Colorful Paris

Thank goodness for keeping my phone on airplane mode all day while in Paris (seriously something I thought I’d never say because I’m generally glued to my iPhone), because it meant I had plenty of battery left for taking picture after picture (no fancy camera for this girl yet…but for the most part, I’m happy with the way my iPhone snaps turned out!). I’m still pretty new to photography so I can’t justify splurging on a fancy piece of equipment yet, but I also was thankful for my phone’s light weight–when you’re out on your feet all day, being able to carry a relatively empty tote or wear just a crossbody is definitely nice (but that doesn’t mean I’m not lusting over these professional-looking shots…#swoon).

I had a great time photographing door after door (they’re just so beautiful here!) and, of course, taking plenty of pictures of macarons. Here I’m rounding up some of my favorite images from my week away…

My first (of many!) Instagrams in Paris. We had just arrived at our apartment and I was so excited to stand outside on our little balcony and take some pictures of the classic buildings. I posted this one and then napped for at least four hours, haha
My first (of many!) Instagrams in Paris. We had just arrived at our apartment and I was so excited to stand outside on our little balcony and take some pictures of the classic buildings. I posted this one and then napped for at least four hours, haha.

 

I had read this book in full a few summers back (it's so on point and hilarious) and had to bring it with me to flip through again. A good book + good coffee (thanks to the Nespresso maker in our apartment) was the perfect post-travel treat!
I had read this book in full a few summers back (it’s so on point and hilarious) and had to bring it with me to flip through again. A good book + good coffee (thanks to the Nespresso maker in our apartment) was the perfect post-travel treat!

 

And so began my obsession with blue doors! But in my defense, they're the perfect #ootd backdrop!
And so began my obsession with blue doors! But in my defense, they’re the perfect #ootd backdrop!

 

A very Parisian afternoon snack--these macarons were from Eric Kayser, which is related to Maison Kayser, one of my favorite brunch spots in NYC!
A very Parisian afternoon snack–these macarons were from Eric Kayser, which is related to Maison Kayser, one of my favorite brunch spots in NYC!

 

In love with this shot of the Eiffel Tower at night. It lights up after dark but starts shimmering for about five minutes at the start of each hour, making for an even more festive experience.
In love with this shot of the Eiffel Tower at night. It lights up after dark but starts shimmering for about five minutes at the start of each hour, making for an even more festive experience.

 

Love locks! I was happy to see that these were up because they're so adorable and fun to photograph, but they get taken down a lot...so add yours while you have the chance!
Love locks! I was happy to see that these were up because they’re so adorable and fun to photograph, but they get taken down a lot…so add yours while you have the chance!

 

Beautiful macarons at Laduree (I actually went to two of the locations because I just couldn't stay away--and yes, I know we have Laduree in the States but I couldn't resist!).
Beautiful macarons at Laduree (I actually went to two of the locations because I just couldn’t stay away–and yes, I know we have Laduree in the States but I couldn’t resist!).

 

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An outdoor lunch for one.

 

The most colorful little street. I took a walk one morning just to find it and snap some photos (because let's be real, I saw it on IG but knew I had to see it IRL).
The most colorful little street. I took a walk one morning just to find it and snap some photos (because let’s be real, I saw it on IG but knew I had to see it IRL).

 

I didn't get to eat here but walked by after visiting the Notre Dame. How beautiful is the exterior?!
I didn’t get to eat here but walked by after visiting the Notre Dame. How beautiful is the exterior?!

 

Andddd last but not least...the little pink restaurant of my dreams. It was closed (lots of places are in August because all of the Parisians are away!) but still adorable from the outside (and worth a long metro ride + hilly hike up the street to see it!).
Andddd last but not least…the little pink restaurant of my dreams. It was closed (lots of places are in August because all of the Parisians are away!) but still adorable from the outside (and worth a long metro ride + hilly hike up the street to see it!).
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Raspberries and Rosé

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Summer may be on its way out, but I’m still milking rosé season for as long as I can. After making a batch of frozen rosé, or frosé, over Memorial Day Weekend (sidenote—what?! That seriously feels like last week), I decided to try it again but with…raspberries!

