A Weekend in Savannah

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I’m back in DC after a fun, quick trip down South to Savannah! It was a blast spending a few days away from my normal routine and catching up with two of my close college girlfriends. Since we’re spread out all over the country (one lives in NYC and the other is in Madison, Wisconsin), it was nice to have a designated trip planned to ensure we could all see each other. Last year, our group got to catch up a lot more due to a couple of close friends’ weddings!

We picked Savannah due to its proximity (my Madison-based friend travels for work and is up and down the East Coast a lot) and the fact that none of us had been there before. It’s a quaint, relaxing Southern city and was definitely smaller than I realized. We were able to cover a lot of ground in the 2.5 days we were there, which was nice because we didn’t feel as if we had to skip anything major due to the short nature of our trip.

Our Airbnb was on West Jones Street in the Historic District, which I found to be the perfect spot! It reminded me a bit of Georgetown and was full of quintessential Southern houses. Plus, the Historic District was pretty near most of the things we wanted to do downtown, and nothing was more than 20 minutes away by foot (we only Ubered once to see the Bonaventure Cemetery, which was out of town a bit). As a result, we covered TONS of ground on foot both days–we walked over 20,000 steps on both Thursday and Friday and spent some time walking around Forsyth Park on Saturday morning before heading to the airport…thank goodness we got our exercise, because it felt like 90 percent of the trip was eating and drinking!

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Speaking of eating and drinking…On Thursday, we had lunch at the Olde Pink House (a highly recommended spot) after doing a bit of exploring at the Paris Market (which was adorable–I had to grab a macaron!) and the other cute shops in downtown Savannah. In the afternoon, we grabbed slushy drinks at Wet Willie’s and walked around a bit before going back to our Airbnb, relaxing, and changing for dinner/happy hour before our ghost tour. I think I’d heard about Savannah’s open container laws before, but it totally slipped my mind until we got there. However, we were in for a pleasant surprise, because it was actually super nice being able to “bar hop” during the day and stroll around town with drinks in hand. Our ghost tour didn’t start until 9 pm (we arrived with beer in tow), so we had lots of time to kill and tried out a fun bar as well as the Little Duck Diner, another spot that I was told was a must!

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I’ve become a big fan of ghost tours in recent years, and this one did not disappoint! It’s funny because these used to really not be my thing, so I didn’t even go on one when I studied abroad in Edinburgh! I’m glad I’ve changed my mind since, because they’re actually a really neat way to learn more about a city’s history. We were told that Savannah is thought to be the most haunted city in the US, so the $30 tour was definitely worth it.

On Friday morning, we had brunch at the Ordinary Pub, visited the Bonaventure cemetery, and then walked around the downtown area of Savannah again, stopping for ice cream at Leopold’s, which was delish! Then, we did what was probably one of my favorite things of the trip (don’t judge…), a pedal pub ride! I had never done one of these before and while they’re very bachelorette party-esque, we still had fun doing one as a group of three and meeting some other tourists (there was even a couple in their 70s on ours!). We all had a blast hopping from bar to bar and talking with our tour guide, and it was a great way to see more of the city (although by that point, we’d already felt like we’d passed everywhere multiple times).

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We were exhausted in the evening and ended up going out for a late dinner and spending time relaxing in the Airbnb before getting an early start on Saturday morning in order to explore Forsyth Park and grab breakfast before catching our flights home. While we felt like our trip was pretty short, we honestly probably wouldn’t have needed another day to do anything else (aside from eat more!) since we had managed to check almost everything off of our must-see list.

Have you been to Savannah?

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How I Make Quick Purchase Decisions When Thrifting

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If you’re anything like me, you want your house to be DONE the week after you move in (although let’s be real…if you’re actually like me, you believe that the decorating process is never truly over and can always be ongoing, ha!). If you’re anything like a lot of other people I know, you’re much slower putting your home together, thinking carefully about each purchase, deliberating (maybe too much) on what should go where, and feeling no pressure at all to get things in place for several months. This is actually the better approach–you can definitely tell when a home is pieced together quickly and doesn’t look quite right, so it makes sense to wait and pick out the right pieces. Plus, decorating a home is expensive, and it just isn’t really feasible to complete everything at once unless you already own most of the items you need.

