Happy Sunday! I thought it would be fun to kick off a new series where I share articles that have caught my eye from around the web. I thought Sundays would make the most sense given that I have more time to browse around the internet and prepare these posts over the weekend; plus, for me, Sunday is all about unwinding with a good book/blog post/magazine. Hopefully you can do the same and start your week off on the right foot! These post won’t be weekly, but my goal is to publish them every time I find enough share-worthy articles that you all may enjoy. A caveat: the stuff I post on here is going to be more design/lifestyle/fashion-related since that’s what most of you are here for, obviously! I also read some great higher ed related pieces this week that I’ve shared with friends and family (I work at a university by day and am passionate about these issues, too) but am going to stay on topic on here–just wanted to assure y’all that I’m doing more than just reading about Taylor Swift. 😉
-Taylor Swift’s 30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30. Our fave 1989 baby turns the big 3-0 this year. I had to include this, and any die-hard fan has likely already read it, but I actually really appreciated some of her advice!
I know not all of my readers are local, but I’m always thrilled when I get messages from people on Instagram who tell me that they like the DC-related posts or found my blog after recently moving to the city. So with that, I’m going to share a few new (and just new-to-me) places in DC that I’ve been loving lately
-She Loves Me. Plant lovers, rejoice, because a new flower shop has come to town! Woman-run shop She Loves Me arrived in Petworth last month and has been ALL over social media (plus, it couldn’t be prettier). I stopped by their opening day celebration and couldn’t get enough of the shop’s fun decorations (hello, peacock chairs!) and vibrant atmosphere. Items are on the pricier side, but it’s definitely a great alternative to your run of the mill grocery store selection!
-North Italia. I was invited to sample North Italia’s menu a few weekends ago, and the experience certainly did not disappoint. My friend and I ate everything from proscieutto bruschetta to delicious spaghetti (I ordered the bolognese, which is always a favorite) to an incredible chocolate hazelnut concoction for dessert. Located in Foggy Bottom, the restaurant is a little off the beaten path when it comes to weekend eats but is easily Metro accessible and is very spacious and light-filled, making it a great place to kick back and enjoy a delicious meal. Be prepared to be FULL by the time you leave!
-Flower Child. Right next to North Italia is Flower Child, an amazing, healthy spot that also just opened up and specializes in vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo options. Both places are right near my office, and my coworkers and I have already checked out Flower Child a few times (sweetened by the fact that they were offering $10 off $20 purchase coupons) and love it. (Oh, and can we talk about the cute bistro tables and chairs inside the restaurant?). I recommend the Brussels sprouts, mac and cheese, turkey club, and lemonade (can you tell I’ve eaten there a lot?!). https://www.iamaflowerchild.com/locations/washington-dc
-Coconut Club. This new bar/restaurant is also a little out of the way for many Northwest DC dwellers (it’s over by Union Market) but is the cutest new spot for drinks (and I can imagine it’ll only be more festive in the summer!). I went with a friend for happy hour a few weeks back, and I obviously had to order their delicious pink frozen rum drink, which I’ll admit is very Instagrammable. We also split a side of Brussels, which were super tasty!
-Politics and Prose. I know that Politics and Prose is such a DC staple, but I actually hadn’t been to an event there until the other week, when I went to hear Chloe Benjamin and Jill Santopolo speak about their respective works. The independent bookstore has a vast selection of titles and is also home to a cafe downstairs, making it a great place to relax. Jill wrote The Light We Lost, which is one of my all-time favorites, and was there talking about her new release, More Than Words, which I just recapped last week in my February book post. While I had been expecting a room of mainly 20- and 30-something women, the audience was very diverse and everyone really enjoyed having a chance to pose their own questions to Chloe and Jill.
