An Afternoon at Union Market

IMG_5013

Even though I’ve been back in DC for over a year, I’ve only been to Union Market twice (my second time was last week!). My friend Sonia’s mom founded a delicious Indian restaurant, DC Dosa, which has a Union Market location, and she invited a few of us down for a free dinner (oh my goodness, it was amazing!). I got there a little early and had a blast exploring the market and enjoying a frozen drink in the sunshine. The best part? Union Market on weekdays is apparently way less crowded than it is on weekends, so you’ll have your pick of outdoor tables and can take all the heart wall photos you want. 😉

IMG_5009

Here’s a little peak into what’s at the market…

If you follow ANY DC bloggers/’grammers, you’ve probably seen snaps of this gorgeous heart wall before. It doesn’t disappoint and is truly a surprise since the general area surrounding the market is pretty plain. If you need a location for that perfect outfit photo shoot, head on over on a weeknight when it’s empty!

IMG_5008

This frozen orange drink was delicious on a hot day, although it was a little pricy at $9 (the happy hour wine inside is only $4! Don’t worry, I ordered a glass of rosé later, too). The picnic benches outside are great for people (or dog) watching.

IMG_5011

IMG_5022

While Union Market is mainly food-oriented, Salt & Sundry and Little Leaf (their sister store) both have small outposts there. If you like tribal-printed goodies, coffee table books, or adorable plants, these are the shops for you! I’d been to the 14th Street locations and was happy to spot many of the products that I love down here.

IMG_5017

What’s your favorite spot at Union Market? It’s honestly a great place to just relax, even midweek, especially since there’s free wifi! Grab a snack, a drink, and your laptop and plow throw those emails at a colorful picnic table if you need to shake things up a bit.

Continue Reading

The Best Macaron-Themed Gifts

macarons
1//2//3//4//5//6//7

Paris and macarons go hand in hand, so in honor of my trip, I rounded up the cutest macaron-themed items  I could find online! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the actual treats (oh, and here is a list of the best places to buy them in Paris–totally bookmarking that for this week!). However, my friends have also given me tons of macaron-themed items over the years–soap, erasers, notecards, and more.

A few notes on the items I own:

I recently ordered the macaron-printed tea towel from Target (item #1 above), and it could not be more perfect for the macaron lover in your life. At only $12.99, why not scoop up a few extras for gifts? Also, I’m wondering if there’s any way to frame this towel and make it look good–let me know if you have any suggestions!

I also own the macaron print from Hobby Lobby (item #6) and it’s hanging up in my kitchen. I absolutely love the colors and it makes what’s kind of a dull room (or nook, to be honest) in my apartment a little more cheery. It would also look great mixed in with other prints as part of a gallery wall and could even work in a nursery!

While I don’t own the colorful journal shown above (item #5), I’m kind of loving it. How perfect would it be for a teacher (or student) or really anyone who enjoys taking good old-fashioned notes (raises hand). At less than $10, it’s also a great back-to-school gift or end-of-year teacher treat (bonus points if you pair it with a couple of real macarons–voila, easy gift = done!).

Happy shopping!

Continue Reading

Latest Amazon Obsessions

I am the worst at controlling myself when it comes to Amazon Prime. It’s just too easy to fall for the convenience of the whole thing! I first signed up for Prime when I started grad school and have kept renewing the membership because I definitely get my money’s worth in free shipping! Lately, I’ve bought a wide variety of items that I can’t help but recommend, so I thought I’d share this (somewhat random) roundup below for all you other Prime addicts! Sorry in advance 😉

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.30.03 PM

Item #1: I ordered these sunglasses prior to my Paris trip because I was in love with the tortoise print (and the low price). I still haven’t gotten another “nice” pair of sunglasses since my RayBans fell into the Tidal Basin (I kid you not…) last summer. They had my prescription in them, too, which was a huge bummer! In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up on cheap sunnies until I can get my act together and get new lenses and frames.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.32.53 PM

Item #2: Ok, I didn’t actually order this on Prime (I got mine at Target), but same thing since the product is still sold on Amazon. These K-cups are SO good. They had this flavor in my office last summer and it somehow never got replaced but ah…if you like sweet coffee, this is for you. If not…run far, far away!

Item #3: I know what you’re thinking…who orders a swimsuit on Amazon?! Well, apparently a lot of people! I picked up this palm print bikini prior to my Cape trip and one of my friends had actually ordered two in other patterns. For only $20, it didn’t disappoint, and any palm leaf lover understands the amazingness of this suit. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for a new top to go with a solid color pair of bikini bottoms and knew I had to bite the bullet.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.35.03 PM

Item #4: I’ve shared this wicker bag on IG stories and have loved it so far (I brought it to the Cape and to Paris–it’s great for times when I don’t have too much to carry). For $22, it’s such a steal! Wicker/straw bags are all that this summer and this cutie opens up to kind of look like a picnic basket, making it all the more adorable.

