What’s New Lately

Snapped this during Elizabeth's Houzz shoot!
Snapped this during Elizabeth’s Houzz shoot and felt like it encompassed all of the below!

Food, books, and a home tour–basically the usual! But before I dive into several fun things (I drafted most of this post a few days ago), I did want to acknowledge the horrifying stabbing that happened in my neighborhood (or next-door neighborhood?), Logan Circle, earlier this week. It feels silly to write something brief before moving to light and fluffy content, but I didn’t want to skip over this, especially since it hit so close to home, literally. To put it simply, it’s absolutely frightening to me that a woman could get stabbed randomly while out on a run around 8 pm in an area in which she felt safe and at home (and one I know and walk through frequently). My thoughts are with the victim’s family and everyone else who was moved and terrified by this incident. It’s scary and unsettling that these kinds of things happen and can be so unpredictable.

True Food Kitchen: Have you ever eaten at a True Food restaurant? I hadn’t until last week, and I can’t believe I waited so long to try the one near me! True Food Kitchen is a healthy chain with a handful of locations across the country–though not many on the East Coast–and fortunately enough for me and other DC residents, one opened up in Bethesda not too long ago! I finally grabbed dinner there with my mom (who’s a big fan and has been a few times!) last week and loved it–I ordered a skinny citrus margarita, the hummus appetizer, and the teriyaki quinoa bowl with chicken. Everything was SO good (and I don’t even really consider myself a foodie!). I’ll admit that I hounded Mackenzie for recommendations first, since she is always talking about her love for True Food on her blog, and the hummus and teriyaki bowl were her fabulous suggestions!

Cooking for one: People often ask me if I cook my dinners at home or not, and I never really know what to say, because no, I don’t pick up meals to go or order in very often, but I definitely am not cooking gourmet dishes from scratch, either (cooking has never been something I’ve enjoyed very much!). So the extent of my “cooking” is preparing meals with easy ingredients and sides from Trader Joe’s–heating things up on the stove, really, haha. Needless to say, I was glad to come across this article on healthy meals you can make for one, because whipping up something for just one person doesn’t need to be depressing (and everything here looks really good). I’m definitely half sharing this on here so that I can file it away for myself if I need meal inspo!

Liane Moriarty: I just purchased a ticket for Liane Moriarty’s talk at Sixth and I in November, and I can’t wait! She’s been one of my favorite authors for a few years now (and wrote Big Little Lies, if you didn’t know!), so it will be awesome to hear her speak live and snag a copy of her newest book, Nine Perfect Strangers. Sixth and I has so many great, affordable cultural events happening all the time (Mari Andrew, Pod Save America, Call Your Girlfriend), and I love checking their website periodically to see who/what is coming next–it’s so cool that Liane Moriarty is traveling all the way here from Australia!

A minimalist home tour: This home isn’t 100 percent my style, but I found it super inspiring nonetheless (probably because the renter is a fellow thrift-addict!). I love how calming the bedroom area looks and how many separate spaces were created within is a 250 square foot area. Also, the outdoor space is a gem! The renter notes in the comments that because LA doesn’t get much rain, the outdoor area is super useable and she can just leave the cute setup in place most of the time without worrying about things getting soaked–jealous!

Rattan basket: I spotted this adorable cane/rattan basket in another home tour a few days ago and fell in love, because, as you know, I can’t get enough of anything cane! I love that the price point is just right, too.

Country concerts: Tonight I’m going with a friend (my good grad school friend’s twin sister, who recently moved down here!) and her coworker to see Kip Moore play at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, and I can’t wait! I went to the Fillmore once this past winter with another friend to see Chase Rice, and it was a great venue–right off the metro, near some great restaurants (go to Not Your Average Joe’s; their happy hour is amazing and we’ll be heading there tonight!), and super reasonable ticket prices. I’m excited to rock my cowboy boots for probably the last time for a few months. 😉