The neutral decor trend isn’t anything new, and while I love how clean it makes a space look, I just can’t go without a dash of color in my home. I came across this red rug on One Kings Lane and immediately wanted to design a room around it. I thought it would pop nicely against white and wood-toned accents, so off I went to browse some of my favorite sites for accessories, and I’m loving the completed look. If only I had an extra room to redo! Deets on the pieces below:
I wanted to pop in with a quick post today because I did some blog housekeeping this weekend to make my books section easier to navigate. It was very text-heavy before, which made it a little more difficult to scan through! I went back and added photo collages for each month of book roundups (just like the one I used in my most recent book post on Friday). Hopefully this will make it easier to find new reads–books are something I get asked about a lot, and I always tell my friends to go here first and click through these past posts to see what I liked the most! Similarly, I often rely on other blogs for recs and love when people make their book posts visual so that I can quickly see everything they’ve been reading lately. Overall, though, this is also a fun way for me to archive everything I read, because at some point you honestly start to lose track! Click here to scroll through–happy reading/browsing!
I mentioned the other day that I love listening to Bad on Paper podcast, particularly when I’m sitting in the car waiting for yet another Uber Pool passenger to delay my trip home (ha). Over the weekend, I was listening to Grace and Becca’s episode featuring fashion blogger Blair Eadie, who mentioned that whenever she and her friends get together on a girls trip, they spend a ton of time going over their favorite recent purchases and sharing must-haves with one another. These things can range from grocery store items to clothing, which I think is such a neat, useful idea. I thought I would try a similar thing with my Instagram followers and asked people to share their favorite purchase (pertaining to food, travel, clothing, etc) as of late…and below are just some of the amazing answers I got! I’ve sorted things by category so that this list isn’t completely random. Also, apologies if your response got cut off–Insta doesn’t save these replies, so I had to take screenshots as they came in and am doing my best to piece them together!
“A long sleeve black Lululemon top. It sounds so basic, but I wear it lots in this weather!”
“New Adidas sneakers from DSW. Aka much less expensive, but cute/versatile.”
I’m back, after taking a somewhat unintentional break! As I mentioned on Instagram the other day, I’m still working to figure out a balance with blogging and freelance work. Blogging brings me so much joy, don’t get me wrong! That said, I’ve been fortunate enough to have picked up a lot of writing assignments on the side over the past couple of months, too. All in all, at the end of the day, it’s more tempting (and realistic) to focus my energy on the side gig that helps pay the bills, especially when I’m writing content that’s similar to what I’d ordinarily be posting about on here for free. That said, even being “away” for a few weeks made me realize how much I value my DC to a “T” community (here and on Instagram), so I promise I’m going to post on here as much as I can, it just may not be as frequent as before. If only there was more time in the day!
Since it’s been awhile, I thought I would share a few things I’ve been loving over the past few weeks (and I have a post coming soon with reader favorites, too!):
-Bad on Paper Podcast. If you follow a lot of lifestyle bloggers, you’ve probably heard of Grace Atwood’s podcast Bad on Paper, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it on here! Grace and her friend Becca host a weekly podcast that started out primarily covering YA books but has branched out to feature all kinds of guests, including other podcast hosts, fashion bloggers, you name it. I’m not really a podcast listener on the day to day (I know, I know…I grew up in a family that listened to a LOT of talk radio and I was over it a long time ago), but Bad on Paper is an exception. Grace and Becca have a great dynamic and share a lot of amazing reads, products, trip recaps, and the like, which makes for fun listening. I usually catch up on episodes while I’m in never-ending Uber Pool rides, to be honest, as it makes the time fly by! Grace and Becca will be hosting the pod live in NYC on April 1, and I wish I could go see it!
-Nashville trip planning! I’ve posted about this on Instagram as well, but I’m headed to Nashville in May for a long weekend with some of my college girlfriends, and I cannot wait! I’ve been to Nashville once a few years ago but was by myself visiting a graduate program and didn’t get to do any of the fun exploring, unfortunately! (I do remember that the hotel room I was in was verrrrry cheap and located on the ground floor, and every night before bed I would push one of the flimsy desk chairs from the room against the door in case anyone tried to break in…). This time, we’ve booked an awesome Airbnb and thanks to all of the recs I’ve received from you all, have our must-see’s set out for us! Being the Type A person that I am, I’ve already started compiling a Google doc with everything that was recommended to us or is something I’ve come across on Instagram/Pinterest/Google/etc. If you have any must-dos or sees, please send ’em my way.
