It’s moving weekend, so today’s post is a quick one! I took today off to finish cleaning my apartment, etc, and tomorrow the movers come! I’ll have to admit that I was pretty sad about leaving Georgetown until I found a place I love (and then it became, “Ok, when do I get to move in?!”). I’ve made a lot of fun memories in this apartment and am thankful so many of my friends from various parts of life were able to see it! Can’t wait to make new memories in this place, though–and being right on the metro will make it much easier to see various friends around the city, too.
On my playlist: This catchy jam has been on repeat.
On my nightstand: Still working on last week’s book, but it’s so interesting and is one I’d definitely recommend picking up if you have the chance. It’s been a slow reading month for me with the move and weekend work, but I’m enjoying being able to read when I can!
On my mind: So much to do…but I’m excited for some of the posts I have coming up next week! Anything in particular you’d like to see later this month?
On my wish list: How cute is this striped weekender from LLBean? It’s so preppy and classic but looks extremely functional, too (wouldn’t expect anything less from them!).
On the agenda: Basically, unpacking and more unpacking…and hopefully celebrating/exploring the new neighborhood a bit on Sunday! A good friend from college will be in town for work on Monday, so we’re grabbing Mexican food and margs for dinner. Can’t wait to see her! Then Tuesday is the GNI book club (so I better finish reading before then!). Happy weekend, everybody!
The room I’m living in has all sorts of funky architectural elements, which I absolutely love, but they make it necessary to get a little creative when decorating! I’ve been obsessed (even more than usual) with Pinterest lately, and I’ve found lots of awesome inspiration when it comes to decorating loft/attic rooms. I think in my room I plan to do kind of an “old fashioned glam” look, with darker furniture along with gold accents, like the vintage trunk I found on Craigslist and this mirror that I ended up scoring from Ballard Designs (it was 20% off and shipping was free–still pricy, but a great deal!). I had always thought I would prefer the silver, but Danielle‘s picture (below) inspired me to choose gold. I think having golds mixed in will really help brighten up the space, as I’m a bit worried about getting enough sunlight (I have skylights and then doors across the room, but with the addition of the wall, those will be blocked off).
As a refresher: here is what my room looks like without anything in it (and there’s another side that isn’t pictured, plus the wall with a door and window have since been built, so this is really just a rough idea).
I’m planning to put my bed against the big white wall shown, and then there is a little nook where I can keep my dresser (my campaign baby probably won’t be able to make it up the stairs, so she’ll have to stay in the living room–thankfully Carrie is a fan of her, too!).
On the other side of the room, I’m planning on setting up a desk/vanity area and I’m not sure what else yet. I love to move pieces around from time to time, but it’ll be harder in this space! I’m hoping when I go over there again on Friday I’ll have a better sense of where I’d like things to go.
However, I’m absolutely loving how all of these fellow loft-dwellers arranged their spaces, so I had to share them here:
Want to see what else is inspiring me decor-wise? Follow me on Pinterest here! Also, I was browsing the other day and came across this quote from Emmy Rossum, which truly says it best (I seriously freaked out in the best way when I saw it., because it truly captures the vibe I’m going for in my new room, haha. I’ve even asked my mom if I could borrow some fun family photographs, and she’s going to lend me one of her mother dressed up for a wedding when she was a little kid over 80 years ago–love it!). How beautiful is Emmy’s place?
When I’m shopping for “fun things” (going out, parties, weekend trips, etc.) these days, I try to pick clothing that I can also wear to work. I definitely have my fair share of cute sleeveless tops that are reserved for weekends only, but practicality usually wins when I’m picking out clothes (though don’t get me wrong, I do love a good cold shoulder top!).
