = $600 (still a lot for a “discount” store, but less than the cost of the ONE CHAIR below!)

Now onto Serena and Lily:

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Chair//Wicker lamp//Dyed ottoman//Candle pillars//Moroccan pouf//Woven basket 

And the prices this time (not including any added handling fees, for simplicity’s sake)…the chair is $678, the lamp is $248, the ottoman is $598, the candle holders are $188 (for a small), the pouf is $498, and the basket is $78 (for a small).

GRAND TOTAL = $2,288 (I’ll let that number speak for itself).

Thoughts:

First of all, isn’t it crazy how much the products look alike?! TJ Maxx definitely copies well-known designers, but I didn’t realize Serena and Lily was so high up on their radar.

Secondly, I know there’s a lot to be said for quality over price (it’s not worth it to buy something cheap just because and have it fall apart a few months later), but the prices for most of the Serena and Lily pieces just aren’t realistic (I’d rather spend $678 on a flight to Europe than on a single chair!). Most of the TJ Maxx pieces I’ve owned have been just fine in terms of quality, and while I am happy to splurge on a S&L piece (well, some of them–and the stools were a pretty good price all things considered), I definitely wouldn’t pay $500 for something like a pouf that isn’t going to be a “forever piece.”

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