Girl, Put Your Records On

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I remember first hearing about Pandora back in the day, maybe when I was in 11th grade or so, and it was this cool new thing that I wouldn’t fully get into until college (aka while studying for my art history final freshman year, haha). Well, I’m pleased to report that years later I’m still a Pandora fan (using the free site, I doubt I’ll ever sign up for a paid subscription!). I’m constantly switching back and forth between channels (unless I either LOVE a song or am doing a big cleaning project and am too lazy to get up and press “next,” I usually skip around quite a bit). Over the years, I’ve come up with some favorites, so I thought I’d share my most listened to stations as well as some newish finds. I always love reading posts with other bloggers’ music recs, so I hope these are interesting to you all as well!

Tried & True: Stations I’ve listened to for years

Florida Georgia Line Radio: Ok, I love country music and especially love Florida Georgia Line. Seeing them in concert is definitely on my bucket list! I often listen to this station for minutes/hours on end, whether I’m doing a monotonous project on the computer, getting ready for a night out, or completing household chores (hey, there’s something about country music that makes cleaning a bit better!). Every song on here is great and I seriously know the words to most of them!

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Radio: This is a hit or miss station but it reminds me of college (in the best way), so I’m into it!

Summer Hits of the 90s Radio: If you like chill 90s beats, head right this way…I also recommend Summer Hits of the 2000s Radio. (Why summer is in the title, I don’t quite know).

Brand New: Stations I’ve recently discovered

Showtunes Radio: Ok, so far this station seems to play the same five or so songs on repeat, but if you like Chicago the Musical or Les Miz, you’re in luck. Haha. I also love the Beauty and the Beast songs they throw in intermittently.

Grey’s Anatomy Cast Radio: I listened to this station a couple of times prior to this summer but really got into it recently. Let’s be real, I mainly listen to hear the songs from the Grey’s musical episode–so good!

Sunday Funday Brunch Radio: This station was on repeat at the restaurant I hostessed at and it has the best classic songs as well as some more calm ones. It’s honestly the best background music and makes me happy!

 

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Inspired by Pinterest

Talk about Pin-spiration! Image.
Talk about Pin-spiration! Image.

Oddly enough, I first got really into using Pinterest (follow me!) when I was studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, during my junior year of college. It was actually kind of funny looking at pins while I was in the UK, because almost everything I saw on there was just so American. Fall bucket lists? Thanksgiving food spreads? Bring it on.

I now use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, especially when writing blog posts–often a single image will encourage me to write about a certain topic. But I also love finding clever tidbits as well, and I thought I would share a few below…

1) DIY Rosé Gummy Bears. We’ve all heard about the mile-long waitlist to try these babies at Sugarfina, so at this rate, making them at home seems a bit more practical (if you can even use the word practical when talking about designer gummy bears!).

2) Using a drawer as a side table (to store books!) Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t contain any text, but it’s pretty self-explanatory and would be a super easy to make, unique piece of decor to add to your abode.

3) And on the career front…who doesn’t want to sound smarter in emails?

4) My friend makes the BEST funfetti dip…I think these sprinkled animal crackers would be the cutest addition (or maybe a little too over the top?!).

5) This small rental kitchen vision board is calling my name and probably a lot of yours, too. I’ve had my eye on the Rifle Paper recipe box forever, too!

What have you been pinning lately?

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What I’m Watching

Comfy bed + blanket + Netflix? Works for me. Image via Pinterest.
Comfy bed + blanket + Netflix? Works for me. Image via Pinterest.

I was never a big TV watcher growing up, but within the past couple of years (likely thanks to Netflix streaming), I have given in and found some favorites. If you’re looking for a new (or new-to-you, at least) show to binge, I’d suggest trying one of these!