However, when thrift shopping, all of these rules (kind of) go out the window. You often have to make a decision quickly, whether you’re browsing on Craigslist or out at a secondhand store or estate sale. The worst thing is going back and forth on an item and then realizing that someone else emailed about it or snagged it in the meantime.

Of course, there are times I’m browsing and know I absolutely love something and then it’s super simple. But even as someone who is eager to snag things the minute I see them, it can be hard to know for sure what function a piece will serve when I bring it home.

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What do I do when I think I like a certain piece of furniture but am pressed for time to make a decision? Pull up Pinterest! This is especially helpful if I’m not home and can’t fully visualize how something will look in my space. I keep the Pinterest app on my phone, and if I’m on the fence about getting something or know I want it but don’t know how to style it, I’ll do a quick search. This was super helpful when I was debating whether or not I wanted to buy my peacock chair (I’m so glad I did! I’ve been talking about it on Instagram Stories but will have to post a picture on here soon). I wasn’t sure how I would style the chair or what area it should go in or even if it would match the rest of my decor, and after looking at a few different examples on Pinterest, I felt much more confident in my purchase!

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I’ve also turned to Pinterest before purchasing my gold trunk off of Craigslist (I’m so glad I realized it would make a great coffee table!) and the little Turkish rug I have beneath it, which was one-of-a-kind on Etsy. I honestly probably would’ve just set the trunk in a corner but felt much more inspired when I realized it could totally be multi-purpose and stylish.

Do you still use Pinterest regularly? I was talking with a few blog friends the other day about whether it’s still relevant, and I think YES! I still find a bunch of new accounts this way and love following my favorite bloggers on there for more of a “behind-the-scences.” You can add me right this way!

Photos by Heather Bien 

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How to Pitch Your Home to a Design Website

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I get a lot of emails and questions from friends and strangers alike asking me the same question: “How do I get my apartment featured on XYZ website” (or more often, “How do I get my apartment featured on Houzz?”). I realized that I’ve never actually done a post addressing how I did this, so here goes!

Since graduating college, one of my goals was to have my home featured in an online publication such as The Everygirl, The Glitter Guide, and the like. I’ve been reading these sites for years and have always swooned over the home tours that they publish. Even long before I had a blog, I always found myself so inspired and intrigued by the real-life, relatable people profiled on these sites and really wanted to share my own space with their audiences. Then, when I did start my blog about a year and a half ago, I realized that being featured on a site would be a great way to continue to build blog traffic and attract a larger audience. I guess this is similar to how a fashion blogger would want to be featured in a style roundup–both to showcase their own personal style and to garner more exposure for their brand.

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Since I’m not any sort of photographer, I knew I would need to outsource the shoot and hire a professional to take quality photos. Back when I was living in Philly for grad school (and before I started my blog), I had emailed a few iPhone photos of my apartment to someone at a major lifestyle site that was accepting pitches. She soon responded and said that they would be willing to set up a shoot with a local photographer. I was thrilled, but unfortunately that never came to fruition because they didn’t have a freelancer in the Philly area (and now the site has changed how they do home tours, so I don’t think they’re accepting new submissions). I guess that’s step number one in scheduling a shoot with a publication–nothing is final until it’s final! Someone can love your space, but it can take awhile to set everything in motion and actually schedule a shoot.

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When I moved to DC in the summer of 2016 and subsequently started my blog, I was thrilled to decorate my new apartment and hopefully feature it online, be it on my blog or elsewhere (writing and blogging has always been my first love and I really just wanted to be able to share pictures with you all!). As always, moving and redecorating somewhere new is always a process, so it took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to arrange everything my new apartment. Once I felt like my space was more complete, I started looking around at area photographers with reasonable rates. I found Ryan, and we scheduled a shoot for early 2017. (It was funny, because I think I emailed him some preliminary photos right before Thanksgiving, and by the time the shoot took place in late January, so many areas looked completely different!). After getting the photos back later that week, I then pitched a feature to several of my favorite sites and sent them the Google Drive link to Ryan’s photos. Since I’ve worked in PR and magazines, writing a pitch wasn’t too difficult–if you haven’t written one before, just think of it as creating an “about me” blurb about your space. In my email to each of the editors, I gave a little bit of background about myself and then described my apartment and decorating style while also establishing a bit of an angle (which was that most of my stuff was thrifted/secondhand). I then pressed send, and to my surprise, I began to get responses a few weeks later (the first one came from The Everygirl while I was sitting on the beach prior to a friend’s wedding, and I was overjoyed!)!