Item #5: Ok, this may seem a little weird, but if your shoulders hurt from sitting at a desk the way mine do (not going to get into the gross details, but let’s just say I definitely have some neck/back issues going on), you NEED this. Even though this device doesn’t cost much (basically the price of one massage), I was skeptical about ordering it because of the mixed reviews. However, I figured I’d give it a try, and I love it! It definitely is a little painful to use at first (this isn’t going to give you a “relaxing” massage), it definitely provides tons of relief for sore muscles.

Any items that you haven’t been able to resist purchasing on Prime?

Continue Reading

FRIDAY FEELS, #9

IMG_4782

Above: The delicious brunch Shelby and I enjoyed in Morgantown last weekend! I’m still salivating thinking about the egg white veggie omelet (with goat cheese!) that I ordered (along with the yummy hazelnut cold brew!).

On my playlist: I discovered this song last week and kinda love it…don’t listen to it unless you reallyyyy like country.

On my nightstand: I packed a bajillion books for Paris (I’m heading there tonight–more on that below!) because I love using long flights to catching up on my never-ending reading list. One that I can’t wait to start? This hilarious-looking book by Jen Lancaster, which has gotten amazing reviews. I’ll do my usual monthly recap in a couple of weeks and hope to share lots of good reviews with you all!

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.23.56 PM

On my mind: Ok, I have a new show recommendation and you better love it. 😉 A few of my friends told me about “The Bold Type,” a new tv show on Freeform (which is apparently the new name for ABC Family, guess I’m super out of the loop). It follows a group of three best friends who work at the same magazine in NYC (a publication that’s basically modeled after Cosmo), and I’m obsessed. It reminds me of my own experience working in magazines with Shelby (and when we’d get ready for dates in the work bathroom after hours, which totally seems like something the characters would do) and actually presents the profession in a serious light, which is refreshing. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds and hope it gets renewed! Has anyone else watched? Also, I caught Legally Blonde 2 outside in NOMA the other evening and it did not disappoint (even watching it for like, the 10th time!).

On my wish list: I’ve never jumped on the whole BBG bandwagon, but I spotted Kayla Itsines’s cookbook at Target last week and really want to order it! I’ve mentioned before that I’m no chef, and I’m often at a loss when it comes to brainstorming dinner ideas (especially healthy dinner ideas), so maybe this will help. Adding this to my Amazon cart, stat.

On the agenda: I’m flying to Paris with my family tonight! I’m so ready for all of the croissants and delicious French food (macarons, anyone?). I traveled to Paris for a couple of days during my semester abroad, and my friend and I managed to see a ton during the short time we were there, but I’m excited to explore the city at a more leisurely pace this time around. Expect lots of Insta posts/stories, and I also have a few pre-scheduled blog posts that will go out while I’m gone, so check back here next week for my usual content!

Continue Reading

How to Create a Gorgeous Gallery Wall

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Let’s face it, putting together a gallery wall is a daunting task. It’s something that lots of my friends have put off because it can be time consuming and, if we’re being honest, nailing tons of holes in the wall is a little daunting, especially in a new place. But I noticed that my gallery wall garnered a lot of comments after my AT home tour ran, and I’d love to share how I created it!

I’ve had gallery walls in several of my apartments, and in my current space, the ideal place for one was above my living room couch. I’ve also seen great gallery walls that surround large TVs and make the area a little more visually interesting, but I’ve also read that really only one gallery wall per room makes sense, and kind of get that (though I’ve certainly experimented with groups of prints above my bar cart, which is in the same room as the couch #scandalous).

When putting together my gallery wall, I used a lot of frames and artwork that I already owned but also purchased some fun new items (my biggest splurge was my Gray Malin piece, which I actually got fairly recently, in May, and made its debut in this most recent shoot!). The key, at least for me–being someone who is forever indecisive–has been changing out the artwork every once in awhile. This has been super easy given that none of my artwork is matted directly into the frame (minus the Gray piece, which I had done professionally and don’t see myself getting tired of anytime soon!)  So, the key has been popping one piece out of a frame, storing it somewhere safe, and taping a new piece in. Not the most sophisticated process, but hey, it works!