Grey’s Anatomy: I became addicted to this show during the summer of 2015 and watched constantly (I’m talking multiple episodes a day). I made it to Season 5 in only a couple of months, but then I started grad school full time and didn’t have time to keep up with a 12+ season show. However, I’m trying to get back into it now because 1) I love all of the characters (but especially Meredith and Alex!) and 2) I really, really want to catch up at least to the musical episode because I absolutely love the songs the characters sing on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack (seriously, if you haven’t listened to it, at least play those several songs!). Also, is it weird that I kind of liked Dr. Montgomery Shepherd? My guess is this is a pretty unpopular opinion! Also, everyone tells me that the early Grey’s seasons are the best, so I’m kind of hesitant to continue, ah! Maybe I’ll just start again from the beginning and stop after Season 3!

Younger: Oh my goodness, my friends and I are obsessed with Younger! The episodes are so short (about 20 minutes), but we all agree that so much is packed into that amount of time that the show feels much longer (in a good way!). Plus, since it’s short, you have no excuse not to watch! Is it embarrassing to admit that it was totally the highlight of our Thursdays this past spring? I even rewatched Season 1 with my mom when we were on a trip together because I love the show so much and wanted to introduce it to someone, haha. Hilary Duff + the publishing world + NYC + an unrealistic but endearing plotline? Sold.

Revenge: You have to watch this show. I have always loved “mystery” shows like this and discovered Revenge in 2014 after having gotten into Scandal. I actually think the two shows have a ton in common in terms of some of the plot points. I also love Emily, the main character, and she and Nolan are the ultimate power BFF pair. While this show gets a little more ridiculous season after season (as many shows tend to do), it’s kept me watching!

House of Cards: I used to watch this half zoned out after my hostessing shifts, which is funny to think about because HOC is definitely not a mindless show—but I still liked it! Plus, it’s in DC, so I feel like I have to mention it on here! However, I’ve also heard that this one goes downhill over time and I’ve also figured out something that happens to one of my favorite characters because I Googled her name…boo. Note to self: DO NOT Google character names. It never ends well!

My other go-to shows: Modern Family and The Middle (I’ve watched both of these for YEARS and haven’t missed a single episode!), How to Get Away with Murder (the fact that it was supposed to be taking place at a school based on Penn, where I went to grad school, makes it even better), and Kimmy Schmidt (I’ll have to do a whole post on that one…I even dressed up as Kimmy for Halloween last year #superfan). What are you all watching??

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Sweaty and Saving

Looking for cute workout clothes on a budget? Don’t, uh, sweat…I’ve got you covered!

While I love a good piece of Lululemon workout gear, there are so many cute, cheap fitness brands and accessories that it’s easy to put together a cute gym outfit without spending in the triple (!) digits. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite affordable fitness finds below. Did I mention the Adidas duffle bag pictured below is only $11.99?! Also, I’m absolutely loving that yoga mat. What would you pick?

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Water bottle, duffle bag, yoga mat, tank, leggings

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Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

When it comes to home decorating, no detail is too small! Image via Apartment Therapy.
When it comes to home decorating, no detail is too small! Image via Apartment Therapy.

I have a bit of a furniture addiction. I think I shop for furniture the way other people shop for clothes (as in: too frequently, and sometimes a bit impulsively). I found some great deals while living in Philly, but since I didn’t have a car, things sometimes got a bit tricky (to the couple in South Philly who hoisted a campaign-esque shelf down two floors with a rope and then helped me place it in an Uber, thank you). But I rarely regret a purchase and generally have a vision for how I’d like to style it. And getting a good deal is always important. The situation I describe below was no different.