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Salon Apprentice: I mentioned this on Instagram the other day, but I got an amazing blowout at the Drybar fo’ FREE thanks to Salon Apprentice! It was my first time using the site after having read about it a few months ago, but it’s pretty simple (and almost like a version of Craigslist but for beauty services! haha). Basically, stylists in training in various major cities (there are a ton) post when they need a model/person to practice on, what hair type/length they need, and leave their email or phone number. You can then follow up and respond to their ad–I was lucky to find a time that worked for me, but it took a few browsing sessions, as most of the appointments are during the work day and I don’t have a ton of flexibility (you’ll want to give yourself at least an hour and a half rather than the 45 minutes it takes to do a traditional blowout). The stylist I worked with was still training at Drybar but did an excellent job and was so friendly, communicative, and complimentary (I think we’re going to try to do more “practice” sessions in the future, and she said she’d even do my makeup sometime, too! #nocomplaints). It was so fun being pampered at one of my favorite salons, and while the process wasn’t 100 percent as seamless as it normally would be there, it definitely didn’t feel like I was doing anyone a favor to be there! I used to get blowouts fairly frequently when I lived in NYC (oftentimes pre-job interviews!) but haven’t indulged as much in recent years, though going twice this month has made me remember why I loved them so much–I also came home and immediately ordered a small bottle of the Triple Sec spray for no reason other than the fact that it smells absolutely AMAZING.

Museum Day and Reese Witherspoon: My coworker let me know that this Saturday is free museum day in DC, so mark your calendar if you need a weekend activity! Most of the museums in the city are free year-round, but this is your chance to go to others like the Newseum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and more. I have a jam-packed Saturday but downloaded a ticket for Women in the Arts because I’ve been wanting to go for ages but have felt silly even paying the normal $10 fee when 1) I could go to any of the 646237 other museums here and pay nothing and 2) I have a veryyyy short attention span when it comes to museums and likely wouldn’t stay for more than an hour. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make my way over at least for a bit! Saturday night, I’m seeing Reese Witherspoon on her DC book tour and am so excited to drool over her new release, Whiskey in a Teacup, which was luckily included with the ticket! Reese has been my spirit animal for ages, so it will be amazing to see her–even if from very much afar–after all of these years! And, a few DC blog girls and I are grabbing dinner before at the Wharf, so it will be fun to catch up with everyone.

Whew…I think that’s it! What’s new in your neck of the woods?

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Three Sale Items You Can’t Miss

One of the best parts about being between summer and fall (in addition to the slightly cooler weather!) is all of the great end of season sales. I’ve found some seriously great deals while doing some browsing–and ordering–over the past couple of days!

Tuckernuck scarf: I first talked about my love for this scarf when I snagged it at Tuckernuck’s summer sale in August, and I’ve worn it several times over the past month. I was actually sitting at work yesterday wearing the one I purchased (which is orange and blue) and wishing that I’d stocked up on more colors during the sale. Well, what do ya know? The pink version, which is super popular as well, is currently on sale for only $16! Of course I snagged one for myself as well as for my mom to give to her for Christmas–she doesn’t normally read here, so we’re good! It’s such an amazing price point (even before the sale), super stylish, and a great gift for any age–stock up, and your friends will be thrilled when the holidays roll around!

J.Crew Factory Field Jacket: I have raved about my love for this jacket many times–I purchased the regular J.Crew version back in 2013 and wore it to the ground in the years since. So when I saw the Factory version (which looks about the same) on sale for only $30 a few weeks ago, thanks to an amazing Labor Day sale, I had to snatch it up. Still looking for that versatile lightweight coat? You’ll thank me later! (Also, this white pom pom blazer is sadly sold out, but I purchased it a few weeks ago for about $22 and am in love, so I just wanted to share–will have to get a pic of me wearing it up here soon!).

42 Pressed Candles: It’s no secret that I love candles. High end, low end, you name it, I’ll try all of them! I recently ordered this Otherland candle after falling in love with the scent during my shoot at Elizabeth’s a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait for it to arrive! However, I’ve also been a longtime fan of 42 pressed candles (mostly for their adorable packing, not gonna lie!), and they’re having a great sale on select ones right now–I have both the DC and Paris ones, which are great! The only thing to watch for is their shipping, which is pretty steep!

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Your Craigslist Questions Answered and How to Use TaskRabbit

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Pictured: A lucite console I scored on Craigslist for $25, and a framed Minted picture and set of x-benches I also purchased via CL.

The other day I put out a little call for questions regarding Craigslist/thrifting and wanted to answer them on here! Thank you to everyone who submitted, and as always, feel free to message me on Instagram or email me if you have further q’s!

Let’s get started, shall we?

These two questions were pretty similar, so I’m including them together:

How do you search on Craigslist–for a particular item, or by browsing until you find what you like? What are your Craigslist search terms? 

