Bar Cart Design

DSC_0040

I’ve mentioned before how much I love bar carts and how I can’t keep my eyes off of them, so of course even when I wasn’t really even looking for a new one, I came across the perfect option at Miss Pixie’s. You all know how much I love all things gold and bamboo, so this piece basically had my name written all over it. It had only come in to the store that afternoon, but I could tell that I needed to act quickly or it would be sold before I knew it!

Fast forward a few weeks later and I got our cart all dolled up to be photographed. I love how it turned out! No, I don’t actually keep lemons and limes displayed on a daily basis, but I love the pop of color they add to the setup, so on the went for the shoot.

DSC_0036

A new obsession of mine has been finding vintage barware. Almost all of the glasses on the cart (minus the adorable Staffordshire dog cups from Anthropologie) came from thrift stores and the like. I absolutely love the cheeky sign on this scotch bottle (which I totally need to fill, oops!).

DSC_0039

I purchased the little pineapple shot glasses at TJ Maxx, but Nordstrom sells some identical ones online.

DSC_0017

I’m sure we’ll change up the cart from time to time, but I’m actually not big on making it ”seasonal.” I spend too much time getting everything to look the way I want that I don’t want to get too much into one “theme” only for it to be time to switch to something else. That said, I could totally get behind decorating a Valentine’s themed bar cart…just give me a few months 🙂

All photos by For Better Days Photography (forbetterdays@gmail.com). 

Continue Reading

For Your Holiday Party

I was realizing that none of my other gift guides really featured holiday-specific items, so I decided to put one together featuring all of the pieces I’d want to buy for a holiday party. Note to self: don’t underestimate the awesomeness of H&M Home’s holiday offerings. They have the cutest stuff for amazing prices. Many of these items would make adorable gifts, too.

holiday

1. Guest towels. These could pretty much work for any time of year, but given how frequently guests come and go during the holidays, they’ll certainly get a bunch of use in the coming weeks. Keep them in a guest bathroom or give them to your favorite hostess.

2. Santa mug. If you’re having a small party, you could order a few of these so that everyone has a matching mug, but you could also just order one and use it to hold straws (or candy canes!) on your table or bar cart.

3. Cookie cutters. These would be adorable tied on top of a present but would also be fun to have on hand during a smaller party. Cookie/baking decorating is always the perfect activity if your group isn’t huge.

4. Ornaments. If you’re anything like me, your ornament collection is somewhat lacking, and these shiny ones would be an easy way to brighten up a plain-looking tree before people come over.

5. Wine stoppers. Have these accessible during the party or at the end of the night…although who actually has leftover wine?!

6. Wine bottle holder. Stash backups of each bottle you serve in this cool display.

7. Candle. This one is wintry and festive without saying “Christmas.”

8. Napkins. They’re such a steal and couldn’t feature a more classic print.

9. Bow decor. I love the gold mixed with evergreen!

10. Gift bags. Order a bunch of these and give them out during a cookie exchange or at the end of a dinner party so guests can bring extra treats home.

Continue Reading

6 Entertaining Tips from Mom

514

I can’t believe that December starts on Friday (!). If I’m being honest, this has kind of felt like the longest month ever in some ways, but I’m still shocked that the holidays are around the corner. I’m excited to be spending Christmas at home this year (we often travel for the holiday, but there’s nothing like waking up in your own bed and going downstairs on Christmas morning!). Since the start of December means holiday parties on holiday parties, I wanted to share some entertaining tips that will be especially useful during the holiday season and managed to snag some advice from my mom while I was home over Thanksgiving.

501

Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but…my mom is the best hostess I know. Whether she’s entertaining her women’s group from our church, a large crowd from my dad’s office, or just hosting a dinner for family and friends, she always pulls everything off seamlessly (she begs to differ on all of this! But as her daughter, I’ll always think she’s doing a wonderful job). She’s also the first person I turned to for all things related to wedding etiquette when I started getting my first invites last year. So naturally, I had to ask her to give me a few tips for when it comes to throwing a party big or small.

