FRIDAY FEELS, #17

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Popping in with a quick post today…happy FRIYAY!

Bookmarked: A new-to-me Instagram–I have the fortune of being able to meet Alysse in a few hours as we profile her space for Houzz! How amazing is her sense of style?! Also, a PSA–I’ve talked about Thriftbooks on here before, but I recently grabbed some new titles off of there for a STEAL. These are a few of the items that were in my cart…check out those prices! Plus, shipping is free over $15 and they also offer additional promo codes.
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DC to-do list: A friend and I went to Zoo Lights last night–if you haven’t been, go! It’s free and is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Plus, there are tons of good restaurants nearby in Woodley Park, so go check out the sights and then grab a drink and a delicious meal.

Pinning: This could also fall into the “tackling” category, but I’ve been trying forever to style our living room bookshelves…this is seriously round 3, and they’re slowly coming together but I’m waiting on a few more accessories to arrive. This article by Emily Henderson has been super helpful, although now I want our shelves to look exactly like hers! As much as I like decorating, these built-ins have really been a design challenge…they’re definitely a blessing and a curse!

Tackling: How do weeks off go by so quickly?! I’m busy tackling appointments and errands as I get ready to start my new job next week. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t also been able to enjoy a few nights out with friends…excited for more of that this weekend, along with some additional spin classes! Oh, and I’ve managed to put up some more Christmas decorations…I think living with someone else has made me more excited to decorate for the holidays. When I lived alone I didn’t always get super into it!

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A Few Things to Try, Thanks to Pinterest (Round 4)

Popping in with one of my favorite posts to write…probably because I spend WAY too much time scrolling through Pinterest and getting excited about things that I may or may not try. Here are a few for you:

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1) Try an at-home beauty remedy like this one, since it’s the time of year where everyone is complaining about their dry skin (I suffer from it and always have, so it’s about time I find a good solution!).

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2) Get inspired by this amazingly colorful home tour (look at all of those books! And that bar cart!) and pin away.

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3) Have a Christmas movie marathon because it’s an essential part of the season. I’m a sucker for cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix (A Christmas Prince, anyone?) and this list will have me covered for awhile…

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4) Master a new recipe for the holidays. This spiked hazelnut chocolate fondue sounds amazing.

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5) Update your bedroom with a rug that looks WAY more expensive than it actually is…how perfect is this Target beauty?

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Finding My Zero

forbetterdays4@gmail.com
forbetterdays4@gmail.com

I was taking a spin class the other day when the instructor told us all to slow down and find our “zero.” Unwind, take all the pressure off, and just ride. Of course this wasn’t necessarily meant to be symbolic in any way, but to me it was an “aha” moment.

I’m taking this week off before starting my new job on Monday (seriously can’t wait!) and am really trying to use my time off to focus on self care. And not in the “read magazines, do face masks, watch Netflix” kind of way (although that’s great too, trust me!). More so in the “figure out why I’ve been dizzy all the time and schedule a doctor’s appointment for that,” sleep without setting 8 different alarms, and work out nearly every day like I used to kind of way.

I think blogging is funny because most of us come off as 100 percent happy in our posts, when obviously that isn’t the case every day (not an original observation by any means, but something that totally resonates). And while I do consider myself a genuinely happy, upbeat person, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that these past several months have been insanely stressful in a number of ways. As a result, I developed a number of bad habits physically, felt over-scheduled during the week, and sometimes felt like I didn’t know how to be a supportive friend for someone else. Plus, while blogging was the creative release that I needed, I sometimes got caught up in the comparison game or took things too personally.

However, it’s always easier to recognize these issues after the fact, and now that things are shaping up, I finally am beginning to understand what drives me off the wall as well as what I can do in the moment to make things better.

What got me through the past few months? Chatting with my roommate at the kitchen table in the evenings, getting manicures and champagne with my mom on a random Thursday night, long text conversations and pep talks with a friend, lots of dinners with my parents, cutting out things and people that made me feel negative. Getting back into an exercise routine this week has also been amazing–working out does so much for me physically and mentally, and while getting over to the studio when it’s cold and dark out is less than appealing, it’s so worth it.

I don’t know if there’s really a point to this post other than to show that we’re all normal. Everyone has ups and downs, and I’m thankful I have few days to breathe and take care of myself before starting a new adventure. If you have any tips on how to manage stress, I’m all ears. 🙂

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Creating a Cozy Living Space

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Happy Tuesday! I wanted to pop in with a few pictures of our living space and share some decorating tips in case your space needs a little refresh.

I’ll start by saying that I really, really appreciate all of the natural light that we get in our apartment. Getting plenty of sunlight has always been at the top of my list when apartment hunting, even when I’ve gone into the search knowing that wherever I lived would be temporary (like when I was in graduate school). In our current place, I was originally a bit nervous about taking the lofted room, but thanks to the skylights and windows up there, it’s all good. I’d been seriously considering some basement rooms before I began the apartment search with Carrie, and while they were pretty spacious and reasonably priced, I don’t think I personally would’ve been happy in the long run because of the lack of natural light (not to mention, most people living in basement rooms keep their blinds closed for privacy, so on top of having small windows, I wouldn’t have planned to keep them open much anyway).