Raspberries are hands down my favorite fruit (although frozen grapes are definitely making their way up the list, haha), and I always pick up a box (or several) when they’re priced decently. When I came home from Paris, I headed to the store to do a big shop for the week and saw that raspberries were two for $3!!! Usually the best deal you can find is 2 for $5, so this was a steal. I grabbed two boxes to enjoy fresh and two to freeze for the rosé, and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Oh, and the best part? It couldn’t be easier to make. All you have to do is blend the two ingredients together and garnish with additional raspberries on top. The result? A pretty, refreshing summer drink, perfect for a night in or as a pre-going out treat.

 

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Dream Dorm Decor

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It should probably come as no surprise that I absolutely LOVED decorating my dorm room. My hall mates freshman year joked that my room looked like something out of the PB Teen catalog (I’ll have to find pictures but they’re on my old hard drive!). My sister is heading back to college in about a week, and while I wish I could come with to help move her in, I’m also content browsing for dorm decor online. 😉 Because if I could do it again, I’d make my room a little less pink and a little more zen. For all of you ladies heading to college or grad school and living in a small dorm room, this post is for you! And the best part? A lot of it would transition super well to a post-grad apartment, too!

1) Forget those plastic crates from Target (I had several) and store textbooks and extra notebooks in this stylish basket (seriously wishing I had one of these in college…how chic?).

2) And speaking of chic, this would make the perfect pencil holder!

3) Swap out a standard dorm room desk chair for one of these and your room will look a little more grown up and more open (clear furniture is a great way to create the illusion of having more space).

4) Place this tray on top of your dorm dresser to keep perfumes, nail polishes, and necklaces within reach.

5) How perfect is this polka dot pillow?

6) I was certainly proud of my wall collage of photos, but this is a much easier option and (no more worrying about things falling down due to humidity!).

Oh, and also…I love a good classic tote and this one looks perfect for hauling supplies to and from class and the library! Side note: Did anyone else prefer working in their room to working in the library? I know you’re always told to find a study spot in the library, but I actually preferred writing papers on my bed #rebel.

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Q&A with Cole from @cookbookish_

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It’s safe to say that I’ve been sucked in by food Instagrams, and busy teacher Cole’s account is no exception. So when she agreed to do a Q&A about meal prep, I was thrilled! I definitely struggle when it comes to planning meals. A lot of the time I blame it on living alone and getting an all-you-can-eat, relatively healthy lunch (for just $3!) at work every daytwo factors that mean I don’t need to go grocery shopping quite as much (excuses, excuses). However, when I get home, I’m often at a loss for how to use what I do have in order to create a meal that’s both delicious and nutritious. I also have a hard time eating the same thing multiple days in a row (a bad habit that apparently dates back to my highchair days, just ask my mom—supposedly I’d refuse to consume anything that I’d already had the day before!). Thankfully, Cole (who just so happens to be a former college classmate of mine!) is here to share a little bit of wisdom with regard to planning ahead, making the most of your weekly supplies (so that you aren’t eating the same meal on repeatyesss!), and staying full over the course of a long day on the job. Check out our Q&A below (all photos featured in this post are Cole’sfollow her account for more!):

Q: How often do you go grocery shopping? Do you set a specific budget per week or per month? Where do you save and where do you splurge?

A: I grocery shop one to three times per week, depending on what I have going in the days ahead. I make it a priority to grocery shop on Saturday or Sunday so that I feel ready going into the work week. I’ll get most of what I need for the week during these trips, but will take 1 to 2 small, additional trips to the grocery store later on.

I don’t have a specific food budget, but I would say I spend a solid $100 on groceries a week, because I cook most of my meals and feel strongly that health is an investment. I don’t have specific a budget that I stay within, though. I rely on a lot of staples that I don’t need to re-purchase every week, so if I run out of something like olive oil, for example, I’ll probably spend a little bit more during the week I replace it. I don’t really have any weekly purchases that I splurge on, though there are some staples, like nut butters, oil, and smoothie add-ins, that I’ll invest in, since I can use them across many weeks or even months. I don’t buy all of my produce organic, but I do buy organic for a few items, such as fruits or veggies with thin peels that are more likely to have pesticide residue, like strawberries (note from Sarah: I’ve heard that these are one of the best fruits to buy organic if you can, for this reason!) or cherries for example. I won’t waste money buying organic avocados or bananas, though, because they have thick skin, which means they’re less likely to have pesticide residue.