-Warby Parker frames: A friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago that he needed new glasses frames and asked if I wanted to come with for stylistic input (so flattered, M 😉 ), so off I went to Warby Parker for the first time! Well, being the worst glasses owner of all time (i.e.: I don’t wear them ever and then when I do always end up leaving them in an Uber/crushing them in a purse/losing them under my bed and never being able to find them–all things that have happened within the past year), I realized it was time for me to step up my game and purchase a new pair for myself, too! Seriously…my backup backup pair was out of commission by this point, so I was getting desperate! I honestly don’t know what took me so long to visit Warby Parker, because the whole experience was so seamless (or maybe the margarita I had beforehand made it seem that way). We didn’t get to the store until about 20 minutes before closing, yet in that short amount of time I was able to try on multiple frames, pick out new glasses (only $20 with my United Healthcare insurance!), and also grab a new pair of prescription sunglasses. Both pairs arrived within a week, and I’ve been loving them so far. I always thought picking out new glasses had to take hours and cost hundreds of dollars–as it had in the past–and I was so, so wrong!
-Fire stick: This is actually embarrassing because I’m probably close to a decade behind the times, but I finally got a Fire stick (I keep referring to it as a “Kindle Fire” because I literally live in the dark ages) to watch Netflix/Amazon/etc on the tv I have in my room, and I’m loving it so far. I have been having a little bit of trouble with internet connectivity upstairs and may need to call Verizon (the worst task ever!) but am glad I am finally living in ~modern times ~ even if it took me this long! Again, let me know if you have any tips/troubleshooting advice, because I’m clearly very out of the loop!
-Beauty supplies at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. While I rarely share beauty products on here, that may have to change, because I’ve been stocking up on a ton of new makeup/lotions/shampoos lately thanks to frequent trips to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s (oops). Over the past few weeks, I’ve spotted brands like Drybar, Living Proof, Becca Cosmetics, First Aid Beauty, Urban Decay, and many, many more at these discount stores–and the products aren’t gross/expired/strangely colored, promise! While shopping at stores like these obviously means you won’t have the same comprehensive selection that you’d find at a Sephora or ULTA, you can find some pretty legit products for way, way cheaper than market price. Oh, and while we’re at it–I’ve added these shelves to my bathroom (I purchased two sets and stacked them on top of each other) and they’re perfect for product storage. They’re not amazing quality (as to be expected based on the low price), but I’ve jazzed them up with some gold knobs from Amazon and love the streamlined look. I’ll have to do a full “tour” of the setup sometime soon!
-You on Netflix: I posted about this on Instagram, but I binge-watched You on Netflix a few weekends ago and thought it was so good. If you’re not familiar with the show, it starts Penn Bagdley (Dan from Gossip Girl) as a bookstore clerk who becomes obsessed with a young graduate student and will do anything to have her all to himself (hint: there’s a lot of murder involved). While the show was definitely dark and creepy, I was hooked from the beginning. What made it better was that the bookstore is actually a real store on York Avenue in NYC (they just changed the name for the movie) and everything else surrounding it is there in real life (my former wine store made several appearances!). What I didn’t know when I was watching is that the show is based on a book by the same name, which I’ve since requested at the library.
Ah, if only I could redo every room in my apartment once a month…there are always so many new products that catch my eye, and below are several that I’ve either purchased or am lusting over at the moment! I love how they all work together, too.
My friend Chris discovered this cane shelf on UO’s website and sent me a picture of it right away (anyone who knows me knows how much I love this look!). I’m not sure if it would work in my bathroom at the moment, but I absolutely love how stylish (and affordable) it is and I’m sure I’ll convince myself to scoop it up eventually. 😉 It would also be beautiful holding spices in a kitchen!
This bamboo mirror is also a steal and would look beautiful in a bathroom, over a dresser, or leaning on open shelving. Again, I don’t need it, but it’s gorgeous!
I can never stop buying coffee table books and given that I just booked a trip to Nashville in May (my college friends and I are having a mini reunion there and I can’t wait!), this one seemed like a must.
I love when you find affordable Turkish rugs that look like something you’d stumble upon at a flea market (I hate the mass-produced look). This one is a winner!
Who can say no to chinoiserie bathroom decor? Ballard Designs does it again with this fun blue and white set.
I’ve talked a lot on the blog about the various shows/speakers I’ve seen at Sixth & I, but I realized I’ve never put together a post describing just how much I love this venue and the performers it hosts! (This is not at all affiliated with the organization, I just wanted to share my thoughts!).