I will say that while I’m glad that I hired Ryan to shoot my apartment not knowing what would happen (since, if anything, I wanted to have some high quality pictures for my blog), I was essentially providing these places with free photographic content, since I had paid for the shoot out of my own pocket. A few of my coworkers at the time asked if the sites were paying me to be featured, which didn’t even occur to me! But honestly the traffic that the features brought to my blog and Instagram was well worth it–I have gained several new readers, and more importantly, I’ve connected with a wonderful online design community! Just know that unless a place reaches out to you specifically and agrees to connect you with a photographer (like I do with the people we profile on Houzz), YOU are the one fronting the cost if you’re pitching pre-shot pictures.

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However, another great aspect about hiring a photographer on my own was that I own these photos and can use them however I’d like, even though they’ve now been published. When Apartment Therapy shot a longer feature in my apartment last June, they produced some amazing images, but I can’t really use them on my blog as I please due to the limitations of that contract (I’d even emailed the photographer and I asked if I could purchase any of the outtakes from that shoot that didn’t make it into the feature, but unfortunately that wasn’t allowed either). For Houzz, we also usually request that people embed the story images into their blog rather than just posting however they wish.

…speaking of Houzz! After I pitched my apartment to them, my now-editor asked if Ryan and I would be interested in working as a freelance team in the DC area. Of course I said yes, I’ve had a blast scouting out people to feature this way and have really enjoyed making design writing part of my “side hustle.” We started last May and I can’t believe we’ve been at this for almost a year now! We’ve been tasked with completing one shoot/feature a month, so it’s been a wonderful way to connect with fellow bloggers and creatives all year long.

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And now the most important part…having been on both sides of the submission process, I have a better sense of what places want to see when you’re pitching:

-If you’re pitching pre-shot photos, make sure they line up with the “aesthetic” of that specific publication. A lot of sites that are popular now seem to value crisp, almost over-exposed shots, so I specifically requested that Ryan edit mine in that manner, which I think helped a lot. Also, details are great, but readers want to get a sense of an apartment’s overall layout, too. The Everygirl even requested that I draw a diagram of my space (I was out of town for a wedding that weekend, so I had to run to the grocery store and buy a pen and notepad and draw it at the kitchen table at our Airbnb, whoops!). I think people love the Pinterest-friendly vignettes that we often see but genuinely want to know where different rooms are located, etc. A lot of times when I’m reading the comments on Apartment Therapy features I notice that this is something people want.

-Having a hook helps–maybe you’re a mom whose designed a really cool playroom for your kids or is able to maintain a stylish, kid-friendly home without sacrificing style. Maybe you’ve done an adventurous renovation or some neat furniture makeovers. But there’s no one perfect formula–and it often isn’t just one person making the decision whether or not to accept a pitch. However, if you don’t have a “hook” or feel like your home is too “normal” to pitch, you could be wrong! So many people feel like their home isn’t it definitely isn’t photo shoot ready when oftentimes that isn’t the case. It isn’t about having the best or the nicest stuff–by no means do you have to be a blogger or well-known or have $5,000 furniture to be selected! We’ve featured a lot of really cool DIYers on Houzz who have made their spaces look fabulous on a budget.

-Don’t forget about the little touches that take a shoot to the next level. Obviously we don’t all keep flowers in our bathrooms or keep sliced lemons on a cutting board in our kitchen all of the time (at least I don’t!), but little additions like these make a room more photo-ready. Just think of your upcoming shoot as an excuse to treat yourself to a few bouquets, a special bottle of soap, or a new candle…I know I do!

