Three Sale Items You Can’t Miss

One of the best parts about being between summer and fall (in addition to the slightly cooler weather!) is all of the great end of season sales. I’ve found some seriously great deals while doing some browsing–and ordering–over the past couple of days!

Tuckernuck scarf: I first talked about my love for this scarf when I snagged it at Tuckernuck’s summer sale in August, and I’ve worn it several times over the past month. I was actually sitting at work yesterday wearing the one I purchased (which is orange and blue) and wishing that I’d stocked up on more colors during the sale. Well, what do ya know? The pink version, which is super popular as well, is currently on sale for only $16! Of course I snagged one for myself as well as for my mom to give to her for Christmas–she doesn’t normally read here, so we’re good! It’s such an amazing price point (even before the sale), super stylish, and a great gift for any age–stock up, and your friends will be thrilled when the holidays roll around!

J.Crew Factory Field Jacket: I have raved about my love for this jacket many times–I purchased the regular J.Crew version back in 2013 and wore it to the ground in the years since. So when I saw the Factory version (which looks about the same) on sale for only $30 a few weeks ago, thanks to an amazing Labor Day sale, I had to snatch it up. Still looking for that versatile lightweight coat? You’ll thank me later! (Also, this white pom pom blazer is sadly sold out, but I purchased it a few weeks ago for about $22 and am in love, so I just wanted to share–will have to get a pic of me wearing it up here soon!).

42 Pressed Candles: It’s no secret that I love candles. High end, low end, you name it, I’ll try all of them! I recently ordered this Otherland candle after falling in love with the scent during my shoot at Elizabeth’s a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait for it to arrive! However, I’ve also been a longtime fan of 42 pressed candles (mostly for their adorable packing, not gonna lie!), and they’re having a great sale on select ones right now–I have both the DC and Paris ones, which are great! The only thing to watch for is their shipping, which is pretty steep!

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An Easy Decor Update: Hanging Planters

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Whether they’re attached to the wall or hanging from the ceiling, decorative planters are super popular right now. I’ll admit that I’ve become a huge plant lady over the past few months, and honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t start adding greenery to my spaces sooner! Plants add such nice energy to a space, are generally affordable, bring in a pop of color, and are a great conversation piece!

I was browsing Amazon a few weeks back and stumbled upon this set of hanging planters, which I immediately purchased. I’ve so far only hung one up in my apartment and am already loving the look. I popped in a small pot from Little Leaf and that was it! (The key is just to be careful when watering, because the water can drip down out of the pot).

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This guy has been hanging up in our nook area where there’s a lot of sunlight, and he’s been thriving! I also like how the planter adds a fun boho look to what is a more serious-looking, formal-ish space full of dark wood and cane. For a $10 update, it’s been working pretty well!

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My Upstairs Gallery Wall

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This is actually the only gallery wall in my current apartment, but I just couldn’t live without one! (You can see my gallery wall in my old place–along with tips on how to create your own–right this way).

I’ve shown this wall a ton in various Instagram posts and stories, but I’ve never really talked about the pieces that I’ve incorporated. I think gallery walls are special because you can get so creative and unique with them–no two are going to be the same, and they often feature pieces that are meaningful to the homeowner and aren’t just things you can purchase from any chain store or website.

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This gallery wall is made up of several pieces that I love and have purchased both recently and longer ago. On the top left in the white bamboo frame, I have a vintage map of Washington, DC, that I purchased on Etsy and cut to fit into the frame. I LOVE looking at old maps and reading about neighborhood history–when I learned our apartment building dated back to the 1890s, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic, and I once got lost for hours on a website that showed what streets in New York City looked like decades ago.

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Next to the map is a small gold mirror that I purchased on eBay right after I moved into this apartment. I didn’t know where I wanted to hang it, but I love how it looks here. It’s hung next to my Press for Champagne ornament (yes, that’s actually an ornament, but I wanted to hang it on the wall!), and a floral print that I snagged for $2 at my church’s flea market a couple of years ago.

Both butterfly prints are from the Georgetown Flea, and the small gold sunburst mirror is from Francesca’s a couple of years ago.

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The cake print is a new addition and is actually a postcard that I grabbed while visiting the National Gallery of Art a few months ago. I absolutely love the cake painting that’s hanging there and knew I wanted a piece of it in my home! The “we want beer” print is exactly the kind of sassy yet meaningful (historical!) thing that I love–I ordered one after spotting it in Chrissy’s home via her blog.

And there you have it! While I used to switch up my gallery walls pretty frequently, this one has remained pretty much the same in the time I’ve lived here, because I really like how all of the colors and shapes work together. The best advice I can give when making a gallery wall is 1) don’t hang things too closely!!!! and 2) vary your objects and frames to create an eye-catching look that isn’t too bland.