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Q: What are five to 10 items that should be on every young professional’s grocery list?

A: That’s a hard question! It really depends on your diet, but as a person who is fortunate to have basically no medical dietary restrictions, my weekly staples are whole wheat/multi grain/sourdough bread, brown rice/quinoa/healthy pastas, avocados, lemons, tomatoes, green beans, greens (romaine/mixed/spinach), bananas, eggs, beans (chickpeas/black beans), and organic turkey. I’ve found so many creative ways to make quick and nutritious meals with all of these things (seriouslytry to find an instagram post of mine that doesn’t have one of these items!). As for kitchen staples, I always have olive/avocado oil/ghee, salt/pepper, collagen peptides (protein to put in smoothies), nut butters (almond/cashew/peanut), nut milk (cashew/almond), whole nuts, and dark chocolate.

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Q: Based on your feed, it looks like you prep a lot of your lunches at work. What items do you keep on hand in the school fridge? How do you switch things up from day to day?

A: In our shared school kitchen space, I always have some healthy bread, avocado mayo, pepper jelly, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chia/hemp/flax seeds. I’ll make easy meals during school by bringing in things to supplement what’s already there. So for breakfast, I’ll bring hard boiled eggs and sprinkle them with seeds/salt/pepper when I get there, or I’ll bring an avocado to make avocado toast with pepper jelly in our shared kitchen space. For lunch, I’ll bring a little bag with some turkey slices, avocado, tomato, and lettuce, and then toast my school bread and make a sandwich or salad on the spot. I also keep Trader Joe’s veggie gyoza in the freezer in case I’m really in a pinch and didn’t have time to prep anything beforehand or want something fast. A lot of times, I have leftovers from my dinner that I cooked the night before, and I’ll bring them in a glass tupperware to heat up in our shared microwave, and then I’ll add some of my seeds on top.

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Q: Where do you get your meal inspiration? Do you enjoy recreating recipes or do you prefer to whip up your own experimental dishes?

A: I get inspiration from a lot of my favorite Instagram food bloggers, but like my Instagram handle suggests, I’m not a huge fan of actual cookbooks or intricate recipes. If I see something I love on a food blogger’s page, sometimes I’ll try to re-create it with whatever I have at home and change it up to make it work for me, rather than following an exact recipe. I like intuitive cooking mostly–just staying in tune with what my body is craving and making up recipes based on the foods I feel like eating. For the most part, I’m not super concerned with exact measurements or serving sizes.

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Q: When you have a desk job it’s easier to take multiple “snack breaks” throughout the day, but working on your feet (not to mention being in front of students!) all day make this more difficult. What are your tips for staying full throughout a hectic work day?

A: It’s definitely hard for teachers to stay full during the work day! A lot of times, teachers are too busy to eat a real breakfast that fills them up, and then they’re starving by 10 am but don’t have time to make food, because they have a class of 30 kids to watch until their 12 pm prep period. I think teachers can stay full by really prioritizing eating a healthy and filling breakfast. This does take a little prep work, but I think investing a little time beforesuch as making hard boiled eggs on Sunday night, making a smoothie to take to school, or bringing in a jar of your favorite nut butter to keep in your classroomcan really make your day better, because you actually have energy to do what is a difficult and physically-demanding job. To stay full, you don’t necessarily need to be eating a lot of snacks, but you should prioritize having snacks that are nutritious and high in healthy fats and protein (such as peanut butter and apples, hard boiled eggs, an avocado/spinach/pineapple/protein smoothie, granola bars with low sugar and real ingredients, veggies and hummus, or cheese and turkey with healthy crackers). Just as we build in time to lesson plan, we need to build in time to feed ourselves, because what we put into our bodies has a profound effect on our mood and energy level throughout the day–not to mention on our long-term health!

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Q: How are you working to help change people’s attitudes when it comes to eating healthy foods? I saw you arranged a sandwich-making workshop for your fellow teachers—what were their takeaways?