-Home shoots are tiring. For not even being in most of the pictures, I don’t know why I always feel so wiped out after these. But managing a shoot can be exhausting! By the end I’m always ready to eat all my props (I always put out fresh fruit or croissants for a “lived in” touch, haha) and take a nap for three hours. The photographer may want to do their own thing or they may want to chat with you the entire time, but either way, it helps if you pick someone you know well and feel comfortable with (this is obviously key when you’re inviting anyone to essentially sift through every room of your house!).

-Additionally, keep in mind that if your pitch is picked up, your home WILL be on the internet (and given the nature of the internet, people are *generally* nice but can be weird/creepy. I didn’t let the AT photographer take pictures looking out the windows in my old apartment because I lived alone in a small building and didn’t want people to know exactly where I was. I still won’t post pictures of the outside of my building just to be safe. While I’d say that 95 percent of the comments on my features were super nice (like, so nice…I was blown away), there are always people who misunderstand what you’re doing/make assumptions/are having a bad day/whatever. But that’s no different than regular blogging, I suppose…(or in interactions with people you know in real life, for that matter). The key is to either respond gracefully or just not respond at all!

If you have any other questions about the process, don’t hesitate to shoot me a note!

Happy photographing!

Photos by Hado Photo 

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Becoming More Sustainable

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Even though it’s the day after Earth Day, I figured a post on how to be a little more sustainable in your day to day life was still relevant! Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near implementing a compost container on my kitchen counter a la my parents (every time I go home I’m always caught wondering whether the orange peels go in there or in the trash can!), but in thinking about my habits, I was realizing that I’m actually doing an ok job being environmentally friendly for the most part (although I don’t think I’ll be able to give up my beloved flavored k-cups). Here are two of my favorite ways to be a little kinder to the environment–no drastic life overhaul needed!

–Take public transportation, bike, or ride share (or walk! It’s the best.). I may spend way too much money and time on Uber Pool, but carpooling is obviously a much more envrionmentally-friendly solution than getting (or driving) your own car. I rarely ever take my own Uber unless I’m running super late or have to transport something big (#Craigslistproblems). A lot of my friends who don’t Uber Pool do it because they don’t like talking to other people in the car, but honestly neither do I…you can just put headphones in or be quiet, promise! I also LOVE the fact that UberPool can cost $2-$3 if you’re going somewhere super nearby (it’s perfect for the days I’m carrying a bunch of extra bags into the office, for example), so it really can be comparable to the bus or metro.

–Shop secondhand and sell/donate old items. Even if you’re turned off by thrift stores (but I promise they can be amazing!) eBay, Poshmark, Chairish, etc, are all great ways to score items for less AND save the planet at the same time. Whether you’re making a big purchase (sites like Chairish aren’t cheap!) or a small purchase, it’s worth poking around a few places to see what is being sold secondhand. You can often snag either like-new products or cool vintage items on these sites while also taking them off someone else’s hands. Such a win-win! And of course, you can also sell your own stuff on these sites rather than dumping it in the trash. If you really are pressed for time and need to get rid of something fast, even leaving something on the side of the road is a better option than dumping it in a trash can, especially if you’re in a big city. I’ve done this a couple of times with furniture in DC, and trust me, it gets snagged right away, whether or not it’s in perfect working condition. If you live in an area with less foot traffic and worried nobody will stop by, you can even post a “curb alert” on Craigslist, and it’s likely that someone will come and pick it up. The Salvation Army also does at-home pickups in DC, and you can schedule them a few days in advance, which is a huge time-saver if you know your items have more life left in them but don’t have a car or live far away from a donation spot.

Other things you can do? Recycle–it’s so easy! Carry reusable shopping bags + reuse the ones you do get at the store (I often save a few and use them to line and empty my bathroom trash can). Adopt or foster a pet. Order produce from a service like Hungry Harvest. Turn your lights off before you leave the house (still working on that one…I’m guilty of leaving a lamp on upstairs before I go out at night, otherwise I’d totally trip while walking back up!). Use old t-shirts as rags. Wash the plastic containers that your lunch meat or takeout food comes in and use them as Tupperware. Unplug things like your hairdryer during the day (but seriously do this…it’s a fire hazard!). Check out books from the library instead of ordering them online (another one I’m working on at the moment…). Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee mug.