If you’re not familiar with Sixth & I, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a synagogue–the fact that it’s also a wonderful event space is just a small component! Located in the heart of Chinatown in DC, Sixth & I is super accessible and is near a ton of great restaurants, making it the perfect venue for so many cultural events. Tickets are very affordable–usually close to $20–and when relevant, include the option to purchase the speaker’s latest book for an additional $12 or so.
In the past year, I’ve seen Mari Andrew, Jen Sincero, and U Up speak/perform at Sixth & I. (I saw U Up just last week with Katie, a friend of hers from college, Laura, and we had such a blast laughing along with Jared and Jordana live. I think it was my favorite show yet just because of how fun and engaged the audience was, too!).
The overall “feel” of the venue changes based on who is performing (U Up had dimmed lights and a more bar-like, lighthearted vibe), but the audience demographics have been pretty much the same at all of the events I’ve attended (generally mostly women in their 20s and 30s). Sixth & I is also a super safe venue (you’re patted down and your bag is searched as you walk in), and the best part? There’s almost always a bar set up, making it easy to purchase beer and wine to enjoy in your seat.
There’s honestly something super invigorating about gathering a small group of friends–or just yourself, I’ve gone to plenty of events like these solo–and getting out into the city for a bit to see someone interesting speak. While it takes more effort than watching Netflix on your couch, it’s so worth it. My mom ended up using my Liane Moriarty ticket at Sixth & I this past fall after I couldn’t attend the book talk due to a work conflict, and she absolutely loved the experience, which she also found super energizing.
If you’re interested in seeing what’s next, here’s a schedule of upcoming events.
I’m popping in with a quick post today before heading off to work–we had an early closing yesterday and a delayed opening at work today due to the “snow” (which really ended up being more like rain!), but I managed to squeeze in two workouts and tackle a lot of freelance stuff, so I’m grateful for the extra productivity!
I wanted to share two pieces that I came across on TJMaxx.com (where else?!) that I think are absolutely stunning and were such a great deal.
Last week, I saw this sassy, stylish cheetah piece by William Stafford for sale and knew I had to have it. While I haven’t often come across designer art pieces at TJMaxx, I googled the photograph and saw that it had previously been for sale on sites like One Kings Lane and was popular on Pinterest (so I knew it was the real deal!). I’m so excited to add this piece to my home, though the exact spot is TBD! Unfortunately, it seems to be sold out at the moment, but I found it for a similar price on Wayfair!
I was browsing again yesterday and came across another William Stafford piece (aptly named “dirty habit”) that I must have missed the first time but is actually one I’d spotted on Pinterest a few years ago in this home tour and couldn’t track down. It’s certainly not everyone’s style, but I loved how it looked in the below image (it’s so perfect for a bar cart area!). If you like sassy black and white photographs that tell a story, this one is a must!
The best part is that both images are huge (20 by 24 inches) AND come framed for only $80 each. If you wanted to frame a print of this size yourself, it would easily cost a couple hundred dollars, so this is a steal!
Are you a William Stafford fan/black and white photography enthusiast?
I know that I’ve talked a ton about the Georgetown Flea on the blog already (you can check out some previous posts/smaller guides on it here, here, and here), but given that I got several DMs/questions after sharing a sneak peek of my adventures there this past Sunday, I thought it would be time for me to publish a full-blown guide. This post is mainly for my DC readers or anyone traveling to the area, but hopefully people in other locations can still benefit from some of the more general tips!
First things first: the Georgetown Flea is an outdoor flea market located in Upper Georgetown (in the Hardy Middle School parking lot, which is across the street from the “Social Safeway”). It’s open every Sunday, officially from 8 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. I was fortunate enough that my previous apartment was just down the street from the Flea, making it easy to pop on over as I pleased. And because I have a hard time staying away from any thrift store/outdoor market situation, I obviously ended up going there a ton and now have plenty of tips to share! Even though I live a little further away now, I still make an effort to go at least a few times a season, as the Flea is truly a DC gem!
