My Favorite Recent Amazon Purchases

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When I started grad school in 2015, I signed up for a free trial of Student Prime on Amazon and have been hooked ever since. In New York, I tried to make a lot of my bulk orders (for things like toilet paper, paper towels, and shampoo) on Walmart.com after a friend told me about their deals (I think this was before the days of Prime Pantry, and we were all desperate for a way to purchase paper towels for under $2 a roll), but now I’m an Amazon girl all the way. I’ve shared a few of my recent favorite buys on Insta stories but thought I’d do a little recap on here as well:

1) Gold drawer pulls: I got several messages about these when I posted them last week, and for good reason! At $10 for a pack of 5, these are a great deal, especially when you think about similar options sold at Anthropologie for closer to $10 a pop. I ordered these to jazz up a pair of Ikea nightstands that I’d recently added to my bedroom, and I’m in love. I  put them on one morning before work and love the small touch of gold/glam that they add to my bed area.

2) Hair straightening brush: I think I have this dreadful feeling that straightening my hair from scratch takes a good half hour, when reality it’s probably closer to 8-10 minutes (I’ve mastered the process a bit more in the 14+ years I’ve been straightening!). However, that didn’t stop me from wanting to try this brush that Mackenzie posted about on her Insta stories and blog recently. I’m sometimes skeptical of hair products like this because I wonder how well they actually work, but Mackenzie gave rave reviews and it was super affordable for something that will last a long time (I’ve had my current $30 straightener for about 4 years after I ordered it on a whim when my third CHI broke unexpectedly). The verdict? I posted about it on my stories the other night, but I think the brush works pretty well–I think I’ll have to use it more than once to really decide how I feel about it, though. The ends of my hair looked a little off and I needed to fix them with my regular straightener, but the brush is great for getting the back of your head, which I think most people struggle with.

3) Coffee table books: Not all of the ones I ordered have been available on Prime, as I usually look at the used prices and go from there. This is a great way to save money on various titles if you’re willing to wait a bit for the book to arrive. I’ve recently picked up this, this, and this at a fraction of the cover price.

4) My duvet: I’ve been a comforter girl my entire life (minus the semester I studied abroad in Europe, where duvets are all the rage). There’s something about the ease of washing a comforter, putting it back on the bed, and getting it to lie smooth that always worked well for me. However, I’ve recently been drawn to the hotel-like look of a crisp white duvet and decided to order a cover (SO cheap!) and insert off Prime. I love them! The look is definitely what I was envisioning and the prices can’t be beat. Putting the duvet cover on after washing it is a total pain, but overall I’m satisfied with my purchase.

5) Sticky phone case: I’m a serial Metro card loser (thankfully I register mine online so they’re easy to cancel) but I’m hoping to put that to an end by keeping mine in this case attached to my phone. I also have an ID card that I have to buzz to get into my new gym that I’m planning to keep in here as well. I’ve always been skeptical of these sticky things because they seem like they’d just fall off, but hopefully this one will last (though I probably won’t ever put a credit card or real ID in it because I’m too paranoid).

What are you loving on Amazon–or Prime specifically–lately? I’m always looking for fun and useful products, especially ones that are on my doorstep within a matter of days!

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Plant Lady

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Lately I’ve been alllll about the plants. I purchased my first big plant over the weekend (at the hardware store, actually, for about $45!) and I’m loving the burst of energy it brings into my little nook upstairs. I’m also slightly nervous about accidentally killing it, and the lady at the hardware store who was answering all of my (very many) questions definitely wanted to laugh at me, but to be fair, I’ve heard that fiddle leafs are temperamental!

Earlier in the day, I had actually stopped in Little Leaf, one of my all-time favorite stores in the neighborhood (it’s adorable and happy and lively!) and fallen in lust with a lemon tree, but the salesperson warned me against buying it because of the direction my windows faced (he even located the compass app on my phone to help me be sure, haha). I was bummed to leave it behind, but I’d rather not bring an expensive plant home just to kill it, so the lemon tree will have to wait. In the summer, though, I could potentially reevaluate and get one for our roof!