…what else would you add? I’m seriously no pro, but thinking of these things made me realize that making small steps toward being more sustainable is entirely possible for all of us!

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FRIDAY FEELS, #20

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It’s been far too long since I’ve done one of these posts! I had a blast at the Bubbles and Bloggers happy hour at Tulips (you can’t beat $1 champagne specials), and I’m excited for a restful weekend with some fun plans on Saturday–a few of us design bloggers/fanatics are going to brunch at Steph’s and then taking advantage of Historic Garden Week in Old Town Alexandria. Otherwise, I’ll be busy packing for Savannah (more on that below), squeezing in a workout or two, and who knows what else!

As for the latest over here…

-I feel like such a nerd for saying this, but I’ve become a huge fan of my local library (my parents, who are both huge fans of the library for everything under the sun are probably kicking me because it’s taken me 26 years to realize how great it is). You would think that it takes forever to get off the waitlist for popular books within the DC library system, but I’ve managed to snag several great titles. Of course, there are a few cases where there are over 100 people in front of me on the hold list (like for Little Fires Everywhere), but I have plenty of books to sift through in the meantime. While I’ll still spend money on coffee table books and other keepsakes, I’m finding that the library is a much more practical option than even ordering $2 used books on Amazon. I can walk to the West End location from my office (it doesn’t hurt that it’s right next door to Bluestone Lane), so it’s super effortless to drop off and pick up books on my lunch break. I think I’ve kind of realized that while owning books is great, the time in which I move from one title to another isn’t usually instantaneous, so it’s worth waiting a couple of weeks for something to come in (for free) at the library than ordering it on Prime (or more frequently, through the used section on Amazon, as I mentioned above) and then not touching it for a couple of months anyway. Of course, I’m sure I’ll make exceptions every once in awhile, but for now, this is working well!

-Speaking of Bluestone Lane, I’m so glad I had the chance to duck out of the office for a late lunch the other day and meet up with Colby. We constantly message back and forth on Instagram about our similar design styles, and we also work within the same larger field, so it was so nice to finally chat IRL! We were talking about all the funny connections that Instagram can bring–it’s amazing how many cool, talented, and friendly people I’ve met this way! The fact that Colby is also a huge Craigslist/cane furniture fanatic means she’s a girl after my own heart!

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-I’m getting ready to head to Savannah with three of my close girlfriends from college next week, and I can’t wait (here’s to hoping we get some warm weather). We’ve already made reservations at a few restaurants (the Olde Pink House and The Ordinary Pub) and booked tickets for a ghost tour (can’t wait! I’ll admit that the fact that I love these is super inconsistent with my personality in so many ways, haha). A huge thanks to Shannon for the amazing recs (so jealous she lives there full-time, and it always helps to have a local’s perspective, especially when the local is a fellow blogger who knows all the cute, Instagrammable spots–I can’t wait to try Little Duck Diner while we’re there, too!). It will be nice to duck out of town for a bit and take my first real vacation since August, so I’m thankful I have the flexibility to do so next week.

-I was in NYC over the weekend (and talked everyone’s ear off about it on Instagram, whoops). I was up for a work trip but managed to see a good friend and swing by some of my favorite spots in between and after our events. I may have to do a longer post about this, but it’s definitely weird being back in the city without having my own place (living out of a hotel room in a city that you know well is WEIRD) and I miss all of the adventures my friends and I had in my early 20s, but at the same time, it’s fun to look back on those times and think about how much we’ve all grown since then. Does anyone else get super nostalgic thinking back to only three or four years ago?

Happy, happy Friday!

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Get the Look for Less: Bamboo Tables

I spotted these tables on Craigslist (where else) the other day and while I’m (likely) not going to snag them myself due to space (I’ve gotta stop somewhere…), I was thinking about what an easy DIY project they’d make!

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Ok, obviously they’re not in great condition…but look at that bamboo shape! These would be super easy to spray paint and bring to life with minimal effort. I personally would likely paint them white, but they’d also look amazing in a bright green or another fun, peppy color.