Here we go:

  • It’s fine to mix and match homemade items with store-bought ones. “That’s something I’ve learned over time. Play to your strengths. Make what you’re good at making; buy what you’re not.”
  • Keep your drink options to a minimum–in terms of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. “You don’t have to have something of everything. Water, another non-alcoholic drink option, wine or beer, and one mixed drink option will do.”
  • Keep it simple. “Don’t try out a new, complicated recipe the night that you’re planning to have people come over.
  • Pay attention to how food is displayed or arranged. “If you do purchase something from the store, be sure to re-plate it on one of your own dishes.”
  • Be sure to check in ahead of time on guests’ food restrictions. “It’s much easier to meet someone’s needs ahead of time rather than on the spot.”
  • If you send out an invitation, include a start and end time. “I think people like to know. But it doesn’t mean you expect people to adhere to those times, they can just be approximate–unlike a child’s birthday party!”

Thanks, Mom!

Photography by forbetterdays4@gmail.com 

Continue Reading

Cyber Monday: The Best of Home

How was everyone’s long weekend? I’m feeling refreshed and ready to start my last week of work at my current job…so crazy! Yesterday I finally got in the holiday spirit by decorating ugly sweater Christmas with a friend and my roommate–we picked up two packs of pre-made cookies and had a blast making them look…well, ugly, partly due to how difficult it was to get the frosting to go on evenly! The actual cookies weren’t bad and not having to bake them ourselves saved a ton of time. I noticed similar packs at CVS, so pick one up there if there isn’t a TJ near you.

Hope everyone is enjoying shopping today’s Cyber Monday sales! There are tons of great deals available, but since I primarily like to blog about interiors and home decor, I thought I’d stick to that theme for today’s post (though don’t get me wrong, I love a cute top or accessory as much as anyone else!).

Scroll down for some amazing deals…now is the time to scoop up that dream piece before you have everyone over for the holidays!

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Diptyque: Receive a mini candle and a soap with any $50 Diptyque purchase (perfect excuse to pick up that candle you’ve always wanted!).

Rifle Paper: Take 30 percent off everything.

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Target: Free shipping and all kinds of deals…snag the above pillows for only $20 (normally $30)! Also, omg this table runner!

DSC_0304A
forbetterdays4@gmail.com

Ballard Designs: Score my mirror for less (it’s been an amazing piece).

Anthropologie: Take 20 percent off full price items.

Society Social: Take 30 percent off site-wide!

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Read Between the Lines: Take 25 percent off everything and get free shipping!

Photos.com: Score a Slim Aarons print for a great price with the 25 percent off promo.

Framebridge: 2o percent off all black frames today.

Continue Reading

DC Themed Gift Guide

dc

Since this blog IS called DC to a T, after all, I figured I should probably do a special roundup of my favorite DC-themed gifts. Now, DC-related items aren’t everywhere–people definitely don’t have the same obsession with the city as they do with New York or even Boston. But there are still plenty of little gems that you can purchase for someone who’s filled with tons of hometown pride (or has just moved to or will be moving to the city and is excited about what lies ahead).

Riley’s art never fails to impress (if you don’t follow her on Instagram, go and add her; she’s constantly posting tons of new illustrations!) and I purchased this Nats Park print for my sister (and then later for myself!) over the summer. Any Nationals fan will absolutely love looking at Riley’s cute drawing of the stadium. Bonus: This gift is a great option for men and women alike as well as for both adults and children!

I own this necklace and absolutely love it! It’s subtle while still making a fun statement and says “DC” without being over the top. I hadn’t previously been able to find it online, but it’s a steal!

I apologize that this is, like, the tenth time I’ve posted about this pillow, but it really is amazing! And the glass is a much cheaper option that still feature the colorful print.

These map coasters are really cool (again, great for girls or guys) and ship via Amazon Prime, which is perfect for the procrastinators over here. 😉

This cutting board would also be a great hostess gift this season and is surely a conversation starter!

I’m still lusting over this DC print!

You can never have or give too many candles! Get creative and give a Cherry Blossom scent.

Continue Reading

Shop My Bamboo Dresser

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

DC peeps, you’re in luck! I wanted to pop in with a rare Saturday post and share that I discovered a bamboo dresser for sale on Craigslist that’s exactly like the one I own and painted:

00J0J_6zKmJy8cYtO_600x450

This is pretty much how mine looked before my mom and I went to town on it with blue spray paint (the top of mine wasn’t white, though). This piece looks like it’s in excellent condition and is just begging to be painted in a bright color (green would look amazing, as would red!).