(PS: the dress I’m wearing in this post is from LOFT, and I’ve been living it in it this summer. I had originally purchased it for a bridal shower back in May, but I wear it to work, out to dinner, etc, all the time and love it!).

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Bar Cart Updates

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For as much as I love to decorate, it’s rare that I change up things like my bar cart super often. Once I find a layout that works, I’ll often just leave it for ages. But the other week, I was inspired to switch things up a bit, since the area had gotten way too full with various glasses, coasters, and accessories. I decided to streamline everything a bit, set out some of my favorite food and drink-related books, and put only my favorite glassware of the moment on display.

My bar cart itself is from Miss Pixie’s, which is right on 14th Street in DC. I’m lucky enough that it’s right in the neighborhood, but it’s also a bit dangerous, because I stop in there way too often! I found this cart when I was coming home from work on day last fall and decided to stop in for a quick look around the store. I saw that the bar cart had just arrived in that day and fell in love with the gold bamboo details. When I realized it was priced at only $70, I knew I had to scoop it up!

As for a little tour of my bar area…

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The Gin & Tonic print is from Society6, which is hands down my favorite place to order wall art. They’re also pretty much always offering promotions of some sort. The gold bamboo frame was actually a Goodwill find, and a lot of my bar accessories (like the pineapples and the shaker) are from TJMaxx. The rest is pretty much all thrifted!

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This glassware is actually displayed on a dresser in our living room, and I love the look. Thrift stores are some of my favorite places to pick up glassware, because you can find so many vintage looking styles, and there actually are usually a decent amount of sets/pairs available.

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A Few Room Updates

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After checking in with a little life update yesterday, I figured it was about time for a room update! I’ve been making lots of changes around here but needed to get some photos taken before I could share everything on the blog, and last weekend was the perfect time to do just that.

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I talked about the cane chair DIY I did a few weeks ago but didn’t have great pictures to show at the time. I was able to capture some when the lighting in my room was good, so you can see the (mostly) finished product here. The sunburst mirror on the wall was a recent $8 Craigslist find, and the rattan and bamboo mirror that’s leaning on the vanity table (because it’s SUPER heavy) is something I purchased at Miss Pixie’s back in the fall–for only $45!

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I need to decorate the vanity table a bit more, but to be honest I don’t really sit over here because the lighting in this area isn’t great most of the day, and there isn’t an outlet for me to plug in a lamp. But it’s still a fun little spot to look at, and the table is a great place to toss mail, clothing to donate, etc.

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Oh, and the mirrored end tables (kind of shown in the first picture in this post) are an update, too. I was struggling with what to use as nightstands after selling my IKEA ones (I had originally put the lucite tables from our nook area there, but I wasn’t loving that look, and then I was debating going mismatched but wasn’t sure if I liked that style, either). I stumbled upon these mirrored end tables on Craigslist (honestly, where else) for a good price and took them home. While they don’t provide storage, I like that they don’t take up too much visual–or physical–space but still serve a purpose.

Are you a fan of mirrored furniture? I used to think it was a bit overdone, but I really like how it looks next to exposed brick–it’s such a fun contrast and really provides a bit of a “rustic glam” look!

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Latest Obsession: A Cane Bag from Zara

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I had a big work event on Friday night and didn’t get home until nearly 10 pm, and then I was busy working at the gym Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend was full of food (Jeni’s ice cream being one of the things I consumed–yum! If you haven’t tried the salted peanut butter flavor with chocolate flecks, you need to RUN over there now!), a workout class, and taking some pictures of my apartment to share on here! Today is also my first day of school–something I was pretty sure I wouldn’t say ever again when I completed my masters program a few years ago! I’m doing a certificate program in nonprofit management while I work full time and will just be taking one class per semester, but I still need to ease back in to the writing papers/reading not for pleasure life, haha.

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If you know me, you know that I love anything cane/rattan. And by anything, I truly mean ANYTHING. Yes, I have tons of cane furniture throughout my apartment, but I also love how the design looks on things like bags and shoes. So of course I couldn’t resist when I spotted a cane Zara bag online a few months ago–well, actually I did try to resist at first–I kept my eye on it for weeks as it went in and out of stock, but eventually I knew I had to add it to my collection. (I’m not seeing it available at the moment, sorry!).

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I was able to get some outfit pictures with it over the weekend (yes, I finally did an outfit shoot!). The black pants I’m wearing are my fave pair–they’re from LOFT and are great for work and weekends alike. The black lace top was a lunch break Nordstrom Rack find (there’s a store conveniently close to my office!) that will be perfect for going out, date nights, and the like as the weather gets a bit cooler (not gonna lie, I wasn’t the most comfortable while taking these pictures in the 80-degree heat!).