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

I decided that while I didn’t necessarily want matching frames, I am mainly drawn to those that are white and gold and could mix and match. The Gray Malin print is in a silver frame but still “goes” with the overall wall and room because of the colors in the photograph. When it came to selecting prints, I knew I wanted some to be fun (think sassy quotes and sayings) and some to be personal, reflecting places where I’ve lived (down to the exact neighborhood, in the case of my Georgetown print!). I used to be more in to “mass produced” prints (like the ones you’ll find at TJ Maxx or Homegoods), but now I’m generally drawn to things that are a little more unique and truly feel like “me.” However, I cannot say enough good things about Society6 and their amazing prints (some of which you’ll see in everyone’s homes, ha!). I’ve purchased many prints from them over the years and there is almost ALWAYS some sort of discount or promo going on, which makes their affordable art (like this amazing piece–perfect for all of my Charleston lovers) even more attainable!

As for nailing in the actual frames, there are a few ways to go about this process. Some people may be ok with messing up here and there (just remember to sparkle all of those holes before you move apartments!), while others want everything to be perfect on the first go and will choose to hang out newspaper cutouts in the shape of each print before hammering into the wall. You can also opt for sticky velcro strips (great for dorm rooms or anywhere else that doesn’t allow/isn’t conducive for hammering nails into the wall). I’ve honestly tried all of these tactics and the truth is, you’re bound to make a mistake here or there and wish you had hammered a nail an inch in the other direction…and it’s up to you whether you decide to fix it or just leave things be.

Need some additional inspo? Shop the prints below and get ready to spruce up your space!

Continue Reading

Winery in WV

IMG_4857

I’m back from West Virginia and had an amazing (albeit short!) weekend with Shelby. We managed to squeeze in birthday celebrations, a delicious brunch, a trip to the most adorable donut shop (which apparently is a chain–so check it out if there’s a location near you!), lots of shopping, and an afternoon trip to the most gorgeous winery, Forks of Cheat.

IMG_4859

I mean, how gorgeous is this view?

Shelby and I sampled a couple of West Virginia wines (we picked sweet flavors, like peach and raspberry) before ordering glasses to drink outside. The winery also sold various meats, cheeses, and crackers that you could take outside, although we’d kind of been eating all day and weren’t super hungry at that point. 😉 While it was super quiet on the balcony where most other visitors were sitting, we walked a little bit out of the way and had a mini photo shoot (because, what else would we do in such a scenic location?!).

IMG_4866

IMG_4853

IMG_4920

It was a little rainy when we arrived, but thankfully the weather cleared up a bit and we could enjoy some time outside (this DC girl is very appreciative of cool summer afternoons, since they can be a rarity!).

IMG_4873

IMG_4922

IMG_4927

Honestly, there’s nothing like a good friend, good wine, and some peace and quiet! I’m already itching to go back here next time I’m out for a visit…and touring some of the local wineries in Virginia is on my list, too! If you have any recs, please let me know!

Continue Reading

Small Space Inspiration

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

After yesterday’s post, I’m still thinking about these gorgeous small spaces but also am lusting over a leopard stool like the one I spotted while viewing this recently-published Apartment Therapy tour. I’ve tried to find a similar version online but haven’t had any luck. I suppose you could reupholster a footstool with cute fabric and get a similar look, though. Anyway, in my browsing, I came across this ottoman from…Macy’s of all places! It’s on sale at the moment, and I bet you could scour for an extra coupon or two to get an even better discount. While I’m not a fan of tons of animal print mixed together, I think a statement piece like this one would be gorgeous in an otherwise simple room. So naturally, inspired by the stool and the small space home tour linked above, I began browsing for other items that would look adorable in a tiny but sophisticated space.

glam

Leopard stool//gold mirror//blush pillow//figure art//gold lamp

And actually, putting this collage together made me think of Chloe Livingston’s aesthetic, pictured below. I’ve followed Chloe on Instagram for several years now, and I absolutely love her style–plus, she’s also amazing at making small spaces look like a million bucks! If you don’t follow her, go check out her profile…now! I guarantee you’ll be inspired.

Chloe Livingston
Chloe Livingston
Continue Reading

Living Simply

I’m feeling the minimalism trend lately. I’m writing a couple of articles at work about living with less, and I seriously come each day home inspired to do just that! Not to mention, after seeing a few small space tours that I absolutely love, I’m now feeling extra motivated to part with unnecessary furniture/accessories and embrace small space living for good.

Look 1:

Shannon Crain
Shannon Crain

I’ve already shared this gorgeous space, but I had to come back to it because it’s just TOO good. This is closest to my current space, featuring lots of blue, lucite, and chinoiserie!

Look 2:

One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane

If you’re an avid blog reader, you’ve likely seen snapshots of Amy’s home on other sites, but it has also inspired me a ton. I love how “grown up” and curated her space looks–nothing is out of place or unnecessary.

Look 3:

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

Lastly, I came across this Apartment Therapy tour a few days ago and am so glad I did. I love the sophisticated, feminine look that’s present here (and in the other two apartments I’ve mentioned above). There’s something about having just the right amount of details and personality in a space that really motivates me to pare down my belongings and pick out a few favorites to feature. Honestly, can you believe this studio is less than 200 square feet? It’s practically the size of a two-person dorm room, and we all know how cramped those felt!