A: There’s a HUGE food community on Instagram filled with incredible chefs, dieticians, nutritionists, and health coaches, and I love learning from that world, but I’m ultimately just a teacher who prioritizes her health and is trying to help other teachers do the same. My goal is to inspire teachers to make time to take care of themselves in all sorts of ways, but most importantly through what they choose to eat. Teaching can be such a self-sacrificing profession, so I think it’s really important to remind ourselves that our own health and well being matters and is actually essential to us doing a great job for our kids. Besides just hoping to inspire teachers through my Instagram and blog, I also work with teachers as a health and wellness coachmaking them meal plans, grocery lists, and meal prep instructions that incorporate the specific foods they love.

I organized a sandwich making workshop for our amazing staff because I wanted to show them how easy it is to make a sandwich right at school with just a little prep beforehand. A lot of teachers were really grateful for the prompt and loved the opportunity to create their own healthy lunch in our school building where we spend so much of our time. I love when I get photos from teacher friends of their healthy mealsit makes me so happyor as teachers say, really fills my bucket!

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Cult Gaia in Paris

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You may have noticed that everyone and their mother has been toting the famous Cult Gaia bamboo bag this summer. I was on the fence about purchasing one because (for obvious reasons) they just aren’t that practical, but I so rarely splurge on funkier accessories and figured I’d go for it. Verdict: I love this bag!

Yes, it looks a little funny and will stump men like my dad, who referred to it as a “container” (#typical). But it actually held up quite well when I used it in Paris, and I’m excited to break it out again before summer is over. One key element that I didn’t realize before purchasing the bag: The handles don’t close by themselves—there isn’t a snap or magnetic closure—so you have to be holding both shut at all times in order to keep your belongings in place. That aside, the bag does hold a decent amount of stuff, and while it’s obviously see-through to a degree, you definitely can’t tell exactly what’s in there.

Before purchasing the bag, I read a few other blog posts to determine whether I wanted the large or the small—the price difference was only $10, so it seemed worth scoping out. The small (which I ended up buying) is actually quite large, and I’m glad I went with it. I’m fairly tall (5’7”), and I would probably recommend the small bag for someone more petite—the large definitely looks cool but can be a little overpowering! Plus, a smaller size = that much easier to tote around, especially when it comes to travel.

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And on that note….Per Jess’s suggestion (her purse is SUPER helpful if you’re on the fence about buying one of these babies), I opted to pack the bag in its original box when I traveled—and I kept it in my carry on suitcase rather than my checked bag, although that probably wasn’t necessary (I just get overprotective ;)). The box is pretty sturdy and isn’t much bigger than the bag itself, so it didn’t take up a ton of extra space, and everything stayed in tact perfectly.

Have you pulled the trigger on a Cult Gaia bag this summer? I’ve also come across tons of lookalikes for less, and my guess is eventually people will sell the real ones on sites such as Poshmark and the like. I hope these remain in style for the next few summers, though, because they definitely are an easy way to make an outfit pop!

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Dog Days of Summer

I know everyone is saying this, but summer truly FLEW by. I’ve done more traveling this year than I have in years past (NYC, Florida, Cape Cod, West Virginia, and Paris!) and have also been busy with work, blog projects, and more. So no complaints on my end! But it feels like summer just began (and working at a school, you notice when fall is around the corner!).

While I’ve still done a lot of DC exploring on the weekends I’ve been home, there are a few more things on my list for late August…who’s joining me?!

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1) Visit the infamous (or should I say Insta-famous!) rosé garden: I’ve been wanting to check this place out for ages rosé-loving friends and go check out the adorable palm leaf and pink and white striped decor before it closes for the summer! Was this place made for me or what?!

2) Log another pool day or two. I had been hoping to spend lots of time at the pool the last weekend I was home, but the weather ended up being awful, so I tore through my “beach reads” inside, haha. The free pool in my neighborhood has been awesome because I can go as much or as little as I want without spending a cent! Bring a book, some snacks, and some friends and you’re all set. Who says 20-somethings are too old for pool days?