As for my “insider” tips…
1) Get there early, but not too early. Head over before brunch, not after! While the end time is technically 4:00 pm, vendors start to close up shop closer to noon/1 pm (though I’ve sometimes seen them stay out later in the summer months). Getting to the Flea early obviously means you’ll get first dibs on the items of the day, and some days I really have been there right at 8:30 or 9 am (there’s a Starbucks right nearby, so grab a cup of coffee and stroll around as you wake yourself up!). Not a major morning person? No sweat. I’ve also had luck showing up around 11:30, when vendors are starting to think about all of the merchandise they’ll have to pack up into their trucks in just a few short hours and will be more receptive to bargaining and discounts. Plus, if for some reason you fail to stumble upon any treasures, you can walk down Wisconsin Ave and enjoy the other Georgetown shops that will be open by this time of day.
2) Be mindful of the weather. Before planning your trip over–whether you’re traveling several miles or just a few blocks–take a look at the weather forecast and use your best judgment on whether it’s worth the trip. Would you be standing outside in a booth if there’s snow in the forecast? Yes, vendors will be present rain or shine, but trust me, the selection is much, much better when the weather is nice or at least sunny. I’ve definitely made the mistake of heading over on a misty or chilly day only to want to turn right back around due to the lack of merchandise available.
3) Search, search, search. Look past the junk–unfortunately, there’s a lot of it (think used stuffed animals, old DVDs and books, knockoff designer bags, and other garage sale fare). However, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. Don’t disregard a seller’s table just because 90 percent of the items set out don’t appeal to you. You’re likely to find something beautiful if you look carefully. This past week, I scored the gorgeous chinoiserie vase above for only $5 after I spotted it on a jewelry table. I don’t even wear much jewelry; I just decided to take a look at the selection prior to heading back home and was presently surprised!
4) Be open minded. Since this is a Flea market, you can’t really go into the experience with a specific shopping list, or you’ll likely end up disappointed. Instead, go in and stumble upon things you didn’t even know you needed (I kid…well, kinda!). But really, you may spot a one-of-a-kind item that wasn’t on your radar but would look just perfect on that neglected shelf/in your guest room/etc. This happened a few weeks ago when I spotted a gorgeous ornate mirror that was gold and stunning. I had no idea where I would end up putting it, but the $35 price tag just couldn’t be beat. When I got home, I thought about it for awhile and then decided it would look perfect in my bathroom, and I now couldn’t be happier about this upgrade!
5) Don’t be afraid to bargain. I’ll let you in on a little secret–most of the time, I’m a little afraid to bargain, especially if I know that something is worth a decent amount. If I spot a perfect item on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, I never offer less than the asking price (in fact, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ll sometimes offer more if I’m worried it’ll get snatched away by someone else!). If I spot an item I’m on the fence about, I’ll usually try to negotiate the price down about $5 or $10 if the seller is receptive, but I’m not really someone who bargains every chance they get (partly because I understand how frustrating this can be as a seller–Poshmark ladies, do ya hear me?). This all changes at the Flea. Vendors expect people to try to negotiate, so be upfront (and realistic) and you’ll likely score an even better deal. Which brings me to my next point…!
6) Carry cash. You technically don’t need to arrive with a ton of cash as long as you have a debit card on hand, as the Safeway across the street has an ATM and offers cash back at checkout. However, for the purpose of saving time, be mindful that vendors only take cash and the whole experience is much more seamless if you’re carrying larger and smaller bills in your wallet. Even if you don’t think you’ll purchase anything on a given day, showing up with at least a $20 in your wallet makes it easier to make a snap decision.
7) Don’t assume. Don’t assume anything when you’re shopping at the Flea. Some sellers know exactly how much a special item is worth and won’t cut you a deal. It’s not uncommon to spot beautiful chinoiserie jars and then find a whopping $325 price sticker attached. This isn’t your basement tag sale, but that’s not to say you can’t find some great deals (hello, $5 vase that I mentioned above!). Basically, if something doesn’t have a price tag, just ask the seller how much it costs before assuming it’s way out of your budget. After spotting the chinoiserie jars at one booth, I probably would have assumed that the vase I picked up at other booth would be at least $50…and boy, was I wrong! Note also that pricing isn’t stable from one vendor to another–there are a whole range of sellers present.
I hope this guide is helpful to those in or coming to the DC area for some major thrifting! DM me your fave finds, and happy hunting!