I was doing some Googling and realized that there are lookalike (ish) versions of these tables that sell for $$$ (if you ever want to find the real “value” of something you snag on Craigslist, just go to Chairish and your mind will be blown, haha). I mean, look how similar the below tables are to these, and yet they retail for over $700.

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No, the ones on Craigslist don’t have the cool fretwork or the lower tray, but I’m sure they’d look just as cute with a new coat.

Would you take on this project or leave it for someone else? There are some times when I feel totally motivated to take on a DIY, but other times I’d rather just wait around for the completed product (although these would be so, so simple to refurbish!).

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How to Make a Regular Day Less Blah

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I’m writing this after feeling a little behind with blogging and a little blah overall–settling back into reality after a weekend away in a great city will do that to you! But I’m constantly reminded that there are tons of ways to switch up your daily routine and wanted to share a few of my favorites:

-Try something that’s been on your local “must do/see” list instead of pushing it off for another day. Take advantage of the manicure deal at the place next door to your apartment building. Visit that food truck that always smells amazing and just place an order already. I know I always tell myself, “I’ll try the iced coffee at such and such place when it’s finally warm out,” and then I don’t end up doing it when the time actually comes. Same thing about the nail place across the street–do you ever feel too busy to do the things that are right in front of you? I want to make more of an effort to really get to know my surroundings the way I did in New York–being back in the city this past weekend and thinking things like “this is where so and so and I would meet up for lunch every week” or “this is where I’d sneak out and get frozen yogurt at 3 pm in the summer” made me nostalgic for having more of a little routine.

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-Do a weekend activity on a weeknight. Obviously things like going to Target or having dinner at a fun restaurant are fairly common weekend activities, but whenever I do something like this on a weeknight, I feel like I’m totally unplugging from my normal routine (not to mention, stores/restaurants are way less crowded on random Tuesday nights than they are on Saturdays!). Midweek retail/restaurant therapy is the best way to break up a hectic schedule and veering from your normal post-work gym or happy hour routine will leave you feeling refreshed.

-Combine “work” and “play.” The other day, I really wanted to get a workout in but also was starving when I came home from work and knew I needed to eat right away or else I’d last about five minutes in the gym. Does this happen to anyone else? I hate when it does! I decided that I’d eat dinner and then take a 45 minute walk around the neighborhood. And it was amazing. I listened to Grace‘s podcast while walking my loop, scoped out some colorful houses, and even stopped for a small thing of froyo (which probably negated most of the workout, but still).

-Picture your day through someone else’s eyes. When I’ve visited friends in their cities, I’ve loved imagining what my life would be like if I lived there, too. Adapt the same mindset but pretend you’re a stranger in your current neighborhood. You’d be surprised at what’s right in front of you that you never take advantage of or what you’re taking for granted that’s actually a huge perk (hello, everything in NYC!).

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What’s on my April Mood Board

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I love when other bloggers share their “mood boards” for the month/season. It’s so inspiring to see what other people are loving (I really enjoy following my fave bloggers on Pinterest for that reason) and thought I would take a hand at my own roundup. Here’s what I’m loving lately (aka pretty much the latest pins on my Pinterest page):

-Fun barware for at home happy hours (image

-Neutral decor with a pop of pink (image

-Open windows, fresh air, and lots of books (image

-A refreshing iced lavender chai latte (image)  

-A bit of boho (image

-Products that work in multiple ways around the house, like this shelf (image

…but all of the fun products aside, I’m really excited for relaxing on (and entertaining/reading/eating/sipping wine on) our roof deck. We’ve basically only lived in our apartment in cold weather months (we moved in this past October, and this spring has been pretty chilly so far), so I’m really excited to make the most of our outdoor space. The roof deck is accessible from the second floor, right outside my room, and we’re the only unit in our building that has access (if you live in DC, you know what a big perk this is!). I was actually reading and eating dinner (and drinking wine) out there last Wednesday evening when it was super nice out, and it was so peaceful getting some fresh air and unwinding from the work week before heading to NYC. I can’t wait to take advantage of this for a few more weeks before the weather becomes extremely humid…there’s nothing like a DC summer!