3) Spin, spin, spin. I have birthday credits from two of my favorite spin studios which expire before the end of the month. Shouldn’t be a problem for me (I love both places), but I actually haven’t used either yet since they’re a bit out of the way and my normal gym is easier to get to during the week. Pro tip: Don’t delete those birthday emails from studios until you see what’s inside–I was pleasantly surprised!

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Practical Tips for Exploring Paris

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Ah, Paris! I’m so grateful that I had the chance to take such an amazing trip and can’t wait to post some recaps here (as if the 2477929 Instagrams I posted while away weren’t enough…!). But I thought first I’d share some of my practical tips, which will hopefully come in handy whether you plan to board a plane to Europe in the near future or are just curious about travel basics!

Note: I am no expert when it comes to international travel. The first time I traveled outside North America was the summer before my junior year of college, when my family took a two-week trip to England and Wales. It was an amazing experience and made me realize that I did indeed want to study abroad (I really, really enjoyed my time on campus, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave!)–and less than six months later, I boarded a plane for my semester in Edinburgh! While studying in Scotland, I took several weekend trips to other parts of the country and also did bigger trips to Prague, Paris, and London. But I’m certainly not someone who knows all of the ins and outs of travel by any means, so bear with me!

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When it comes to cell phones….This has all changed since I studied abroad and relied on my little British flip phone with T9 to get through the semester! Obviously you may make different choices when spending an extended time abroad, but for this trip, we all brought our iPhones and kept them on airplane mode the entire time. Since I was traveling with family, it was easy to arrange a meeting point if we did choose to separate (this could be more difficult with a big group/people who are unreliable!). This did mean that we couldn’t text or use internet unless we were in our apartment, but this wasn’t a huge hassle. Think of it as an opportunity to unplug and take everything in! Paper maps are your best friend, and if you download them in advance, Google maps will still track where you’re walking on your phone, so you can at least see if you’re headed in the right direction. I still took tons of pictures and Snapchats; I just didn’t post them until I was back on WiFi (which didn’t seem prevalent around the city, unfortunately).

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Should I get a museum pass? The Paris museum pass is great because it allows you to pay a flat rate to see TONS of places throughout the city, and you can wait in shorter lines (think of it as a Disney FastPass!). If you think you’ll take full advantage of it, it’s definitely worth the price, which varies depending on how many days you’d like your pass to be valid (we each did the six day option). While not everyone is a huge museum goer, the pass also works for things like climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which I’d definitely say is a must (the city views are insane).

What about my exercise? If you’re like me and are a bit anxious about missing several gym days and gorging on croissants instead, fear not! Everyone talks about how much walking you’ll do while traveling in Europe, but I don’t think I fully realized how many steps I got during my semester abroad because I didn’t have an iPhone or any other type of tracker. On this trip, my family and I compared step counts every day and always got a ton (one day I logged over 23,000, which is about 9 miles). I did see a few people running throughout the city, but you’ll get a good workout in just by going about your day!

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How should I get around? For places that are beyond walking distance, the metro is your best friend. They do have taxis, Uber (which I didn’t use at all!), and even UberPool in Paris, but the metro is very affordable and goes around the entire city. Like New York City, there’s a flat ticket rate whether you’re taking the train one stop or heading 45 minutes in the opposite direction. Metro maps are free at each station and definitely saved me a few times when I had to make multiple transfers!

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Two DC Area Consignment Stores I Love

I wasn't sure if I could pull off the jean vest look, but this one was $9(!!!!) at Mustard Seed, so I figured I'd go with it!

Y’all know how much I love finding a good deal, and that doesn’t end when it comes to clothes. I know that shopping for secondhand pieces gives some people the heebie-jeebies, and I get that, but trust me when I say that the two stores I’m sharing here are perfectly clean and safe and have a great selection of pieces (and I actually brought a lot of them to Paris, coincidentally!). I’ve been shopping at both of them for years and have never once heard of a single issue with bedbugs, etc…because don’t get me wrong, I’m totally freaked out about things like that–when I bought my first piece of furniture on Craigslist I actually emailed the person asking if they had ever had bedbugs in their home! #embarrassing