I was going to a college friend’s party a few weekends ago and was kind of bored with my existing shirt options, plus, I was long overdue for a trip to Mustard Seed. Off I went, and I left with two great pieces that were only $14 each! One was this scalloped top from J.Crew, shown below (it’s always been insanely popular among bloggers, so I don’t know what took me so long to try it). I absolutely love how it looks on. I think the reason I was holding back is because sometimes tops like this can be a little loose on me, as I’m fairly small-chested. Note: I ended up sizing down to a 0 (normally I would probably wear a 2-4 in their tops, depending on the style), paired it with a strapless bra, and it fit great. Not too tight, not too baggy…I love it and may have to stock up on more! These tops seem to frequently go on sale, so now that I know which size to order, I’m good to go. I’m not seeing the exact scalloped style online at the moment, but here’s a similar option. The best part? You could totally wear one to work under a blazer.
Of course, there are times when going out means showing a little more skin and just having more fun with prints, cuts, and colors than you do during the normal work week, and that makes sense! Why dress like you’re headed to the office when it’s your day off? However, it’s always helpful to have a few options in your closet that can work all week long, such as these picks:
Note: Always check the sale section of Nordstrom.com, even if it isn’t technically an #NSale. There are so many cute fall pieces that are discounted a ton and would be so adorable for the season. Bonus–everything here is under $50! Here are some of my recent finds:
Come back tomorrow for a post about weekend wear that works well for your 9-5, too! But seriously…I’m kind of loving all of the above for fall. Nordstrom is really on the mark this season when it comes to snuggly clothes that also look stylish!
On my playlist: Ok, so I went down a rabbit hole the other day and discovered this website which lists every song played in every episode of Grey’s Anatomy (you’re welcome). Also, the descriptions of each scene are pretty hilarious and only slightly biased. 😉
On my nightstand: I started this book and it’s a bit different than what I was expecting, but a good read so far. I probably won’t get a ton of fun reading done in September, though, because the move is taking up most of my spare time (and 95 percent of my books are packed away in boxes!). I also ordered this book for the Girls Night In Washington, DC, book club meet up–but I’d been wanting to read it anyway, because I LOVE Anne Helen Petersen (post for another day, though!). I can’t wait for it to arrive, as it definitely appeals to the soc major in me.
On my mind: I was so thrilled when I realized that “Big Little Lies” was available on Amazon (I don’t have HBO, so I watched the first episode when it came out and then had to abandon the series after my free trial ended!). I love Reese Witherspoon–who doesn’t–and the show is keeping me intrigued! It’s making me want to re-read the book again when I’m done, because it’s been a couple of years.
On my wish list: Carrie and I have been busy picking up lots of fun stuff for the apartment. I need to hold off on getting anything more for now, but I’m really excited about what’s arrived so far. I do want to possibly order a chandelier at some point!
On the agenda: Packing, working, and some Friday/Saturday evening fun…the usual! My mom is coming to Georgetown for bunch and packing on Saturday, so it’ll be nice to do something fun in the neighborhood on my last weekend here (yes, I realize I sound like I’m moving 2 hours away, not 2 miles!). I can’t believe that in one week I’ll be unloading the first boxes in my new place! It’s been fun to have a little input on the actual apartment this week, too! They’re going to be building a door to my room and adding a window to that wall, I’ve gotten to give some design input along the way. 😉 It’s awesome that the owner is willing to make some upgrades for us, because the building is actually registered as a historic property, which has me geeking out and wanting to know everything about the socialite who lived there long ago and had the whole building to herself. On the whole building/decorating note, does anyone have tips for hanging artwork on brick? I ordered some “brick clips” on Amazon that are supposed to do the trick without leaving any residue, but I’d love to hear a success story or two!