And it being Small Business Saturday and all, what better time to shop local?

Hope someone picks up this gem!

Continue Reading

Shop From Home (and Another Peek into Mine!)

DSC_0215

I hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with friends and family. It’s always important to reflect on what we’re thankful for, and without being too cliche, I honestly feel like Thanksgiving couldn’t have fallen at a better time this year. My parents have never failed to support me but have really been there for me in more ways than I can count over the past few weeks, and I’m so grateful for their love and wisdom. My sister is home from college and gearing up for the home stretch of the semester before studying abroad starting in January, so I’m glad we had some time to catch up despite her heavy homework load (how did we ever do it in college?!). Today and tomorrow I’m seeing a few close friends of mine who are in town for the holiday, which will be a blast! In a few weeks, I’ll start my new job (I’ll be working in higher education, and I can’t wait to get started in my new role), and I’m excited for what’s to come on that front. I hope your long weekend has been just as enjoyable so far and that you can reflect on some of the positive people in and aspects of your life in the midst of what has certainly been a chaotic year for many.

DSC_0195

Instead of braving the crowds and chaos this Black Friday, check out some of these amazing deals that you can shop from home. Knock out some holiday shopping, then unplug, spend time with a loved one, and enjoy a work-free Friday! I also wanted to share some of the professional shots that I had taken of my upstairs, which hopefully will let you get an even better sense of the space.

DSC_0265

The deals: 

Shop colorful baskets like this one at Indego Africa, which is offering 30 percent off sitewide with code THANKS.

Invest in a quality piece of furniture like this rattan nightstand at Serena & Lily, which is offering 20 percent off sitewide with code CHEERS.

This vest looks amazing and I love that it’s reversible. Francesca’s is offering a buy one, get one 60 percent off deal on everything, so you can snag one as a gift and one for yourself!

I’m kind of a lamp addict, and this chinoiserie style is 20 percent off at Kirklands.com (as is everything on the site!).

Gray Malin is offering 30 percent off site-wide! If you’re looking to splurge on someone, you can’t go wrong with one of Gray’s photographs.

Photography by forbetterdays4@gmail.com 

Continue Reading

Nordstrom’s Black Friday Deals

nordstrom

Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to pop in with another post in case you’re looking to get some shopping done while the turkey is cooking. Nordstrom is offering an additional 20 percent off select sale items, and as we all know, their deals can go fast, which is why I didn’t want to wait to share this post with you all tomorrow!

S’well cup: If the cups are anything like the bottles, this is bound to be a hit!

Ornament: Don’t you love when holiday items are on sale before the actual holiday? I was in Michaels last weekend and all of their Christmas stuff was 50 percent off…odd, but I’ll take it! Grab an initial for you and another letter for your roommate!

Kate Spade mug: A stylish way to carry your drink to work (can’t wait to finally be able to walk to work with coffee in hand when I start my new job…I hate that DC doesn’t let you bring drinks on public transportation!).

Tory Burch sandals: This classic style is majorly discounted (you’ll save almost $100!).

Plaid scarf: At under $8, these can’t be beat. It’s definitely worth snagging a few for last-minute gifts!

Pearl earrings: Also under $8 and the perfect addition to any holiday outfit.

Kate Spade tote: I LOVE my reusable shopping tote and am tempted to get this one as a gift!

Bath product: All of the Philosophy products smell SO good.

Pajama shorts: Need/want/love these!

Crossbody: Stylish for going out but not so fancy that it can’t fall victim to a spill or two!

FriYAY shoes: I definitely know a few people who could rock these!

iPhone case: Not only is this adorable but it also comes with a handy pocket!

Continue Reading

Gifts for the Chinoiserie Lover

gifts

 

These are just a few of the amazing gift options out there for those who have an affinity for all things blue and white and can appreciate Foo Dogs, Staffordshire Dogs, and a good old ginger jar.