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I also am thrilled with my new pairs of Jack Rogers and like how these sandals are a little dressier than the usual style. I’ve worn them to work a couple of times and love how versatile the platinum color has been. I’ve definitely been a little more casual with my summer workwear, although I think this style of Jacks is definitely more office appropriate.

Hope everyone has a great start to the week! I finally had time to sit down and queue up a few posts for the coming days, so check back here later this week for lots of new content!

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Summer Steals to Scoop Up Now

I love when summer items go on sale before the absolute end of the season and you still have time to enjoy them before the weather gets cooler. I mentioned on Instagram the other week how I snagged some amazing pairs of Jack Rogers sandals on sale, and I’m glad that I’ll actually get a chance to wear them in the coming weeks!

I was doing some browsing the other day and noticed that a ton of other cute summer items are on majorly marked down at the moment, so I thought I’d do a big roundup here…

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Basket bag: I feel silly for taking so long to pull the trigger on one of these, but I wanted whatever I got to be cheap (except not, like, falling apart, clearly poorly made cheap, of course!) and it was hard to find something that wasn’t overpriced but also wasn’t going to break after one wear. I didn’t even want to spend more than $40 or so because I have so many other adorable straw purses that I don’t use enough. Needless to say, I was setting myself up to have a pretty limited search! Then, finally, I came across this option marked down to $25 on Amazon Prime and knew I had to scoop it up. I haven’t seen it in person yet (it’s supposed to arrive later today, woo!), but hopefully it will look just as cute as it does in the pictures.

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Jack Rogers: Speaking of Jacks, there are still tons of styles on sale! The Lord & Taylor options that I posted about on Instagram the other week are all gone, unfortunately, but other stores have their own markdowns and you can still snag some pretty good deals! I love the raffia on this pair, and there are plenty of sizes available (I hate when you find a great deal and then realize that the only sizes in stock are 5.5s!).

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Hat Attack Straw Tote: The “it” tote of summer 2018 is marked down on Shopbop, and I’d be tempted to order it if I didn’t have so many bags already! The macrame look is so fun and different–it reminds me of the vintage-y accessories in Mamma Mia 2 😉

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North Face Backpack: Not so much a seasonal find, but an amazing deal for all the students out there! I used a black North Face backpack in grad school and still bring it on long trips or even to work when I’m carrying a ton of stuff. Sometimes you just have to go with the practical option!

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Straw hat: White Elephant Designs has several straw hats with fun sayings on sale, as well as some totes and other accessories. I have their “out of office” tote, which I ordered around this time last year, and it’s GIGANTIC–perfect for a beach day or picnic!

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The Hunt for a Sconce

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A few weeks ago, I posted on Insta stories about my desire to get a sconce for next to my bed–it’s been a little design project that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile–and this past weekend, my Target sconce arrived and is now sitting pretty in my room! I had been putting off getting sconces for awhile because 1) there isn’t an outlet behind my bed; there’s only one on the left side, so I couldn’t really get a pair of two because I’d have nowhere to plug the other one in, 2) several of the styles I liked were insanely expensive, and 3) I wasn’t sure if I should just wait and see if I could purchase something that could be electrically wired to get rid of the cord issue, for both aesthetic and practical reasons. I actually asked my building’s handyman if this was something that would be possible (I wasn’t sure, because I live in a rental and updates like these are time-consuming and somewhat invasive, but our apartment does have track lighting in a couple of places that had been installed by previous tenants, so I figured it wasn’t entirely out of the question!). Our handyman said that it would likely be possible to electrically wire something, but he’d have to come by and take a look. I told him not to worry about it–I had found an awesome, modern-looking, affordable option from Target that I could hang and plug into the wall–so easy! Well, actually I relied on a cheap (thank goodness!) Task Rabbit to handle it for me, largely because I don’t own a drill and wanted to leave that part to the pros.

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The light that I purchased appears to be sold out on Target.com at the moment (though this very similar option is still for sale), but their stock seems to get updated fairly frequently, so check back soon and it will likely be there. I like the fun, modern look, particularly because a lot of my other bedroom decor is more vintage/old-fashioned. It looks like some of the pricier options West Elm offers (I browsed through their sconces and fell in love with several) but won’t break the bank. The lamp provides a TON of light, which has been such an upgrade for reading in bed. I definitely picked it more for aesthetic purposes than for its functionality, but it truly shines (ha) in that area, too, which has been a big bonus. You just unscrew the two lids to replace the lightbulbs, but hopefully they’ll last awhile.

I need to get a good picture of the sconce in my room sometime soon, but in the meantime, here’s some inspiration if you’re unsure what style of sconce is best for your style/living space–there really are so many fun shapes and colors that it was difficult for me to choose!