I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for a loooong time, and I’m finally just going to go ahead and publish it. Why the delay? Because let’s face it, whenever one talks about using an app for anything social, I feel like there’s always some sort of stigma about it. I’ve read blog posts by women who’ve met their now-husbands on Tinder and admit that they could not bring themselves to share the “true story” with their readers for quite awhile. But, it seems that more people use apps (at least for dating, not necessarily for meeting friends!) than those who don’t, so we shouldn’t be ashamed. In reality, apps can be a great (not to mention convenient and low-pressure) way to connect with likeminded people, whether your intentions are romantic or purely platonic. Which brings me to…
My experience using Bumble BFF. Let me explain:
First, if you haven’t heard of Bumble the dating app, you’ve probably been married/in a relationship for a long time or are living under a rock Google it. Ok, you’re back! So, Bumble also has this fun feature where you can meet friends, and it’s called Bumble BFF. You just have to change your app settings and you can switch back and forth between swiping for romantic prospects and being on on BFF mode (where, if you’re a girl, you’ll be shown only other girls who are also looking for friends). What’s the point? Maybe you’re going on tons of Bumble dates but are also looking for new girlfriends to call for brunch or a manicure. Maybe you’re in a happy relationship but need a break from all of that bro time, or maybe you’re looking to avoid dating altogether but wouldn’t mind meeting a few new people here and there, no romantic strings attached. Sound like you? Keep reading! If you feel like you have enough friends already, go ahead and skip this post. 😉 I totally get the feeling of being overbooked, but I don’t think anybody can ever have too many friends. Watching the way my mom and her crew have rallied around one of their friends who is ill has really driven this point home!
I’ve successfully met up with three girls from Bumble BFF, and while I totally agree that the concept is a little weird (apps for dating are awkward enough to explain sometimes…and now there’s an app for FRIENDS?!), I’ve had a blast meeting people so far. In fact, I’m grabbing drinks at the rosé garden with a Bumble BFF on Friday and heading to a birthday party for another one on Saturday (we hung out last weekend, too!). So far, so good. Here’s a little background on why I tried Bumble BFF and what I’ve learned:
1) I’ve always loved having girlfriends. Of course I’d love to make more guy friends, too, but it can be more difficult (for obvious reasons). I had an amazing group of girlfriends in college, but we’re scattered all across the country now, and I’m sad! I do have several close friends nearby, but I genuinely like meeting new people and my existing friends would also like to meet new people! Since I’m technically “new-ish” in DC, I’m hoping to expand my social circle (although unlike in college, it’s unlikely all of my friends will know–or even get along with–one another, which is totally ok. It’s part of adulthood!). Finally, in our 20s, people move around so frequently that I don’t think it hurts to know TOO many people. For all I know, half of the DC friends I have now will be living elsewhere in 3-5 years.
2) We’re constantly evolving and growing up and realizing that the people we hang out with don’t need to be exactly like us, etc, etc. People will joke that every girl on Bumble BFF has the same “basic” profile (something like “I love brunch, working out, and Real Housewives!”), but it turns out that the three girls I’ve met IRL have incredibly interesting, diverse backgrounds. One works in healthcare, is married, and is a fellow Lilly/blog lover, one recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps–where she was stationed with my best friend from high school (!), and one happens to work in higher education, the same field in which I got my master’s! While everyone’s profile may look “generic” to some degree, don’t discount anyone–you’re bound to meet some interesting, friendly, fun people.
3) There is so much less pressure than with dating. No need to “define the relationship,” dress up super cute, or worry about getting food stuck in your teeth. I’ve found that by just being myself, I’ve made some really interesting connections with people (it helps that I’m a lot more outgoing than I was growing up…this type of situation would’ve been pure torture). I’ve also met some of these people’s DC friends, which has been wonderful. And the friend I’m seeing on Friday recently went to the wedding of another girl she met on Bumble BFF over a year ago (she and her husband have even taken vacations with the couple!). While the whole “Bumble” aspect will probably feel a bit weird at first, you’ll soon go from being “Bumble friends” to just regular friends, promise.
Still reading? Absolutely freaked out by this or think it’s a neat idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m also intrigued by Danielle’s “find a friend in your city” posts, which have been very popular. There’s actually a DC group that does a bunch of cool activities, and while I haven’t been able to attend anything so far, I’m hoping to pop by something in the next month or so!
This will hopefully be an even more detailed post at some point (maybe with Carrie!) but since several people have asked (and the end of the month is creeping up, which means it’s prime apartment hunting time), I figured I’d share a quick roundup of tips here in terms of what helped us during our search.