This past spring, I came across two adorable bamboo pieces (one nightstand, one dresser) on Craigslist for pretty affordable prices. I thought they would look great painted (of course that would have to wait until I was living somewhere other than in my tiny Philadelphia studio), but hey, I had a vision! I went ahead and purchased the nightstand as soon as I saw it listed, but I couldn’t rationalize buying the dresser as well at that time. Luckily, I ended up staying in touch with the seller over the next couple of months. But when I finally decided I was ready to purchase the dresser, she told me that actually, she wasn’t ready to sell! So I waited. Then one day she texted me and we negotiated the price down a bit more (even though she had received several full price offers, she could tell how much I loved the piece and wanted it to go to a good home–plus she figured that since I already had the nightstand, it may be beneficial for me down the road to have both items as a set). In this case (but definitely not normally, especially when it comes to Craigslist) patience was a virtue!

SO. Now that I’ve gotten the backstory out of the way….This weekend I’m embarking on a bit of a DIY project. Both of the bamboo pieces are sort of a yellow/light wood color that looks fine but isn’t exactly the look I’m going for. I had heard about Annie Sloan chalk paint after doing some googling, and even though I would love more of a lacquered look, it just seems too complicated. And sending the pieces out to get them painted would cost nearly three times as much as I paid for the dresser alone, yikes! So Annie Sloan chalk paint it is. I’m hoping to use a few coats of the Napoleonic Blue to get the look pictured below. Can’t wait to share the finished product!

The dresser I purchased kind of looks like this one, only mine is half the size!
The dresser I purchased kind of looks like this one, only mine is half the size!

Have any of you done a DIY with chalk paint? Would love to hear your tips!

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DIY “Press for Champagne” Craft

Loving my finished product!
Loving my finished product!

So, I have been obsessed with these adorable Press for Champagne frames for quite awhile, but after having searched Etsy multiple times, I have never been able to find one that’s both cute and in my price range (though if I had an extra $75 to spend on a necessary unnecessary piece of home decor, I’d totally scoop up this one).

After reading a few DIY tutorials (this one is awesome, and I modified it a bit to make mine), I decided to go ahead and make my own sign for cheap. No printer? No worries– I literally printed out the text for the frame at my local library, this is NOT a difficult project! I am thrilled with the final product, even if it didn’t go 100 percent as planned.

The frame I ordered from Etsy was less than $10 but smaller than I thought it would be, which meant that the “doorbell” I had picked out would be way too big for the frame. I decided to instead order a cute button (also from Etsy!) that had detailing in the center so that it could kind of work as a “bell” (go with me here…), and I fastened it to the front of the glass frame using a glue gun. Since the frame I ordered didn’t come with a hook to hang on the wall, I ordered a cheap package of sawtooth hooks from Amazon, which will be perfect when I eventually display this piece by my bar cart.

While I still spent some money purchasing the materials for this project, my total cost was no more than $20-25 total (thanks for charging me a whole dollar to print out ONE piece of paper, library!) and I know this is a piece of art that I’ll be keeping around for awhile!

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Tuesday Tidbits

This sassy pillow is on sale...run, everyone!
This sassy pillow is on sale…run, everyone!

1) These adorable (witty, sassy, on point) needlepoint pillows from Furbish are now ON SALE! Run, do not walk, over to their site, as I’ve never seen these discounted before! I absolutely love how Katey of Chronicles of Frivolity styled hers, as shown above.

2) How cute would the pennant below be in an office? It screams happiness. Use Hobby Lobby’s 40 percent off coupon on their site for an even better deal.

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3) I love anything by Jennifer Close, but the fact that her latest book is about a couple that lives in DC is bound to make it even better! Can’t wait to pick this one up. Has anyone read it yet?

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Tips & Tricks, Take 2

This picture sure isn't helping cure my obsession with decorating...
This picture sure isn’t helping cure my obsession with decorating…

From My Domaine: “This Is What Your Home Décor Obsession Says About You, According to Science,” by Kelsey Clark. You mean there’s an actual reason I can’t get enough of home décor? Hmm!

From Domino.com: “How to have fun at the office when you DON’T have summer Fridays.” I’m thankful that my workplace gives us shorter hours in the summer NOT just on Fridays but all week, woo! However, this is my first time getting any benefit of this type and I can fully relate to the frustration that comes with spending a full Friday indoors when it’s nice out. Not sure what I think about all of these (some seem a little too leisurely for most workplaces), but some of the ideas could be cute for an after-hours work celebration.