This probably isn’t the most popular approach, but I usually browse until I find what I like. This obviously takes a little more time, but I like seeing everything that’s out there–although I’ll admit that this sometimes alerts me to things I didn’t really need! However, people often label an item in the most simple way possible–for example, a lucite table could just be called “clear table” or “coffee table,” and it wouldn’t pop up using more sophisticated search terms. That said, it’s always possible to miss new postings even when scrolling through all the way, so I do frequently run searches using terms like “bamboo,” “campaign,” and “rattan”–those are definitely my favorites! So I guess my answer would really be that if you want to cover your bases, do both! A lot of other sites will tell you to use keywords to find higher quality items, but that said, people using phrases like “chinoiserie” or “Hollywood Regency” often know what they have and may price their pieces a bit higher, though this is not always the case.

The visually awesome but super challenging to maneuver spiral staircase!
The visually awesome but super challenging to maneuver spiral staircase!

Please tell me all the things about TaskRabbit and picking items up in a city! 

I could seriously write a whole post in response to this answer (and have thought about it!) but will try to answer this somewhat succinctly here. Since I don’t have a car or a live-in, professional mover-sized helper (haha), moving furniture in and out of my apartment has certainly been a struggle (especially in my current apartment, with its two flights of stairs to get up to our unit and the spiral staircase up to my room! So be relieved, because I promise that almost any of your situations will be far easier to deal with than mine, and I’ve still managed to make it work most of the time!). Due to that staircase, I’ve had to become a little more selective with what I purchase, but honestly not much so thanks to TaskRabbit.

The way TaskRabbit works is pretty simple. You download the app, select the task you have in mind, and fill out a brief description of what it entails, as well as your ideal timing for someone to come help you. Once you submit this information, you’re presented with a list of helpers who are available at your selected time, along with their hourly rates and customer-submitted reviews. You can then scroll through your options (sometimes there are more people available than others) and determine who is the best match for the job. For example, I’m often willing to pay a little more to work with someone who has extremely positive reviews or looks/describes being strong (yes, people have pictures! Haha) or mentions having worked as a professional mover. I also read the reviews before selecting a Tasker–you ultimately are inviting a stranger into your home, and safety is KEY. I’ve hired several people to lift/move furniture, drill holes into the wall, etc, and have never felt unsafe working with someone, but I feel like I have to put this out there as a disclaimer! Another disclaimer: there have been several instances where I’ve had to help the TaskRabbit–not with things like drilling, of course, but definitely with lifting. I’ve always been fine doing this since I’m fairly able to lift things and usually just need an extra–but much stronger–pair of hands, and I also know that I live in a pretty challenging building for moving things and am not always putting the Tasker in the most fair situation. But because of this, if you’re injured or uncomfortable helping, you may want to hire two Taskers at the same time, which I believe you can do!

I’d say in general, rates range from about $30-$100 per hour. I’ve never needed a Tasker for more than an hour, even when they’ve gone along to help me pick up an item (you can indicate that you need a car/SUV for the job, and this is super useful if you don’t have a car of your own and don’t want to coordinate with an Uber and a Tasker). But generally, I use Uber for CL pickups. I know it isn’t necessarily ideal because Uber drivers obviously aren’t signing up to also be professional movers, but politeness goes a long way, and I’ve never had an issue besides someone telling me that their car just is too small to fit an item. (Speaking of miracle Uber drivers–I recently had an Uber driver who not only helped me transport a dresser, but also helped carry it and the drawers into the car, sat on the corner with me for five minutes while we waited to the rain to pass, offered me an umbrella, and then carried the furniture pieces to my front door–needless to say, he got a tip!). Don’t want to spend extra $ to bring your item home? I’m a pretty cheap person when it comes to Uber (I almost always pool or express pool), so I usually try to fit smaller items into the trunk of a pool and only call my own car or an XL if an item is very large, like a dresser or set of chairs. You can definitely make the process pretty affordable!

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What is your number one tip when it comes to Craigslist ettiquette? 