A disclaimer: There were a few times where I just wasn’t sure if we’d find something we loved before October 1 (I’d already given my current building notice that I would move out by that day), but thankfully, Carrie currently lives at home, and my parents live nearby, so we both had backup options. However, I wasn’t thrilled about the idea about paying to move my stuff home only to move it back into an apartment only a few weeks later, should we have found something for November 1. I’m glad that I can skip that step (and the stress that commute would bring!), although I’m thankful that my parents let me know that I could always crash with them for a bit if needed. 😉
When searching for apartments, we realized early on that we were both drawn to older buildings with character. I don’t know about you, but I’d always kind of pictured living with a roommate to mean living in a one-level unit in a modern high rise with two bedrooms, a living room, and a small kitchen area (and maybe some amenities, like a washer and dryer). However, DC is full of charming homes–and while they may not have the little luxuries that so many people love, like a front desk, gym, or swimming pool, they make up for this in terms of design. For example, we first (back in August!) looked at a row house on the Hill that had TWO living spaces, three bedrooms upstairs (although one was really more like a closet!), and *pocket doors* (I didn’t know what these were at the time, but I learned they’re something to be coveted!). Even better, it was very affordable with two people and would’ve been a steal should we have found a third roommate. We were pumped.
However, after grabbing gigantic margaritas and spending a few hours thinking about the place, we realized that it had its share of flaws. The upstairs bedrooms were covered in thick, brown carpet and had yellow walls, one was significantly bigger than the other two, the apartment was at least a 20 minute walk from the nearest metro, and utilities would certainly be high in such a big old house. We realized that maybe it wasn’t such a steal after all, because we didn’t want to be paying $$$ for electricity each month or relying on buses/Ubers because of the inconvenience of the metro. On to the next one, we decided!
Well…we looked at several “next ones” before finding our place in Dupont, and we learned a lot along the way! I feel silly bolding the tips below because they all seem very obvious, but trust me, they all fall into the category of “easier said than done,” so I’ll include ’em anyway.
First, pictures can be deceiving–both for better or for worse. While we were pleasantly surprised in some cases (we liked our place even more than we did in the pictures, which was saying a lot, because we were pretty into it from the first glance!), we also could tell when rooms/angles had been photoshopped a bit too much. One apartment we visited was so small that we left after about 30 seconds, and it was definitely a bummer because it appeared pretty comfortable in the pictures! Keep in mind that updates (even ones that seem pretty major) can certainly be made once you sign commit or sign a lease. In our place, for example, the owner will be adding a wall and door to my room (because there currently isn’t one!) and will take care of a couple of light fixtures.
Our general motto, though, was that most places would be worth scoping out in person. Even if it seemed pretty unlikely we’d live in a particular area or fall in love with a certain place, we wanted to scope it out anyway just so that we wouldn’t have any regrets down the line.
Second, do your research on a neighborhood before falling in love with a home. This may seem obvious–and as my mom reminded me, they say “location, location, location!” for a reason–but sometimes a house just looks so darn cute that it’s easy to forget that it’s in a crime-ridden area, is super far from transportation…or in one case for us, both! Trust me, you’ll always say, “I could never live there, it’s too _____” (loud, far away, unsafe, boring…) until you find the perfect little place and think “Ok, I could make this work!” Look at actual data online but also do some ethnographic research of your own (the soc major in me is coming out…). I seriously felt like I was turning into my mother when I approached the three young guys who lived next door to one of the homes we were planning to view, but they were all super friendly and knowledgable (one even introduced us to his fiancé so that we could get a female perspective on the neighborhood!). If it’s a weekend and/or time isn’t a major issue, take public transportation from place to place or from your office directly to the apartment. It’s good to fully understand how that process will work, especially if you’re like us and plan to take the metro on a daily basis. It’s also an easy way to see a neighborhood (we took a bus from Eastern Market up to Truxton Circle, for example), and could get a better sense of what was going on in each of those areas.