Have you been inspired by small spaces lately? I have lots of prints and accessories that I love to showcase, but picking out a few special pieces and saying goodbye to the rest sure can look good!

Continue Reading

FRIDAY FEELS, #8

IMG_4455

It was a busy week! I turned 26 on Tuesday and rang in the big day with margs and a delicious Mexican dinner at Rosa Mexicano with my family. I’ll be continuing the celebration this weekend and I can’t wait! I was also thrilled to learn that my Apartment Therapy home tour went live on Wednesday (I already shared the link on Instagram, but I’ll post it here, too!). I love being able to share my space with you guys!

On my playlist: I’ll be taking a five hour bus ride to West Virginia this weekend (10 hours if you count both ways…eek), so I’m looking for podcasts galore. Please, please send me some recs!

On my nightstand: Don’t judge me for being so late to the party, but I’m finally reading this. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf forever but wanted to be able to enjoy it when I didn’t feel rushed (it seems like there are always a million books I want to get through at the same time), so summer is the perfect opportunity!

On my mind: I shared this on Instagram but not on here–my Houzz feature on Libby’s colorful DC apartment went live last week! Also, my feature on Ashlee’s beautiful place went up–it’s so airy and features tons of hometown pride!

On my wish list: I’m trying to curb shopping at the moment, so I haven’t been browsing a ton…

On the agenda: I’m heading to West Virginia for a few days to reunite with Shelby, see her new apartment in Morgantown, and celebrate my birthday! We already have plans for a night out on Saturday and a delicious brunch on Sunday, and I’m excited to be reunited with her for the first time since…March?!

Continue Reading

July Reads

February-11

Another month, another list of book recs as I work my way through a huge pile of must-reads! I’m adding a new “read it if…” piece for the books that I loved and would personally recommend. So without further ado…

The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo: Remember how I said I wanted to save this one for when I had time to fully enjoy it? Well, I’m so glad I did, because once I started the book, I couldn’t stop–I read it all in one sitting! Read it if: You appreciate a good love story but don’t want anything cheesy (and don’t mind a tearing up a bit!). 

The Big Life, by Ann Shoket: I read this book on vacation and it was a quick, inspiring read that also did the job of making me feel super motivated and ready to return to work (if you like to unplug completely when you’re away, I don’t recommend bringing this with you!). As the former editor of Seventeen, Ann knows all about the struggles that millennial women face in the workplace and beyond and uses a lot of real life anecdotes from her conversations with women in their 20s and 30s to supplement her advice. Read it if: You’re craving an extra dose of inspiration! 

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan: If you’re looking for a rom com-esque read, this one is for you. Nina is in her late twenties when she loses her job at the town library and decides to go out on her own and open a traveling book truck (I mean…how adorable?!). She moves from England to Scotland to start her business, and, of course, ultimately falls in love. Having spent a semester abroad in Scotland, I loved reading about the different towns she visited and the characters she met along the way. Read it if: You need something fun and relaxing for once, especially given that everyone is all about dark, creepy thrillers these days.

Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell: I started this book and just couldn’t get into it, but I’m putting it on July’s list anyway. I read about half of this story, which is about two close female coworkers whose emails to one another are actually being monitored by the company tech guy, who starts falling for one of the girls. It’s a super cute plot (kinda wish I’d thought of it myself!) but the book was just too slow-moving for me and there were other things that I was more eager to read instead. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future–and as a whole, I’ve heard wonderful things about the author, Rainbow Rowell, and I know other people who enjoyed this particular book, and it got amazing reviews on Amazon, so clearly I’m in the minority!

I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist, by Betty Halbreich: This book had been sitting on my shelf forever and I’d been meaning to start it for, oh, a year and a half! Betty Halbreich chronicles her life growing up in Chicago in the 1930s before moving to NYC with her husband. She later forms a personal shopper role at Bergdorf Goodman, where she remains working for decades. Read it if: You love a good memoir, appreciate fashion and New York City, and want to read the musings of an incredible 86-year-old author!

I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron: This quick read was funny, insightful, and a nice glimpse into the late Nora Ephron’s life. Having read one of her other books, I Feel Bad About My Neck, I was curious to see what else she had in store and actually found this book at a used bookstore in Cape Cod! Read it if: Again, you like memoirs and are in the mood for a short but engaging read. 

All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg: This book wasn’t outstanding in my opinion, but it showed up on my Amazon recommendations so I thought I’d give it a try. This short story follows a 39-year-old woman who is single in NYC and is facing various family issues…in short, not the glamorous, Sex and the City type read I was expecting. I wasn’t a huge fan.

Continue Reading