Definitely to be punctual. I posted a bit of a rant about this on Stories the other day after dealing with a seller who was an hour and a half later than she said she would be, in the morning, before work, after I had woken up over an hour early for her…gah! (And I eventually got messages from other people with similar horror stories–one person told me about someone who came over, sat in a $25 chair for 20 minutes, and then decided it just “wasn’t for him.” I am a firm believer in respecting other people’s time and schedules (and even more so when someone is cutting you a deal price-wise). If you say you’ll be there at 7, don’t be any later than 7:10 (especially if the person has made it clear they have somewhere they need to be). Also, if someone gives you a window of time to drop by, don’t wait to arrive until the very last minute. A few weekends ago I told someone they could stop by between 3:30 and 5:30, and they didn’t give me a clear indication of when they would arrive before eventually texting me around 5 that they were on the way. They ended up not arriving until 5:35 (thankfully I didn’t really have somewhere super important I needed to be at that moment, I more just wanted to get on with my afternoon and run some errands–I usually am pretty on the go on the weekends and am rarely just at home for an extended period of time), which was super frustrating! I could go on and on about this, but the moral of the story is to be on time, especially when the seller has made it clear that they are accommodating you!

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An Easy Decor Update: Hanging Planters

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Whether they’re attached to the wall or hanging from the ceiling, decorative planters are super popular right now. I’ll admit that I’ve become a huge plant lady over the past few months, and honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t start adding greenery to my spaces sooner! Plants add such nice energy to a space, are generally affordable, bring in a pop of color, and are a great conversation piece!

I was browsing Amazon a few weeks back and stumbled upon this set of hanging planters, which I immediately purchased. I’ve so far only hung one up in my apartment and am already loving the look. I popped in a small pot from Little Leaf and that was it! (The key is just to be careful when watering, because the water can drip down out of the pot).

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This guy has been hanging up in our nook area where there’s a lot of sunlight, and he’s been thriving! I also like how the planter adds a fun boho look to what is a more serious-looking, formal-ish space full of dark wood and cane. For a $10 update, it’s been working pretty well!

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My Upstairs Gallery Wall

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This is actually the only gallery wall in my current apartment, but I just couldn’t live without one! (You can see my gallery wall in my old place–along with tips on how to create your own–right this way).

I’ve shown this wall a ton in various Instagram posts and stories, but I’ve never really talked about the pieces that I’ve incorporated. I think gallery walls are special because you can get so creative and unique with them–no two are going to be the same, and they often feature pieces that are meaningful to the homeowner and aren’t just things you can purchase from any chain store or website.

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This gallery wall is made up of several pieces that I love and have purchased both recently and longer ago. On the top left in the white bamboo frame, I have a vintage map of Washington, DC, that I purchased on Etsy and cut to fit into the frame. I LOVE looking at old maps and reading about neighborhood history–when I learned our apartment building dated back to the 1890s, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic, and I once got lost for hours on a website that showed what streets in New York City looked like decades ago.

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Next to the map is a small gold mirror that I purchased on eBay right after I moved into this apartment. I didn’t know where I wanted to hang it, but I love how it looks here. It’s hung next to my Press for Champagne ornament (yes, that’s actually an ornament, but I wanted to hang it on the wall!), and a floral print that I snagged for $2 at my church’s flea market a couple of years ago.

Both butterfly prints are from the Georgetown Flea, and the small gold sunburst mirror is from Francesca’s a couple of years ago.

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The cake print is a new addition and is actually a postcard that I grabbed while visiting the National Gallery of Art a few months ago. I absolutely love the cake painting that’s hanging there and knew I wanted a piece of it in my home! The “we want beer” print is exactly the kind of sassy yet meaningful (historical!) thing that I love–I ordered one after spotting it in Chrissy’s home via her blog.

And there you have it! While I used to switch up my gallery walls pretty frequently, this one has remained pretty much the same in the time I’ve lived here, because I really like how all of the colors and shapes work together. The best advice I can give when making a gallery wall is 1) don’t hang things too closely!!!! and 2) vary your objects and frames to create an eye-catching look that isn’t too bland.

(PS: the dress I’m wearing in this post is from LOFT, and I’ve been living it in it this summer. I had originally purchased it for a bridal shower back in May, but I wear it to work, out to dinner, etc, all the time and love it!).

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What’s New Around Here

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Mine was a little less busy than planned–I was going to work with Heather to shoot my apartment on Sunday, but we decided to postpone for a few weeks because the weather was disgusting–there was tons of rain which made for bad lighting, which wouldn’t have been the most ideal, especially since my apartment is generally super light-filled. However, I’m excited to see her in a few weeks and get some amazing photos taken then–she is super talented and did a great job shooting my space earlier this spring, so I’m excited to have her capture my latest updates! This coming weekend, I have a local wedding (I went to college with the couple and am so excited to celebrate with them and tons of our classmates) and not too much else planned, since I’m sure I’ll be exhausted by Sunday morning. I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve talked about some of the things I’m loving at the moment, so here we go!

