Apolis Market Bags

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

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

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

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

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A Few Things I’m Loving

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Happy Thursday! Who else is looking forward to a three-day weekend? My mom and I are thinking about possibly doing a day trip or something along those lines, destination TBD. I can’t believe it’s already mid-February, it feels like the month just started!

Short post today with a few random-ish things I’ve been loving lately:

Hart of Dixie. I mentioned this last Friday, but the obsession is still real. Before I started watching, I had been picturing it to be a Southern Grey’s Anatomy or something, but the medical component of the show is super minimal (making it a little more boring at times but it’s also kind of nice to not have to watch people being sliced in half every minute–I always joke that it took me two seasons of Grey’s to be able to eat while watching, haha). I’m also iffy on whether I love Rachel Bilson or not (I never watched the OC or anything, so I can’t really compare her in this show to any of her other roles), but I’m entertained for now (cheesy shows are addicting for a reason, right?).

This pillow. I found it on sale at Target the other week when I really needed a pick me up and it was just so soft that I couldn’t say no! It’s funny, though, because I keep walking into Target and browsing the home section and just not wanting to leave with anything (which is good for my wallet!). I love all of the new items but also kind of feel like I’d have to redecorate my entire room/apartment to make them work, if that makes sense. I don’t know.

Baking. Ok, by baking I really mean making, like, no-bake cookies because I have no talent in the kitchen whatsoever. However, I’ve been bookmarking a few recipes on Pinterest (mostly involving PB and chocolate) and made these over the weekend. I brought the extras in to work earlier this week and they were a hit (plus they’re SO easy to whip up).

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Hat walls. The other day I posted an Insta story asking what I should do on the wall above my desk, and while I got several great suggestions, my favorite was to do a hat wall! I love how the one above looks (and am also a fan of the one at the top of this post) and am hoping to recreate something similar if I can pull it off!

Half-Baked Harvest. Who else has been following Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard? Pretty incredible! If you didn’t know, Red’s sister Tiegan is a pretty famous food blogger/’grammer, and her recipes look amazing. Go follow her if you don’t already (pretty sure I was living under a rock until I read about her last week while stalking their family, haha. Talk about an accomplished group of siblings). Also, can I move into her barn?!

This apartment tour. I think Lauren and I could easily be BFFs…sorry, all, moving to NYC to watch SATC marathons in her cute living space. I don’t think I could ever personally deal with the lofted bed situation, though…walking up the spiral stairs to my room every day is complicated enough!

Oh, and one more thing, but because I’m nosy…this list shows how much people spend on engagement rings in each state.

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Home Products I’m Loving, January Edition

I’m going to try to be better about consolidating some of my favorite products into monthly-ish posts, partly because it’ll make it easier for you guys to shop them, but also because it’ll be a fun way to look back and remember what I liked most throughout the year. Here are a few of my current faves!

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I was browsing pillow covers on Amazon the other day and was super excited to find these ginger jar designs at a super affordable price! Honestly, Krista was the first person who came to mind upon discovering these. If you follow her, you’ll know she’s also ginger jar obsessed and does plenty of Amazon order unboxings, so these seemed right up her alley! I’m debating ordering a set but can’t decide which pattern I like best–I think it’s between this and this.

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I’m also a fan of Zara Home and had to scroll through their sale section the other day. The stool above is on sale for less than $40 and would look great with a number of different pieces of decor–I could see it paired with midcentury items or with white bamboo!

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 9.08.34 PMI’ve been looking for a fun portrait-y print for my bedroom and was having a hard time finding one before I decided to scoop up this one the other day. Speaking of which, the website sounded familiar to me (I actually found it when reading an Everygirl article) but I had never really checked it out…talk about an amazing selection of prints! I’ll definitely be adding it to my browsing rotation along with Society6 (which is always having sales–if you’re about to place an order and there isn’t a promo, just wait a couple of days and there will be!) and Minted, which are two of my longtime favorites.

What’s been on your wish list this month?

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Little Luxuries You Can’t Miss

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I’ve been in a redecorating mood lately (let’s be real, though, am I ever not?!). The good news for you is that I’ve scoured the internet for some great deals that you won’t want to miss. Below are a few of my faves.

In the market for a Diptyque candle? Save yourself $10 by signing up for C.O. Bigelow’s emails. Then, order one of the designer candles off their site (their shipping is super fast, too) and pat yourself on the back for the $ you saved (because let’s be real, these babies don’t go on sale, so $10 off is still a huge victory).

If you need to switch out your accessories, H&M Home is the perfect place to grab some new items…how adorable is this jute basket, and who can say no to a cute sleep mask or a classy little handheld mirror?

