Decorating for Less: My Tips


I’m all about decorating on a budget. I personally believe that it’s even more satisfying to see a room come together when you know you scored everything in it for a great deal. That’s not to say investment pieces aren’t important too, but as 20-somethings, many of us are still figuring out where we’re going to live permanently, so it can be somewhat freeing to know that you can always get rid of that mattress if you absolutely need to (not that I’ll ever get rid of mine–my bed is seriously the comfiest thing ever!). A couple of months ago, I came across this Everygirl article on tips for saving money while decorating an apartment, and I thought the suggestions were great! Since I have used many of these tactics myself, I thought I’d share my take, and hopefully it will inspire you to follow suit!

The article recommends joining local Facebook groups, which has been super useful in my experience. If you live in a college town or area where people are constantly moving in and moving out each year, you’ll see a TON of furniture/accessory postings on Craigslist or maybe even in your apartment building, if you truly live in the heart of a student-oriented area. If you go to a college or university, odds are your school has a “free and for sale” Facebook group open to members of the campus community only (so you know it’s relatively safe), and this is a great way to find all sorts of items for cheap (when I say all sorts, I mean all sorts. Use your imagination here. But most of them are relevant to this post). When I was in graduate school, I was able to purchase a coffee table, vanity, set of side tables, a Kate Spade wallet, and more from this group, all for no more than $25 each. Talk about a deal! I’m still working on finding a similar type of group in the “real world.”

The Everygirl also suggests browsing thrift stores and estate sales. Goodwill can have some great stuff, you just have to be patient. In Florida, I found a set of banana leaf print porcelain plates and screamed out loud in the store (will have to post pictures once I’m moved in to my new place!). In Philly, I found a cute bar cart for only $11, which I repurposed with marble contact paper–the end result was super classy-looking!

The last tip I have tried out myself is purchasing furniture from friends! As you may recall, I picked up an awesome bar cart from a friend who just didn’t use it anymore. All of our other friends kept insisting that it should go to me, because they knew how much I would love it (thanks, everyone!). If you live with a roommate who is moving out, it may be worth asking her if there is anything she would be willing to sell–the best part is you can see the item’s condition up close AND cut out transportation logistics.

What do you think of these tips? Any others to keep in mind?

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Champagne Taste, Part 1

As cute as a piece of clothing or decor is, it’s often easy to find a lookalike for less that’ll make you feel less guilty on spending $$$ on something that isn’t quite as important to your lifestyle as, say, rent and food. Unless something is truly special, why spend $119 when you can spend $19.99 (see below)? I love when blogs and magazines do round-ups showcasing expensive items and their affordable counterparts, so I thought I’d try my hand at one–if you like this type of post, let me know and I’ll definitely do more in the future!

Going with the whole “champagne taste on a beer budget” idea (and just because I like champagne a lot), I thought I would refer to my more expensive items as “Veuve” and my cheaper items as “Andre” (anyone??). Just go with me here…

Pineapple Bookends

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While these fun bookends cost over $100 at One Kings Lane, they’re super affordable at TJ Maxx online. My verdict? Go with the cheaper ones–if they accidentally break, or you get sick of the pineapple trend, or you just don’t think you’ll use them that much, there’s less to regret!

Banana Leaf Bedding

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Banana leaf is a classic print that has come back into style. I came across the Target version of the comforter a few months ago and thought it was adorable–a little loud for some rooms, but still super trendy and affordable nonetheless! Compared to its expensive (and really, really expensive) counterparts, it’s the winner here–or maybe that’s just because I eat in bed too much to ever trust myself with a $500 duvet cover like this one from Wayfair!

Ginger Jars

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Another classic, ginger jars are certainly in style at the moment. But making your home look classy doesn’t need to mean emptying your savings. This TJ Maxx style is a steal compared to the version I came across on Houzz. Again, with breakable items, it can never hurt to go with the cheaper option, and I honestly like the colors on the TJ Maxx jar more!