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Roof Picnics + Lemonade Mimosas: On Labor Day, one of my coworkers came over in the evening after my photo shoot, and we decided to have a little roof picnic. (I’ll admit that we stayed outside for about 15 minutes before sweating our faces off and having to move inside). She was craving mimosas, but I told her those wouldn’t quite fly with me at 4 pm, so I picked up some lemonade instead to mix with prosecco, and it was such a refreshing alternative! I found this Minute Maid lemonade with only 15 calories per serving and am obsessed (and this is not in any way sponsored, it was just a fun way to mix things up!).

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: I’ll preface this by saying that I’m not normally a YA reader, so I didn’t have any major urge to read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before when I first heard about the book. However, when the movie came out on Netflix, I kept hearing rave reviews, and the other weekend afternoon I decided to sit down and watch it. The verdict? I loved it! I also just finished the book this weekend and couldn’t get enough. If you have a free couple of hours, definitely read/watch–so cute!

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Vintage Game Night: Last fall, I had a friend in town and we took a little historic walking tour around Dupont, and one of the stops was the Woodrow Wilson House. The tour guide informed our group that every month, guests can stop by for a “vintage game night,” where they can explore the house, play old-fashioned board games, and enjoy drinks and appetizers for just $15. I had been wanting to go for ages but never made the time until last week! A friend who is new-ish to DC and I went and thought it was the cutest thing. (This would also be a cute date night idea, too!). There were a few other small groups there and I loved being able to do something more hands-on and DC-centric than your usual Wednesday happy hour.

Joining the DAR: Going along with the historic theme, haha…I’ve finally decided to join the DC chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution! My grandmother, who passed away 10 years ago, was VERY involved with the DAR for much of her adult life and did an excellent job keeping records of our ancestry. Since she had been a member herself and kept all of the relevant paperwork accessible for us, my application process was super easy, thankfully! I’ll admit that I’ve had mixed feelings about joining over the years for several different reasons and do want to make sure that my values and the organization’s align fully. But based on talking to Steph, who has become the sweetest blog friend and helped get me connected with the DC chapter, it sounds like a great group of women, and I’m eager to get involved soon! I’m also looking forward to honoring my grandmother in this way and learning why this organization meant so much to her.

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A home tour I’m loving: This Refinery 29 home tour isn’t new to their site, but I came across it recently and love how glam the small space shown looks. I also am obsessed with the Craigslist-sourced peacock chair that’s featured in the tour!

Back to school: I’m two weeks into my nonprofit management class and am loving it so far! Going back to school feels a little weird–especially because somehow two years have already flown by since I completed my master’s, and it feels like it was just yesterday that I was starting that program! (Like, what do you mean I have to write more papers?!) However, the content seems super interesting and relevant to my career path, so I’m glad that I’m taking the plunge and slowing plugging away (with just one class per semester!) at this.

Charleston: Perhaps the best for last–I’m going to Charleston in October! I’ll actually be traveling by myself, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and I’ve also been wanting to go to Charleston forever, so when I saw a good ticket price, I had to snatch it up! I’m generally fine being pretty solitary and don’t think I’ll have any trouble keeping myself entertained, although since the city is completely new to me (everyone on Instagram was surprised I’d never been, since Charleston is very much my ~aesthetic~) , I’m eager to get tons of fun recs! I’ve also started pinning tons of ideas and making lists on my phone for things to do while I’m there. The trip is only 48 hours long (and I’ll be there on a Wednesday-Friday), but I think it’ll still be enough time to check off a ton of fun spots! I was also super inspired by Katie’s solo trip to Charleston when I was booking it and will have to re-read her guide before I go!

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August Reads

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I didn’t read too too much this month compared with earlier in the summer due to an unexpectedly busy Labor Day Weekend and just not having the energy some days, but I still finished some good books that I wanted to share on here! My list for September/October is super long, needless to say!

The Alice Network: This book was SO good. I was on the list for it at the library and had to wait forever for it to be my turn, but I persisted because I’d heard so many great things. The book is about a young woman in the 1940s and a female spy during WWI–it switches back and forth between the two perspectives. The young woman meets the spy when she’s older and relies on her to determine what happened to a missing family member, so the book is also part mystery in a way. I’m not normally a big historical fiction reader, but there are so many books in this genre that have gotten amazing reviews, so I’m trying to be better, and this was a great way to start!