What are you loving and looking forward to this spring?

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Travel Update/Must Have Accessories

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For the first time in forever, I have a ton of travel on the horizon! I get so excited every time I think about each of these trips, as they’re all meaningful in one way or another–yes, even the work-related ones (I didn’t travel at all in previous jobs, so this is exciting for me!). I also have never been someone who’s traveled to a ton of new places; rather, I’ve traveled a lot but to the same few destinations–mainly Florida, Minnesota, and Arizona, where I have/had relatives living–so I’m excited to cross off two new states (Georgia and Michigan) in the coming weeks/months!

Here’s what my travel itinerary looks like at the moment (my guess is Florida will be added to the list, and hopefully Minnesota as well):

NYC for a work trip Thursday-Saturday of this week

Savannah, GA, for a girls trip at the end of April

Waterville, ME, for my college reunion in early June

NYC for a work trip in mid-June

Pinehurst, NC, for my good childhood friend’s wedding at the end of June

Ann Arbor, MI, for a work conference in July

Cape Cod, MA, for another girls trip, likely in August

Woohoo! I’m so excited to have so many little getaways on the horizon, especially because I haven’t yet taken a vacation day since starting my new job in December!

On that note…

Does anyone else feel extra inspired when it comes to picking out travel outfits? I’m not one of those people who gets super jazzed about my everyday outfits, but packing is a different story. I feel like vacations are the best time to bust out a fun new bag or try a new look (partly because you’re more likely to take pictures, let’s be real!).

I’m so excited to bring my new Clare V bag to Savannah. Her pieces are definitely on the pricier side, but they’re great because while they’re totally “it” bags at the moment, they definitely have more of a timeless vibe (I don’t think woven totes will ever really go out of style!).

I also browsed the internet and found some great options that are more affordable and would be super fun for summer travel. How perfect is this little bag from Amazon, of all places?!

Last but not least, I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the famous “Away” luggage brand. I’m not too particular about my luggage and have a suitcase that I got a few years ago before taking a trip to Europe that isn’t anything super sleek or stylish but works just fine. However, several of my friends are at the point where they’re looking to upgrade their suitcases, and Away has been at the top of everyone’s list (I’m bummed they’re no longer doing a collab with Gray Malin!). One thing I learned (while reading a thread in Grace’s Facebook group–a must join!) is that some airlines are particular about the charging component in the bags. Good to know in case you’re in the market for one!

What are your travel must haves or splurges? And if you have any fun trips coming up, I’d love to hear!

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Open House Inspiration

Does anyone else enjoy scouring real estate listings in their city? I love seeing what’s on the market in DC, although I didn’t think I’d find so much design inspiration in the process!

I’ll preface this post with a funny backstory…basically, I could’ve been a real estate agent in another life (or maybe I will be down the road, who knows!). Growing up, my dad and I went to open houses in our area almost every weekend. We both loved looking at what was out there–we’d find tons of listings and walk around various homes (sometimes just for fun, and sometimes to look at actual possibilities). We did end up moving houses when I was a sophomore in high school, but that hasn’t stopped us from still taking peeks at places in our current neighborhood when I’m home. We’d also do various drives throughout potential/dream neighborhoods. These would usually be over the summer, and we’d scope out tons of beautiful homes. It’s definitely sounds like a strange hobby as I describe it now, but we were (and still are) infatuated with real estate!

Anyway, fast forward about 15 years from when this obsession began…the other day, I was browsing Zillow and found the CUTEST apartment that I just had to share as design inspo (ok, mostly because of the pink SMEG fridge. But also, EXPOSED brick, which everyone knows by now is my weakness).

I mean…how perfect is this setup?

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Pinterest perfect rustic shelves and a pink fridge.

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The living room is nice and spacious and looks like it gets a lot of light, which is important.

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Wouldn’t this be the cutest bachelorette pad?

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Gorgeous built ins…

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I also love the bedroom. I’d change several things about it, but it has good bones, so to speak.

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I mean, wouldn’t you move in here? Also, should I make these posts a thing?!

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