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Do Not Disturb

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You guys. I am so, so obsessed with my sequin sunhat. Call me #basic, but you have to admit that these hats make for such cute photos! I actually purchased mine on Poshmark, as the hats can be pretty expensive elsewhere (the “real” ones go for $485…um, yeah, not in this lifetime). Anyway, I brought my hat to Florida so that I could wear it on the beach/by the pool, and I love how the photos turned out! Hope this inspires you if you plan to take a vacay of your own sometime soon (since I just started my job in July, I only took one day off but crammed a lot of fun into a long weekend!).

Without further ado…


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Boho Betty Bling

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One // Two // Three

Today I am sharing a special offer with you all! I have recently partnered with jewelry company Boho Betty, “a fashionable, high quality, global inspired accessory line at such affordable prices that you can wear it every day.” I don’t think I can state it better than that! The bracelets are not only super budget friendly but they’re also on-trend and (most importantly) sparkly!

I ordered the gold mesh cuff bracelet (check out my Instagram for a pic!). I am obsessed with gold as of late (as if you couldn’t already tell from my other posts!) so I thought this would make a fun addition to my wardrobe. It’s definitely workplace appropriate while also adding a bit of glimmer to an otherwise more conservative outfit! But I honestly think the best aspect is that the bracelet has two different snaps you can use depending on wrist size–for someone like me who has extremely small wrists, this is important! I often can’t wear bracelets because they’re just too big and slide right off (seriously, even the workers at my college’s pub noticed my “baby wrists” every time they gave me a wristband!).

Right now, Boho Betty is offering a discount for my readers–just enter the code DCTOAT for 20 percent off your purchase!

As a disclaimer, using the code mentioned above will allow me to earn a small commission from your purchase, but note that all of the opinions expressed above are my own. Happy shopping!

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Bed Bath & Beyond Buys

I’ll start by saying that this post is in no way affiliated with Bed Bath & Beyond other than that I’ve been receiving tons of 20 percent off coupons from them in the mail and am looking for a good excuse to use them 😉 I’m currently stashing them for after my move in case there’s anything I need to purchase brand new (a bath mat, kitchen trashcan, and bathroom trashcan are currently at the top of my list). But what’s the fun in thinking about practical items when BB&B has so much cute stuff?! Here, I’ve rounded up a few of my faves (sense a bit of a color scheme?):

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The mosaic mirror is such an upgrade from your usual dorm room or apartment style. Every girl needs a full-length mirror when getting ready in the morning, and this one is such a gem (ha!).

This memo board would look adorable in a cubicle, above a desk at home, or even in the kitchen (hey, you need somewhere to stash all of those save the dates!). I love the gold color and modern design.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll go gaga over this (affordable!) leopard print rug.

Yup, they even sell Kate Spade home items–loving this shower curtain!

I already own this gold jewelry stand and absolutely love it!

Ok, I think I’m just about ready to use one of my coupons…have you scored any good buys from BB&B lately?

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Weekend Thoughts


1) I think I need this hat from ASOS. Mermaids + sassy straw hats + sale pricing? So tempting!

2) What are you supposed to say during a job interview when asked about your biggest weakness? Turn here for advice.

3) I love the look of this abstract pouch that you can make yourself.

4) Has anyone read The Girls? It keeps popping up on Instagram and on my Amazon recommend page but I have so many other books I want to get through first! In the meantime, this review suggests it’s a book not to be missed.

5) Why is Halloween content already showing up on my Pinterest feed? But if we’re talking about fall, these apple cider mimosas look amaze.

6) Everyone at my office has been talking about the Peloton bike. Has anyone heard of it or tried it? It’s expensive but allows you to take spin classes at home and compete against others in real time. This spin addict is intrigued!

7) I realized I forgot to mention another favorite TV show in my post last week–Master of None! It’s Aziz Ansari’s show on Netflix and honestly I’ve watched the whole thing not just once but twice–seriously captures modern relationships of all kinds extremely well, check it out!

8) I’ve enjoyed doing book posts on here but if you want to know what else I have read (i.e. pre-blog), check out my Goodreads profile and add me!

9) A millenial breakup in 23 steps. This Washington Post article had me laughing out loud (for real).