Matchmaking for Beginners: I thought I would like this book a bit more than I actually did–the characters were a bit quirkier than I expected, ha! It was still a cute, quick read that follows the journey of a young woman who is recently divorced (after being married for, like, two seconds to a guy who is totally wrong for her) and finds out that her ex’s great aunt has left her a home in Brooklyn and has specific instructions for how she can go and make the most of her life.

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories: I picked this one up on a whim at the library and it was just ok in my opinion (but the Amazon reviews are super positive!), and while it was supposed to be a love story, I actually liked the parts about friendship more! It centers around Jacey, who discovers that a man she met during a traumatic event but since lost touch with is officiating her friend’s wedding. The two quickly reconnect and fall in love, only for tons of miscommunication to arise. This story made me want to move a small town in the South and be as adorable and kind hearted as (who decides to adopt three orphaned boys on her own at the age of 25!).

Then She Was Gone: Gah, this one was creepy but so good and definitely is one I’d recommend if you like thrillers. When her daughter Ellie goes missing, Laurel spends years wondering what exactly happened, but her curiosity is amplified when she meets and falls in love with a man who may know more about the situation than he lets on. While trying to create a new life with him, Laurel learns some startling truths about what really happened all those years ago, with snippets of the daughter’s perspective tied in, too.

The Ex Wife: This one was also a quick, creepy read (although there have been SO many books about pairs of wives/ex wives lately that the plot line is getting a little eh). The book follows the lives of Jen, the ex wife, and Natasha the current wife (who comes home one day to find that her husband and daughter have left her and has to pick up the pieces). It’s your typical thriller in that you don’t quite know who to trust, but it’s good in that it isn’t 100 percent predictable.

The Queen of Hearts: This book had been in my pile forever, but other things kept taking precedent! If you love a good medical drama, this is a must read. It follows two women who became friends during college, went to med school together, and now are living in Charlotte with their young families while working as doctors. When a man from their med school past moves into town, drama ensues and secrets are revealed that make them question their friendship and how well they truly know each other. The author is actually a doctor herself, which made everything that much more realistic!

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Bar Cart Updates

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For as much as I love to decorate, it’s rare that I change up things like my bar cart super often. Once I find a layout that works, I’ll often just leave it for ages. But the other week, I was inspired to switch things up a bit, since the area had gotten way too full with various glasses, coasters, and accessories. I decided to streamline everything a bit, set out some of my favorite food and drink-related books, and put only my favorite glassware of the moment on display.

My bar cart itself is from Miss Pixie’s, which is right on 14th Street in DC. I’m lucky enough that it’s right in the neighborhood, but it’s also a bit dangerous, because I stop in there way too often! I found this cart when I was coming home from work on day last fall and decided to stop in for a quick look around the store. I saw that the bar cart had just arrived in that day and fell in love with the gold bamboo details. When I realized it was priced at only $70, I knew I had to scoop it up!

As for a little tour of my bar area…

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The Gin & Tonic print is from Society6, which is hands down my favorite place to order wall art. They’re also pretty much always offering promotions of some sort. The gold bamboo frame was actually a Goodwill find, and a lot of my bar accessories (like the pineapples and the shaker) are from TJMaxx. The rest is pretty much all thrifted!

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This glassware is actually displayed on a dresser in our living room, and I love the look. Thrift stores are some of my favorite places to pick up glassware, because you can find so many vintage looking styles, and there actually are usually a decent amount of sets/pairs available.

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Business Cards at Basic Invite

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Does anyone else still experience that “Whoa, I guess I’m a real adult” moment when handing out or being asked for a business card? I definitely do from time to time, though I’ve become a lot more used to collecting and passing out business cards in my current job and try to keep them on me at all times, just in case. At work, I keep them on my desk in an adorable gold scalloped Sugar Paper card holder that I scored at Target for $5.99!

While I work for a large company and am unable to design my own business card for my day job, I’ve thought about getting a separate set for blog/freelance purposes, since it can definitely be difficult to remember names and Instagram handles when networking at larger events (side note: I need to make it a goal to go to more of these types of things this fall–I absolutely love connecting with fellow DC creatives!).