Anyway. So first up is Mustard Seed, which is more of a low-key store in downtown Bethesda, super close to where I grew up. I started shopping there in MIDDLE SCHOOL and still go back when I can! Over the years I’ve loved introducing it to family friends with younger daughters and watching the store continue to grow (it’s still a staple in the area!). My high school BFF and I would meet up there over breaks in college, and I’ve sold tons of pieces there for the past…decade (wow, I feel old!). I most recently brought a bundle of clothes in this past June and made abut $60 on the spot. Like many other thrift/consignment stores, you get “paid” a slightly higher amount if you choose to apply your earnings to store credit. However, I was more interested in earning a little extra cash (and had just done a big shopping spree there a couple of weeks prior, ha!), so I didn’t feel the need to pick up anything new, even though it was a pretty good deal. Here’s the nitty gritty:

Price range: Items begin around $6 or so for a basic tank or tee and go up to about $60 or so for nicer products. I recently saw a pair of leather Tory Burch sandals for $45 (they were just a teeeeeny bit too big, so I sadly put them back on the shelf), and I’ve also scored Lululemon tanks for $12 or so (I’ve also spotted cropped pants for about $18!).

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I wasn’t sure if I could pull off the jean vest look, but this one was $9(!!!!) at Mustard Seed, so I figured I’d go with it!

Brands offered: In addition to Lulu and Tory Burch, as mentioned above, Mustard Seed also sells “mall brands” like Abercrombie and LOFT. There’s also always a few Lilly pieces and great accessories like statement necklaces and crossbody bags that are very inexpensive.

Selling details: Although I’m referring to Mustard Seed as a “consignment store,” sellers still get paid on the spot (a traditional consignment store would pay the seller after an item has been purchased). You DO need to schedule an appointment to sell at Mustard Seed (and you need to book online, way in advance, because they do fill up–I picked a day that I knew I had off from work so that I wouldn’t feel rushed if things got delayed, which they sometimes do). There’s also a fee if you’re a no show, so write that appointment date down on your calendar! There’s a limit of 25 items per appointment, so bring in the best of the best!

I got this black and white dress at Mustard Seed last summer and love it--I've worn it for dates, dressed it up for my friend's wedding welcome party, etc. It's a little short on me so not really work appropriate, but I still love it!
I got this black and white dress at Mustard Seed last summer and love it–I’ve worn it on dates, dressed it up for my friend’s wedding welcome party, etc. It’s a little short on me so not really work appropriate, but I still love it!

In short: Since you need to schedule your appointment pretty far out, I wouldn’t say that Mustard Seed is truly an “easy” way to make some fast cash post-closet cleanout…but if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks, you’ll definitely see a reward! I’d also say that Mustard Seed (while still selective) is a little less picky when it comes to the selling end, as they simply accept a wider range of brands. But don’t go in thinking they’ll accept everything you have to offer. As a buyer, it’s easy to spend $80-100 there because everything is so cheap that you just can’t stop yourself from stocking up on this and that! But you can definitely also walk out with a couple of good finds for $20 or less, which is awesome.

Next up is Reddz, which has locations in both Bethesda and Georgetown. Whenever I was home from college I’d always walk from Mustard Seed to Reddz before meeting people in downtown Bethesda!

Price range: Their prices are higher (items start at maybe $14/16 for a J.Crew button-up) and dresses average around $60, from what I’ve noticed. I don’t really pay attention to the items that are truly designer, ha!

Brands offered: Reddz carries higher-end brands and always has a huge rack of Lululemon gear. They haven’t accepted any of my LOFT items recently, and I’d say the most similar brand they sell is J.Crew, but otherwise their clothing is more designer. The Bethesda store would sometimes make a “Lilly rack” in the summer but I haven’t seen that in Georgetown.

This J.Crew sweatshirt from Reddz has a built-in Peter Pan collar (it's black, but you can kind of see it in the photo) and black sleeves. It was perfect for one of the chillier days in Paris!
This J.Crew sweatshirt from Reddz has a built-in Peter Pan collar (it’s black, but you can kind of see it in the photo) and black sleeves. It was perfect for one of the chillier days in Paris!