From BuzzFeed: “21 Perfect NYC Coffee Shops You Should Visit ASAP,” by James Harness. What’s the point in stopping at Starbucks when there are so many unique places to try? Gotta save this one for my next trip up to NYC—love Happy Bones!

From Kelly in the City: “Life Lately,” by Kelly Larkin. I love Kelly’s blog and the MAC studio fix foundation she mentioned seemed to be calling my name after I read about it! Since I also have fair skin and didn’t want a “cakey” look, I decided to give it a try. After a quick trip to the MAC counter at Nordstrom, I settled on this product—already loving it (now if only I was as good as the workers there are at doing makeup!).

From Love Always Audrey: “DIY Floppy Hats,” by Audrey. This tutorial looks so fun and makes me want to take a trip to the craft store, stat! I don’t know if I would have the patience to make a hat that looks as good as the ones pictured, haha.

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Tips & Tricks, take 1

Talk about a winning morning routine...
Talk about a winning morning routine…

While I hope to share a few of my own tips and tricks along the way, I’m always finding great ones across the web (oh, and as a journalist myself, I’ll always, always include an author’s byline below–gotta give credit where credit is due!). Click the links below and bookmark for later (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to tips like these, and it’s a great way to file everything in one place!):

From Bustle: “10 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines,” by Genevieve Fish. Curious as to what the other half does before breakfast? More on the morning routines of Victoria Beckham, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Anna Wintour, right over here.

From The Everygirl: “What Happened to Hobbies,” by Daryl Lindsey. I am so guilty of ending my evening with every intention of diving into a new book, but social media always gets in the way (in fact, I came across this piece linked on Instagram when I was scrolling through the app instead of settling into bed with After You– which I scored for 50 cents at my local thrift shop after almost buying it at full price, I’d like to note!)

From DC Girl in Pearls:Buffalo Roasted Chickpea Wraps,” by Lauren Anne. Ok, I love chickpeas and am always in need of good desk lunches—I work in the suburbs without all of the usual lunch joints in close proximity—so I am hoping to whip up Lauren’s nutritious, affordable meal idea sometime soon!

From The Stripe: “So You’re An Aspiring Cat Lady?” by Grace Atwood. One of those candid columns that’s so good that you immediately have to text the link to your best friend (or at least that’s what I did!).

From Gen Y Girl: “7 Easy Ways Millenials Can Save Money Right Now,” by Kayla Buell. Whether you’re saving for an upcoming vacation, paying off debt, or just trying to spend smarter as a whole, these practical tips are great to keep on file.

 

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On my wishlist…

Thank goodness for Pinterest! While the majority of my pins are dedicated to home decor (my biggest guilty pleasure), I love using it to keep items organized as well. As much as I love the instant gratification of online shopping, it isn’t so great for my wallet (especially as I’m gearing up–and saving up–for a move!). Lately I have started to file away my wants onto a secret Pinterest board, and if they’re still calling my name, I’ll consider taking the plunge when I have the funds. Here are a few things on my board–what do you think, yays or nays?

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I’ve been wanting to purchase a S’Well bottle for awhile, and THIS ONE HAS DONUTS. Seriously, my friends who have S’Well bottles guard them with their lives…but $24+ seems a bit hefty for a water bottle at the moment…

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How cute are these headphones? I love basic earbuds for my workouts, but I’m constantly misplacing them and watching them break after only a few weeks of use. These seem like the perfect touch as I listen to my Podcasts on my commute!

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I’ll be the first to tell you that I have way, way, way too many coffee mugs. But IF I were to add one more to my collection, this would be it.

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Society6 has the best prints, and they frequently offer discount codes–I just haven’t pulled the trigger on this adorable pillow cover yet!

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