We absolutely love how bright our living room gets during the day (at night, the odd placement of light switches in our apartment is a different story!). I brought a lot of my living room furniture from my old place, but Carrie ordered the above chairs on Wayfair, and I think they look fabulous! We paired them with a Target lamp and table that I scored for even cheaper via Craigslist (funny story, the table unknowingly came from a college friend’s girlfriend and I didn’t make the connection until after I’d left her house! Could DC be a smaller world? We’ve toyed with spray painting it gold, but I don’t know if/when that will happen!). The pouf adds a little bit of character to the space, as does my beloved CatStudio pillow and a cozy throw. Our unit is pretty high up, so we enjoy being able to look out the window and people watch.

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I think there’s something to be said for keeping this little nook pretty simple. The larger part of our living room houses a large rug, a tv (which sits on my campaign dresser), the couch, tons of books, and a console table. As much as I love accessories and throw pillows, adding more over here would’ve overwhelmed the space. Carrie and I like a lot of the same types of decorations which made it easy to put our common space together, but we still bounced purchases off one another to make sure the other person liked an item. Since we each have large bedrooms, we didn’t need to worry about cramming everything into the common space, which also made things easier.

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We love using this space to drink coffee and check our email before work (Carrie is better at doing this than I am–I always feel like I’m in a rush in the mornings!). It’s also a nice place to sit and read on the weekends. I’m sure once it starts snowing, this will be a beautiful spot to sit and look out the window, too.

Photos: forbetterdays4@gmail.com 

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Gift Guide: The Best of Amazon Prime

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Bookmark this post for when you need to scramble. If you’re left with a last-minute holiday party invite or realize that you totally forgot that gift for your family’s white elephant exchange, look no further and put that Prime membership to good use!

A coffee table book that matches their interests (or their aesthetic ;)) is never a bad choice. I just got this Matcha one and love it!

Spode Christmas dishwater is such a classic. Gift these to someone who is building their kitchenware collection. They’ll last forever!

Glitter earrings that are less than $15 and can be worn on NYE? The perfect gift option for the girl who’s never met a neutral.

Bartending glasses, because solo cups are so 2006.

Cozy mittens for him (that you’ll totally want to borrow anyway).

A Cards Against Humanity expansion pack paired with a bottle of wine would be the perfect thing to bring to a holiday party if you know the host loves the game.

Buy a four pack of this hot chocolate mix and divvy it up amongst roommates, teachers, or anyone else on your list.

I have the NEST holiday candle and it’s amazing. Even the little size will last a long time!

Candy cane spoons, because #tistheseason.

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Wicker Finds on Etsy

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It all started when I came across the above pin. I filed it away after recently purchasing a similar-looking cane and bamboo (!) mirror from Miss Pixie’s (y’all, it is so dangerous having this place right around the corner now!). However, I pulled up the image again the other night to get some styling inspiration and basically got sucked into an Etsy trap.

I had wanted to find a wicker ice bucket like the one in the picture, and Etsy had several cute options. I mean, look at these below:

Wayyyy classier than your average ice bucket.
This guy is wayyyy classier than your average ice bucket.
Cute but not overpowering
A cute option without being over the top (can an ice bucket be over the top?).
Two words for this baby: tortoise. shell.
Two words for this baby: tortoise. shell.

Then I started searching for other wicker items and had to practice serious restraint, because how perfect are these?!

How fun would this be for entertaining?
How fun would this be for entertaining?
So cute but also totally useful!
So cute but also totally useful!

Score any great finds on Etsy lately? It’s always been a go-to for me in terms of prints and smaller jewelry pieces, but I always forget about the one-of-a-kind items on there, like the things shown above. Snag ’em while they’re still for sale (slash so that I can’t buy them all)!

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Stocking Stuffers to Split

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When shopping for my three girl cousins who are each a few years apart in age, my mom would always pick out three of the same items but in different colors to ensure that none of the sisters felt left out while still allowing for some individuality (can anyone else with sisters relate?!). Even to this day, my sister and I will often receive the same things in our stockings but her item will be in green (her signature color) and mine will be blue. If you’re shopping for a group and want to keep gifts equal but somewhat unique, here are a few great items that you can purchase and split up.

Can you ever go wrong with candy? The answer is no, especially when it’s Sugarfina.

TJ Maxx sells nail polishes like Essie and OPI for much cheaper than anywhere else, so grab a few different colors and give one (or two!) to everyone on your list.

Pop one Diptyque candle into each stocking for a super luxe gift.

I love Philosophy products because they smell AMAZING. Grab a gift set for a steal and divvy up the contents by putting one shampoo or lotion in each stocking.

Break up a set of notebooks like these.

These face masks all look super soothing.

 

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