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5 Things I’ve Learned from Doing DIYs

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While I’m far from a DIY expert, I love knocking out a spray paint or sanding project in my spare time. It’s so satisfying seeing a piece of furniture go from blah to beautiful in a matter of hours. However, I’ve also started several projects that ended up being huge flops, and I know plenty of other people can relate! Here are some things I’ve learned from my DIY drama.

1) Patience is key. It may be tempting to start that spray paint project on a super hot or windy day because it’s the only free weekend you’ll have for awhile, but you’ll only end up more frustrated if you begin your work under less than ideal conditions. Check the weather (especially during the summer) to determine whether spray paint will hold or just end up all messy, and if you need to wait a few weeks, it won’t be the end of the world–you’ll thank yourself when your final product looks amazing!

2) Be realistic. I’ve done some DIY projects that I’m super proud of and others that have made me want to start crying! The end result likely won’t be as pretty as the images you see on Pinterest, so if you would feel more comfortable enlisting a friend or professional to help, do it. Even if you snag a cool vintage piece that’s seen better days for cheap and pay someone else to refinish and paint it, it will likely still be a better deal than buying a completed piece from the local antique shop.

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3) Do your research. I’ve found that asking questions at the hardware store and doing some Googling can really help–it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when purchasing your materials.

4) Painting over paint isn’t always a great idea. I’ve learned the hard way that painting over an existing paint color is super difficult and doesn’t always look great, even if you sand beforehand. As noted in the point above, do your research and figure out if the project you have in mind makes sense to take on, or if it’s better to leave a painted item as is and live with it.

5) Dress accordingly. It seems like a no brainer, but there have definitely been times where I’ve figured plastic gloves would suffice and of course ended up getting spray paint all over my jeans. Wear old clothes and cover your hands; you’ll thank me later!

What DIY tips do you have? I’m more of a painter/refinisher but would love to hear what it’s like to build something from scratch…I haven’t been that ambitious thus far, but I love the look of custom pieces.

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Recent Purchases I’m Loving

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I love getting a sneak peek into other bloggers’ shopping carts, so I thought I would do a quick roundup of some of my favorite purchases as of late…let me know if you’ve tried any of these items!

Peacock chair: I had been wanting one of these for ages and finally found a great one on Craigslist. It was still fairly pricy, but it was a great deal compared to ones I’d seen elsewhere online. The best part was that the seller lived only a few blocks away, so I didn’t have to worry about fitting it into a car to bring it home (although I did look a little silly walking through Dupont carrying the chair over my shoulders–and got a few compliments on it along the way!). I’m loving how it looks in my upstairs space, and it’s super comfortable and adds a great boho touch.

Linen comforter. I’ve constantly been hearing rave reviews about linen bedding items and have used linen sheets once or twice but wanted to look for a comforter or throw blanket made from that material as well. I actually picked mine up at Marshalls of all places, but there are many similar options online. It’s perfect for folding over a plain comforter or duvet color or using on its own, and the fabric is just so comfortable and is an ideal weight for this time of year.

White noise machine. I’m lucky in the sense that I usually have no trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night, even if I’m in a new location. However, Alaina posted on IG stories about this sound machine a few months back, and I was curious and wanted to scoop it up to give it a try! I don’t use it every night, but I’ll turn it on if if it’s especially loud when I’m going to bed (which can happen frequently, as my apartment is located on a major street in an area filled with bars and restaurants) or if I’m feeling restless and want some white noise in the background. You can choose what “sound” you want it to play, but I just use the generic white noise setting each time…I don’t really know who would find the tropical sounds appealing! Obviously, there are free apps that do the same thing as this machine, but for $30, I feel it was a worthwhile purchase.

Bedside lamps. I have changed up my bedside lamp situation more times than I can count over the past few months, oops. It took me forever to find a setup that I was satisfied with aesthetically, but I think I’ve finally arrived at a winner. I spotted these gold lamps on Jess’s blog awhile back and waited a bit to order them–since my preferences change all the time, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to change my mind–and thankfully they were still available and shipped out super quickly. I love the gold and the classic shape. I believe Target released a similar style at some point, but I haven’t seen it online anymore. At $50 each, they’re a great buy for really any room.

Annie Selke throw. I snagged this throw on major sale and am in love with the pattern. I really shouldn’t have bought two bedding-related items back to back (#priorities) but they match and work as a set! The tie-dye pattern (designed by Bunny Williams) is perfect for summer months goes with the rest of my blue and white bedroom decor.

Lululemon tote bag. This bag is also a fun tie-dye print and will be perfect for summer travel as a carry on. I have a black Lululemon bag that’s similar and holds all of my gym stuff, though this bag is slightly larger. The material is sturdy, looks super easy to clean, and the bag as a whole got great reviews, so I’m excited to test it out as I travel later this week! It’s seriously soooo spacious!

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