Selling details: What’s great about Reddz is that you can walk in as a seller without any appointment, and you’ll be paid cash on the spot (again, you will receive “more” if you choose to do the store credit). In my experience, Reddz has been more selective in accepting items and they start buying for the next season pretty far in advance (I think they were already looking for fall clothing in July). You do have to fill out a form with your info every time you sell clothing, but this isn’t much of a hassle and is worth it if you’d like to get rid of your stuff like…NOW.

In short: If you need a dress for an event like a wedding or interview, this is a good option. Think Rent the Runway prices, but you get to keep the dress and try it on early in advance, which is always helpful!

Do you have any favorite thrift stores in the DMV? I’ll keep coming back to these two no matter what, but I’m always looking to sample new places. In Philly I sometimes popped in to Buffalo Exchange, but the only one they have in DC is a bit farther downtown…RIP the Georgetown location!

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End of Summer Steals

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One silver lining to summer being on its way out? Lots of end of season sales. Now is the time to finally pull the trigger on those lust-list items that you couldn’t fully justify back when they were full price (for me, it was this tote, which I discovered via Carly’s blog and know I’ll use during these last few warm days/really whenever I travel somewhere sunny during the year!).

A few other faves? This sunhat, a couple of gorgeous pairs of sandals (one and two), an off-the-shoulder dress, funky earrings, and a classic striped beach towel.

Does anyone have any fun Labor Day plans to look forward to? I know it’s still weeks away, but this summer is absolutely flying. I’ll be in town relaxing, blogging, and working–I’ve taken a part-time job at an accessories boutique in Georgetown and am still learning the ropes, but it’s been a fun time so far. I also have a Houzz feature due the Tuesday after Labor Day, so I’ll be plugging away at that over the long weekend, too!

Hope everyone enjoys another lovely August weekend. I’ll be back next week with several new posts!

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Four Instagram Accounts to Follow

Anyone who has had a conversation with me (even once!) knows how much I adore my alma mater, Colby College. Located in central Maine, Colby is a small liberal arts college with about 1,800 students (all undergraduates). I truly believe that my time there helped me become a more confident person and allowed me to discover my passion for writing and education.

While I certainly appreciated our academic curriculum and wasn’t drawn to schools that promoted more of a preprofessional focus, Colby definitely didn’t have all of the creative opportunities that larger schools oftentimes boast–when completing a journalism internship in New York City with other college students, I was amazed to learn how many schools had their own campus magazines, for example. I was very involved in our student newspaper and we kind of had a magazine that featured student contributors and was primarily for admissions purposes, but it wasn’t the same. Yet while our school was small and didn’t offer programs such as journalism, fashion, hospitality, etc., tons of my fellow alumni have chosen to explore creative pursuits, and I’m here to share four Instagram accounts that belong to fellow Colby grads (they’re all must-follows!). So proud to call these ladies fellow alums, and so excited to continue to see their accounts grow.

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1) @cookbookish_ I met Cole in one of my sociology classes and we continued to overlap through many of our extracurriculars. Cole is now a teacher in New York City, and her account features tons of simple recipes geared toward teachers who want to eat right but don’t have tons of time for prep. All of her meals look so delicious (and healthy!) and I admire how creative she is (seriously, even when she’s just featuring a sandwich, it looks a million times better than any sandwich I could ever make!).

@wearsthatfrom
@wearsthatfrom

2) @wearsthatfrom I didn’t know Ankita personally, but I came across her account last fall (how witty is her handle?!) and love it. All of her pictures make me want to live a glamorous life filled with tons of travel, haha. If you need some style inspiration, this is the account for you.

@wiz_kaleifa
@wiz_kaleifa

3)@wiz_kaleifa Likewise, I didn’t know Molly in college but discovered her account awhile back. Another healthy NYC foodie, Molly features tons of gluten-free and lactose-free eats that still look DELISH. I think it was through her account that I first heard of ByChloe a few years back–so glad I finally had the chance to try it in June!

@bossladiesmag
@bossladiesmag

4) @bossladiesmag Chelsea was the year above me at Colby and managed all things blogging and social media for our student newspaper, so I already knew how talented she was in this area (not to mention, she’s probably one of the best writers there is and I’m constantly moved by all of her work). She has truly achieved #girlboss status through her online magazine, which she founded a few years back. Her feed is so perfectly curated and full of inspo, and she’s gained an amazing following!

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