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How to Say Goodbye to a City You Love


The physical process of moving is stressful enough, but what do you do when you absolutely love where you’re living but have decided to say goodbye for practical reasons (i.e. to save money, start school, move near family or a significant other)? For me, I absolutely loved living in New York City, but decided that grad school was the right time to explore someplace new, so off to Philly I went! While saying goodbye will never be 100 percent seamless, I thought I’d share a few things you can do to make your transition from one city to another a bit easier.

Check off your city bucket list: During my last week of work, a friend and I went on several city adventures which included: trying the famous 40 Carrots frozen yogurt at Bloomingdales, stocking up on candy at Dylan’s Candy Bar (I swore my huge bag would last me until my move–news flash: it did not), and taking the tram from Midtown to Roosevelt Island (definitely a bit scary but provided awesome views). All of these were things I had been meaning to do for awhile (well, I’d been to Dylan’s many times, but who can say no to candy?) and it was fun to break up the work week with little excursions. Another friend and I spent a Sunday picking up fancy macarons, going to brunch, trying out a new pizza place near my apartment, and watching a cheesy movie about Will & Kate on Netflix (talk about treating yourself–if only every Sunday could be that decadent!).

Throw a goodbye get together: Moving means saying bye to friends and coworkers, and while it’s difficult to make plans with a bunch of different people, group get togethers can be a fun way to introduce old friends to new friends. I ended up having a small get together at my apartment on one of my last Saturdays in the city, and it was fun to bring together girls I had interned with during college, friends from school and work, friends from high school who ended up in the city, friends’ roommates, and more. Hosting such an event is a nice way to see a bunch of different faces at once, but it’s also a great way to reciprocate for past invitations before you physically part ways with friends.

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Remember you can always visit: While I attended grad school in Philadelphia and was therefore very close to NYC, I didn’t have the money to take trips up every month (remember that even if you find cheap train or bus tickets and a friend to crash with, you’ll still be spending money on meals out, “must have” souvenirs, happy hours with former coworkers, etc). However, visiting only on special occasions made my trips to the city that much more fun. I honestly found that as much as I enjoyed myself when I visited the city and caught up with my friends, I wasn’t bitter about having to head back to Philly–rather it was nice to have a little “oasis” to visit when times at school got tough.

What are your tips on saying goodbye to a favorite city?

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Poshmark Tips


I’ve always loved shopping for clothes secondhand, ever since I was in early high school. I think it’s largely because I like the thrill of the find. A store like TJ Maxx is way more exciting to me than, say, the Container Store (although I love organization, so that’s probably not the best example!). Same goes for clothes–I love finding something unique–or even totally on-trend but priced well–and knowing that I scored something special.

I discovered Poshmark (check out my closet here) a couple of years ago while living in New York and have completed multiple transactions as both a buyer and a seller. Since I love the site and know that some of you do, too, I thought I’d share a few tips for success!

Tip 1: Be flexible. When I’m selling on Poshmark, my goal is often to make enough money for a larger purchase rather than to make a ton of money off of one item. That may sound confusing, but trust me–if you’re focusing on working your way up to earning $100, you’ll be less disappointed when your sale only gives you $10 in earnings. That’s still progress! I have friends who would rather sell one or two items for a big commission, but I’ve found that buyers come running when items are priced fairly. My goal on Poshmark is not to make a profit but to earn back what I paid or at least a portion of that. I recently used some of my Poshmark earnings to go on a “shopping spree” at another secondhand store I love IRL (oh, the irony), but hey, I needed some new-to-me work clothes!

Tip 2: Describe your items well. Treat buyers how you would want to be treated. If there is a hole or small stain on an item you’re selling, include a picture and be sure to mention the issue in your description of the item. Saying something like, “small pen stain on the inner pouch but otherwise in great condition” is totally fine. Including a description of any errors in your original posting will prevent unhappy buyers in the long run. Buyers rate their purchases after accepting them on the app, and I don’t know if prospective buyers actually look at sellers ratings (I certainly don’t) but I aim to please and would rather receive five stars than one!