I’ll admit that I’m not only drawn to plants because of the liveliness and color that the bring into a room, but also because they can make a normal space look SO good. I mean, seriously, can I turn our upstairs area into the room below?!):

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I’m really glad I thought to check the hardware store for a fiddle leaf plant, as while I’m obsessed with Little Leaf, they were selling fiddle leafs for about $110 versus $45ish at the ACE Hardware on 14th. I did look a little silly carrying the plant home with me (it’s pretty big, as you can tell in the picture, but thankfully was more bulky than heavy). I already had the woven basket at home (I was using it to store extra toilet paper in my bathroom) and realized it would make a cute planter, especially for something of this size.

If you’re a plant lover, how do you keep your green babies alive? I’m all ears!

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Apolis Market Bags

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I posted on Instagram the other day about the famous Apolis market bags which are 100 percent functional but also a favorite among design-lovers. The odds are that you’ve spotted these bags before–they’ve been popular for a few years, and Revolve in DC carries them. When browsing there the other day, the salesperson told me that one store in each city sells that city’s themed bags, which is interesting. However, they’re also available online…and that’s where I’m letting you in on a little secret.

While I was lusting over the Washington, DC, bag and knew it would make a fun decorative item (not to mention a totally practical grocery bag, especially since I try to use reusable ones whenever possible), the $68 price tag had me feeling a little iffy (it’s essential just a straw market tote, after all). I decided to think about it, and later in the afternoon I did a quick search for the bags online, hoping to score a coupon code. However, I was shocked when I saw that Nordstrom was selling them for $38, and right then I decided to place an order.

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Upon further inspection, it looked like the $38 bags were slightly different cosmetically than those being sold for $68, but they’re still completely authentic and look very similar to the pricier version. Given that I won’t be using the bag everyday (I intend to keep it on display rather than lugging it with me to Trader Joe’s, haha), the cheaper version was perfect for my needs. I’ve since learned that the $38 bags are vegan while the more expensive ones are leather, if that influences your decision at all.

I’ll definitely take some photos of my tote when it arrives, but in the meantime, I’m loving the different ways people have used/styled theirs (how cute would they be for bridesmaids/groomsmen? Bookmarking that idea for the future!). There are tons of different phrases and designs available on the Apolis site, if you’re curious.

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The Cutest Side Tables/Night Stands Under $60

I had posted on my stories the other day asking people if they’d like to see more interiors/budget finds on the blog, and the answer was an overwhelming YES! I’m always happy to share my online shopping/real life thrift finds/worthwhile splurges with you all, so I’m glad that these posts are useful.

Today’s post is all about cute side tables/night stands, since I keep coming across more and more affordable options lately. What’s great is that you can buy two of these for less than the price of one new piece at a place like West Elm or CB2.

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1) These white and wood tables would work really well in a Bohemian room–the only downside is that like a couple of the other options on here, they don’t have drawers for extra storage. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing–you’ll be forced to keep your space clean and make sure that too much junk doesn’t start to pile up, as your bed area should be a cozy oasis, not an area for stray mail/makeup/coffee cups/whatever.

2) These are just so glam and I would totally buy them if I had the space. I love the gold–it kind of looks vintagey and seems more like something you’d spot in an antique store rather than at TJ Maxx!

3) This table comes in a few different colors and would be a great option for a narrow space next to either a bed or a couch. The bottom shelf provides additional storage, and the style is classic, meaning it will easily match with anything.

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4) When I spotted this table I immediately thought about how cute it would look spray painted gold. I’m sure it would be super easily to do and the piece would definitely have more of a West Elm vibe as a result. Grab two–they’re on sale!

5) For a simple Scandanavian/mid century modern look, grab one of these and add some eye-catching plants on top.

6) Add French bistro vibes to your place–this table just looks like a more expensive version sold at Serena and Lily!

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