1) Ginger jar: This is a super reasonably priced option considering that these can easily retail for hundreds of dollars (you just have to do some searching online or at HomeGoods to find one that won’t break the bank!).

2) Foo Dog ornaments: At $15 for the pair, these are also a great deal and will last for years to come!

3) Staffordshire Dog pillow: Furbish always has items that are the perfect mix of quirky and classic, and I’d say this pillow is one. Buy one or get two for a complete set.

4) Tabletop goods: If she loves to entertain, candlesticks or cocktail napkins are sure to please. Although the napkins almost look too pretty to use…better keep them away from the red wine! They’d honestly look adorable framed.

5) Chinoiserie Lamp: I featured this in my Black Friday post but couldn’t get enough. I love that it comes with such a pretty blue shade, too.

 

Continue Reading

Tried and True Gifts Under $100

I love making gift guides because it’s basically an excuse to online “window shop,” but there’s something to be said for sharing products that I already have and love, too. Sometimes things look great online and then they arrive and are just eh, and when you’re giving gifts to others, you don’t want to worry about whether the recipient will want to return the item because you’re ordering from a new or obscure site and the quality may be iffy.

I’ve rounded up some products (some of which are little bit off the beaten path) that have made an appearance in my home tours for a good reason, and I can vouch that your loved ones will enjoy them as well. And the best part is…they’re all under $100 (except for one item which is definitely a splurge)! Oh, and speaking of home tours, I’m thrilled to share that I got some photos of our new place taken on Sunday, and I already received a few edited ones back and they’re looking great! I’m still waiting to see how the upstairs shots turned out, but the downstairs pictures are here and will give you a glimpse into a space I haven’t really shown or talked about much on here!

HDO_3406

Gold tray: This is an option for the perpetual hostess/glamour girl. I’ve talked about this tray in a previous post because it’s affordable, great quality, and everyone has it and styles it nicely. Whether you use it on a bar cart, a countertop, a dresser, or a vanity, it’s the perfect addition to any space and is pretty roomy. I’ve used it in three different apartments and it’s held up super well!

DSC_0003A

Mackenzie Childs tray (c/o): Amara Living invited me to pick out a few products for my home and I happily obliged! I’d been wanting a Mackenzie Childs piece for awhile after having seen the unique pattern on many other blogs, and I got this one right in time for my shoot. It really popped on our marble coffee table and made the perfect display for some snacks. I know I’ll be using it again for entertaining!

HDO_3473-Edit

Press for Champagne ornament: Last year’s hit is back! I did notice that it’s no longer available for Christmas delivery, but you could always gift the recipient a bottle of champagne with a little note that the ornament is arriving later (maybe in time for New Years?!). Regardless, order it quickly because this did go out of stock for awhile last winter! I love mine and it’s a much cheaper alternative to Lisa’s larger design.

HDO_3379

Vintage Barbie and Ken print: Guys, this website makes me laugh every time I visit it. The prints are so witty (perfect for the quirky girl in your life) and also super affordable (the size shown above is only $30). My print is now hanging in my bathroom and adds the perfect pop of color and whimsy to what’s (obviously) a pretty plain space. Give it framed or unframed; I guarantee you’ll find a design that your recipient will love! Also, can you imagine if your job was staging these? So. many. ideas!

DSC_0095

Woven tray: There’s are all the rage (does anyone still say that?) right now and it can be hard to find affordable options, but Macy’s of all places has a great one! I actually came across this tray while stalking a favorite blogger Instagram account of mine and went to pick it up from the store later that day. Super easy! While you’re at it, you may as well grab these placemats. Love!

DSC_0463

CatStudio pillow: This is my splurge item, but I had to include it because it’s such a hit. CatStudio makes tons of different pillows (and tea towels, cups, etc) that correspond to tons of cities and states and really add a pop of color to a room. They’re definitely on the “busier” side, but they work well as an accent piece and are truly special gifts (each pillow is hand-embroidered and takes up to one week to complete!). I’ve received a ton of compliments on mine (which I purchased through a giveaway I won last spring) and I love how it looks in our living room nook area.

Photos 1, 3, and 4 by Hado Photo; photos 2, 5, and 6 by For Better Days Photography (forbetterdays4@gmail.com). 

Continue Reading