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When Basic Invite reached out to me last week, I was overwhelmed (in a good way!) with all of their options for customizable paper products. If you didn’t already know, Basic Invite is a one-stop shop when it comes to printing needs, whether you’re in the market for business cards or personal greeting/holiday cards (it’s never to soon to start thinking about Merry Christmas cards…my family always tended to push these off until the last minute, and it’s stressful!) Whether you’re in the market for clear plastic business cards or something more vibrant (there are almost unlimited color options), Basic Invite has a ton of different options available at a great price. I had never previously seen clear plastic business cards before, but I think they’re super cool and much more 21st century appropriate than your traditional paper card! (Oh, and speaking of business cards–here’s what I try to do with ones I receive at work!).

Basic Invite is also a great resource for all of you planning weddings, baby showers, and the like! You can actually order a printed preview of your invite before it goes out, which is a great perk (the copyeditor in me definitely appreciates the option!). There are also over 40 different envelope colors available, if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path.

The best part? Right now, Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51, so it’s the perfect time to stock up on whatever paper products you need, whether you have an event coming up later this fall or just want to treat yourself.

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, and all opinions are my own. 

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How to *Actually* Read More

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Happy Friday before a three-day weekend! This week was full of fun things and not so fun things–the best part was definitely being handed some super exciting design opportunities (stay tuned!) and going with my mom and sister to see Crazy Rich Asians, which did not disappoint (go see it, now!). The worst part was the AC going out on Tuesday night in 92 degree weather, prompting me to sleep downstairs on the couch and pray that my 9 percent phone battery would make it though the night! This weekend, I have a couple of photo shoots (one at someone else’s place on Saturday for Houzz, and one at my apartment on Monday, which is for one of the design projects that came about, woo!), work at the gym, and then a friend’s cookout on Sunday, which makes me feel more Labor Day Weekend like! In between all of this and running around like a crazy person trying to finish styling my apartment, I’m also hoping to get in a bit of reading, and that brings me to this post!

I’ve written a post about this before, but I thought it would be a fun topic to recirculate given that 1) I’ve been trying to read a lot more the past several months after hitting a bit of a roadblock last fall/winter, and 2) a few other bloggers I follow have posted their own tips!

I have to admit…reading is something that truly brings me a sense of calm and enjoyment. When I was little, I’d look forward to going to the library to pick out more Babysitter’s Little Sister books (anyone else read those?!), and my dad and I read Harry Potter together when it first came out. However, I know reading isn’t truly enjoyable for everyone, and if you’re not a book person, you don’t need to force it! (You’re probably wayyyy more up-to-date on movies and TV shows and other things I’ve cut out a bit more to make time to read!). That said, if you’re not the biggest fan of reading but want to get more into it, just start small. Try an audiobook on your commute (I “read” most of Crazy Rich Asians this way and loved it–even when I was seeing the movie I’d weirdly remember where I was when a certain scene was happening!), or just challenge yourself to read a couple of chapters a week. No biggie!

I definitely go through ruts when I don’t feel as compelled to read at the end of the day, and this is usually when I’m in a busy period at work, have a lot going on personally, or have other things to focus on (I always get really bad about reading for months after a move, for example!). But in general, it comes down to basic prioritization for me. Katie recently said that she used to relax with a TV show and has made a point to unplug with a book instead, and I 100 percent have been trying to do the same. I love being able to finish books and talk about them with you guys on the blog, which provides me with an extra dose of motivation. However, I’m also motivated just by the idea of tackling my  “must read” list. If I don’t ever sit down and just start something, I’ll just feel behind and overwhelmed! If you’re the opposite and have no idea what to read next, visit blogs (a lot of lifestyle bloggers I follow also cover books) or talk with your friends or even just browse through Amazon. Even if I’ve never heard of a particular book but it’s gotten amazing reviews, I’ll be inspired to add it to my cart or wish list. I also have always wanted to write a book one day and am starting to get really close to wanting to sit down and flesh something out, so I also consider reading to be research in a way!

I also love Lauren’s recent post about how she’s made time to read more. I 100 percent agree that getting a library card is a game changer! I have more books than I can count at home but still go to the library all the time–it helps that there’s one near my office. If you want to read more but hate the idea of spending money on something you’ll probably just read through once…well, problem solved! And her point about keeping a book with you wherever you go is also key. I always end up kicking myself when I have to wait for an appointment or am meeting a friend who’s running late and have nothing to read on me. Oh, and always, always bring books with you when traveling, even if you  don’t think you’ll have the downtime. I went on a work trip and read two in a span of a couple of days, simply because we didn’t have a ton of activities in the evening and we had a flight each way. You’ll never regret being too prepared!

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