Tip 3: Mail your items out early. I’ve had sellers who have waited more than a week to mail their items and ultimately I’ve just cancelled the order because I’m not sure if the item will ever get sent to me! Poshmark notes that generally, sellers send their items out within two days. Of course there may be times where a buyer purchases one of your items and you happen to be on vacation, or the item is stuck at your parents’ house, and in that case it’s best to notify the buyer that there will be a slight delay. But since Poshmark shipping is pre-paid, it really isn’t that hard to go to the post office, stuff your item in a priority mail box or envelope, attach the label you printed from home, and send away!

Tip 4: Don’t spend $$$. Or I guess I would say, don’t spend big bucks unless you know for sure that an item is something you really want, is authentic (if that matters to you–many buyers searching for brands such as Kate Spade or Tory Burch are only looking for the real thing), etc. I have often ordered items that were described well but just didn’t work on me when they arrived. You can always “re-Posh” (sell an item you purchase on Poshmark and hope that someone else will be interested), but this can be difficult, as selling in general can either be super easy or take a few months. When ordering clothing, I generally order from brands I already have in my closet (such as LOFT and JCrew) as I know my size and can be 90 percent sure an item will fit. However, both of those brands are also known for vanity sizing, and I have noticed that my size is not always the same across the board (skirts in my size may be too big, while pants fit just right, for example). Basically, just think of this as online shopping with no direct returns/guaranteed refunds, and purchase accordingly!

Tip 5: Be nice! When interacting with others as either a buyer or a seller, be courteous! I was once with a friend who also sells on Poshmark and a buyer was being a little rude to her–asking her for various measurements without saying thank you, etc. Little did she know my friend had to run up flights of stairs to her room and pull out her item from her under-the-bed storage container each time the buyer asked a question! Even if someone wants to make a sale, answering countless questions can become a hassle, so be kind and ask everything at once without being too demanding!

I hope all of these tips help you–I am totally in favor of Poshmark but wanted to give you all the low down if you’re new! Let me know if you have any tips of your own to share!


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Cheap Date(s)

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As twenty-somethings, we often find ourselves frequenting the same happy hour spots or restaurants with friends, and as fun as it is to have a routine, things can eventually get a little stale (although I’ll never get tired of my favorite margarita place in NYC!). However, when searching for new spots, especially for meals, it can also be difficult to select a place that fits everyone’s budget, is located centrally, etc. I thought I would share a few of my favorite ideas for friend dates (and they can even be adapted to serve as date dates!) that are both fun and affordable (and yes, most of them pertain to food).

1) Make personal pizzas. Even your friend who would rather eat dirt than pick up a piece of Domino’s will be able to get behind this idea, since it’s much healthier and she’ll be able to pick exactly what goes on her pie. Grab ingredients (Trader Joe’s has a few varieties of pizza dough plus all of the fun stuff to go on top), and invite friends over to your place for a night of cooking. Friends can help offset the cost by picking up a few toppings or a bottle of wine for you all to sip on while the pizzas cook.

2) Have a wine and cheese night. Cheese platters at restaurants are often overpriced and poorly portioned, so make your own and let your guests pick a wine or cheese to bring. Don’t forget sides like crackers, grapes, apricots (always a big hit in my experience!) and even labels if you want to get cutesy (and allow guests to identify which cheese is which). This was a favorite get together of mine in grad school and is a great way to have people over without the stress of serving a full meal.

3) Set a standing date night. During my first internship in New York City, I lived in an NYU dorm that was located right next to both a 16 Handles and a Pinkberry (seriously dangerous because at the time I think I was the world’s biggest froyo addict!). While it would have been tempting to stop in for a cup multiple times a week, my roommates (who were equally in love with froyo) and I decided that we would make Wednesdays our 16 Handles nights. It was seriously something we all looked forward to and allowed us to catch up halfway through the week. I was also less tempted to go in on my own because a) a girl can only consume so much froyo each week and b) I decided I would rather save my money and go as part of a social activity rather than just because I felt like it. When one of my roommates and I ended up back in NYC the next summer, we carried on the tradition!

4) Try some DIY cocktails. Pinterest is crawling with fun drink recipes and in the long run it’s cheaper to purchase your own supplies than buy fancy drink after fancy drink at the bar. Invite a friend over and try a recipe (there are tons of great seasonal choices that can make a normal get together extra festive!)

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