Lastly (for now), choose your rental sites accordingly. If, like us, you’re also in the market for an older home, I’d recommend looking on Craigslist rather than searching on traditional websites like HotPads or Apartments.com. These generally seem to feature more modern complexes that are professionally managed, whereas oftentimes when we were touring an older building, we were meeting with the owner herself. Craigslist is constantly being updated and it can be somewhat first come, first serve, but as a whole, DC rentals move much slower than other cities, like New York. You may feel like you’ve exhausted all of your online search options, but just be patient…the perfect place may pop up at any given moment! I came across our place at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday evening (I don’t even know why I was still awake…) and saw that it had been listed for a day. I called the agent around 9 am the next morning and she left me a message while I was in a school assembly! I basically bolted out of there when it ended, discussed details, and set up a time to view the place that evening. Carrie and I went into the appointment being prepared to sign a lease (we had a good feeling it would be the “one” and even arrived a bit early), and the agent was literally turning other people away after we said, “We’ll take it!”
I’d also suggest not limiting your search to a particular budget (on the computer, that is…definitely stick to a number in real life, haha!). Sometimes places are negotiable or the price can vary depending on the number of occupants. If you fall in love with a place, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Ours, for example, was listed for much more than we could afford, but after speaking with the agent, I learned that this would be the price for three tenants, and for two, it would be significantly lower. If I had limited my Craigslist search to a certain number, I likely never would’ve discovered our home!
One last thing to keep in mind is that if you do like older homes, note that these are often better equipped for families/couples rather than two separate adults. Many of the places we viewed were listed as two bedrooms, but while they had beautiful master bedrooms, the second room was often much smaller. Of course, you and your roommate could always decide that someone would pay more for the larger room, but the other person has to be willing to fit his/her life into a small space. We lucked out with our place because it had two large, separate living areas, and we were each happy with the one we chose. However, the arrangement wouldn’t be ideal for everyone!
Happy apartment hunting, and stay tuned for lots of moving/decorating posts in the days/weeks to come!
I can finally say it on here…I found an apartment! I’ll be moving to Dupont with Carrie (we met via Instagram in May, nbd…I messaged her and Shannon to get coffee, and the rest was history) and we’re so, so excited to decorate our place and more importantly, be roommates!
We found our apartment on Craigslist (of course!) and are in love with it. It’s a cool two-story unit in an old brownstone, and it has a ton of character. Carrie is living in an awesome room downstairs with huge closets and a fireplace, and I’m living upstairs in a lofted area with skylights, a fun vintage-y mirror, and a little lounge area that leads to our outdoor space! I’ll post some before pictures here and can’t wait to show you the after (it’ll take time, though!).
We definitely had our share of horror stories when apartment hunting (blog post for another day…) and really feel lucky that we finally have a place to call our own. I know Carrie will be an amazing person to live with (we feel like we’ve known each other for years, not for three months!)…not to mention, she’s a talented chef and will definitely be a good influence in that department! 😉
So without further ado, here are a few “before” photos of our place:
A few purchases we’re excited about:
-A large, gold vintage mirror for our living room fireplace (I found one on eBay for a great price, and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I was definitely inspired by Alaina’s setup).
-Two chairs for the little round nook in our living room + a gold side table from Craigslist
-An 8 by 10 jute rug from West Elm that we scored for $50 on Craigslist (it retails for $400, so it was a steal!)
-A gold trunk that I’m planning to keep in my room (I’m a little worried about my furniture making its way up to the loft, especially with the spiral staircase, but the movers said they could handle it…). It’s pictured below, and I love that it has little feet you can attach.
Have any decor ideas for us? Send ’em my way! I’m planning on going with dark wood and more of a vintage-y feel in my bedroom, and Carrie has plans to incorporate blue, white, and gold in hers. We’re excited to each have our own little nook and bathroom but still spend time together in our common space (which will be filled with books!). Stay tuned for more apartment posts coming your way! Oh, and if you have any questions about finding a space in DC…just ask! We’ve been through it all at this point!
I love when other bloggers do these posts, so I figured I’d try my hand at one…without further ado, here we go!
My prime time for productivity is probably from 9 or 9:30 am until 1 pm or so. I have the most energy during this spurt and wish I could somehow get all of my projects/blog work/freelance pieces done during this time.
I once interviewed Morgan Freeman over the phone and still have a recording of his voice. It’s exactly how you’d imagine!
My three cousins, sister, and I all attended the same high school (from 1998-2015!), and I was the only one to not participate in track/cross country. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I was determined to be a runner like everyone else, and my mom would drive me to the high school track so that I could run every morning before the season started. But soon I realized that I just couldn’t hack it (though I’m sure the DC humidity certainly didn’t help!) and actually ended up being a “techie” (who assists with theater/other productions) that year instead…building sets didn’t end up being my thing either, although maybe part of me enjoyed the DIY component?! I was also terrible at math and science growing up (which is funny because my degree is technically a Master of Science…) and always took the bare minimum in both of those subjects…to this day, I still haven’t taken calculus!
I’ll rarely ever eat unhealthy food the same day that I take a workout class that I paid for (unless I already have plans to attend a party or event where I know there will be good stuff!). I have a weird thing about wanting to get my “money’s worth” all day long and not undo my workout with a treat…but the next day is a blank slate! 😉
Almost all of my close friends from growing up had moved or transferred schools by the time we were in 7th or 8th grade, and I was also really, really shy in high school. So meeting my group of college friends and having everyone live nearby for four years (and continuing to stay in touch with one another) was a very welcome change! My two closest friends from high school and I have tons of hilarious memories, though. Both are starting grad school this fall for their master’s in public health degrees, and it’s making me want to go back (though not for that–see above, ha!).
I majored in sociology in college after taking the intro class on a whim during my freshman year. My major was very small (I think there were 12 or so people from my year in the department) and it was an awesome, tight-knit group of people. We definitely bonded over weird assignments and professors and the dreaded, “So, has anyone found a job yet?” question that our department chair would ask each week during our fall senior seminar.
When I was a freshman in college, my sister, who was 12 at the time, sent me a different letter EVERY day. It was the sweetest thing and I have them all in a box at home (although I was a little mortified at the time about what the people in the mailroom must have thought about my constant mail!)
As much as I love a good gallery wall, I think it’s sometimes fun to pick a nice accent piece and let it tell its own story. When decorating my apartment for my Apartment Therapy shoot in June, I decided to order a colorful piece from Furbish Studio (shown above–it’s sold out on Furbish’s site now, though), and I love the dimension it added to that little nook. I had originally wanted to place it in a white frame (and it’s in one now), but the frame I wanted didn’t arrive in time for the shoot. I like how the black frame looks with my bar cart, but I’ve moved the print to a new space now (#typical) and it looks better in a white frame where it is now.
Since I’m now considering how I’d like to decorate my future place, I rounded up a few pins and would love to get your input on looks that you like best! I can be so indecisive and love to move stuff around over and over again, but I also don’t want to nail a million holes in the wall. 😉
Image 1: Funny story–this is actually Shannon’s apartment (I LOVE all of her design work!) and I had pinned this image because I absolutely loved the white mirror and how it looked over her bar cart. I had been searching and searching for a similar one when Shannon announced on IG that she was selling the mirror. You can guess who messaged her right away! I picked it up a few days later and it’s now hanging in the bar cart area. It’s a great mirror and the huge size makes it great for #ootd pics (if we’re being honest!).
Image 2: I’ve almost always done gallery walls over my couches, but this large abstract piece is making me want to go simple. This is actually another home that Shannon designed in DC, and I love the elegant, simple look. Who wouldn’t want to come back to this living space after a long day in the office?!
Image 3: I love a good witty piece of artwork, and this black and white photo looks amazing over this couple’s bar cart. I’ve been trying to incorporate more photography into my home and this show-stopping piece is a great find!
Image 4: For a preppier look, see above! This Slim Aarons photograph definitely makes a statement (I’ve gotten a few of his prints recently and love them), and I really like the simplicity of this look–gallery walls are my jam, but there’s nothing wrong with highlighting one really good piece.
Image 5: Last but not least….This abstract face piece is amazing and kind of reminds me of my Furbish print. I love how it’s so dramatic and truly makes you stop and stare!