I was browsing the home section at Target the other day and didn’t leave with anything (#willpower), but a quick trip online has me wanting, like, everything…but especially this little rug. Ordering it for my bathroom, ASAP!

As if we need proof that Amazon Prime has everything we could ever want/need…this little ginger jar comes in at under $20 and has two-day shipping! I’m also lusting over these Homesick candles…I’ve heard great things!

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Insta Story Roundup

Happy 2018, guys! My guess is everyone is heading back to work today or tomorrow after a nice long weekend. While I did have to work three days last week, having two four-day weekends in a row was a super nice way to reset and get prepped for the new year.

I wanted to share with you some of the products that I’ve mentioned on my Insta stories lately. I don’t always remember to post about them on the blog, but I thought it would be fun to share a few things I’m loving lately.

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First up is this new lamp that I ordered via Amazon Prime. I came across this one while browsing Target.com and fell in love with it but decided to look for something a bit cheaper, since I’m constantly arranging and rearranging and have way too many lamps as it is–however, the Target option is definitely a steal if you’re not a lamp hoarder like me ;). When I spotted this gem for under $20, I knew it had to be mine! While it didn’t come with an Edison bulb like I thought it would (I should’ve read more closely!), I was able to grab one at my local hardware store to complete the look. I’ve done a lot of furniture rearranging in my bedroom lately (these wood tables, which I’m now using as a nightstand, had actually been in my bathroom!) and am hoping I’ll be able to chill and let things stay put for awhile, since I have a tendency to change up my space, like, multiple times per month (any other interior design fanatics can likely relate!).

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In my sitting area is a new wooden table that I found at a Goodwill for only $7.99! I love that it has a little drawer that is kind of camouflaged but can hold a decent amount (I’m using it to store my magazines!). I haven’t always been as drawn to the midcentury modern style, but I thought this would be a fun way to try it out. On the same Goodwill trip, I came across the little clay bowls pictured here, and while I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be mugs, candle holders, or something else, I knew I wanted to scoop them up. They remind me of something that would be sold at Salt & Sundry or another trendy shop. I popped some tea lights inside and have loved sitting on the couch reading while being surrounded by candlelight.

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This picture isn’t the best quality, but I ordered a wallpaper sample from a shop on Etsy with the intention of framing it, and it shipped super quickly. The swatch that I picked out here (they sent me three) looks a little wrinkled, oops. However, if you’re in need of some new wall decor and don’t want to commit to a pricy print, wallpaper is an easy way to bring a pop of color into your space. I purchased the sample for 99 cents INCLUDING shipping–talk about a steal!

Have you scored any exciting decor finds lately?

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Gift Guide: The City Girl

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This is the first of four gift guides I’ve put together so far. I’ll try to space them out every few days, so check back for more in the coming weeks. Note: I really enjoy making these, so I hope they’ll be somewhat helpful to people! I’ve really just focused on gifts for women because I personally find moms/sisters/friends the easiest to shop for while male relatives/boyfriends can be a bit more difficult. However, maybe that’s just because I often find gifts for the women in my life while browsing in stores or on websites that I visit on a regular basis, so it doesn’t feel like extra “effort,” so to speak. I was telling a friend recently that I kind of stockpile gifts for her throughout the year (I do the same for my sister) because so many things I come across just call her name. It’s always super nice to feel prepared for that person’s birthday/housewarming party/etc well in advance!

When making these gift guides, I decided to pull items exclusively from four of my favorite stores: Waiting on Martha, Lulu and Georgia, Nordstrom, and TJ Maxx.com. I made myself stick with one item from each for each of my four gift guides, which was a good exercise in self control 😉 (but actually, I could browse those sites for hours).

Ok, enough rambling! Here’s what I picked for category one, “the city girl”:

1) Cocktail kit (Waiting on Martha)

2) Travel mug (Lulu and Georgia)

3) Fake plant (TJ Maxx)

4) City book (Nordstrom)

Not feeling any of the above? Here are a few other (more creative) items I’d recommend for the city girl in your life:

-An Uber gift card. If you’re anything like me (ok, actually I don’t think ANYONE takes Ubers as frequently as I do, because I often rely on them for my commute!), you’ll get a TON of use out of these. Uber is basically everywhere now, but living in a big city, it can be so nice to just call an Uber at the end of the day instead of hopping on the metro for an hour. I’d honestly rather get a gift card for an Uber than for something else “unnecessary,” like a manicure.

-A theater/concert ticket. I’m still just a littttleee bitter about the fact that my family didn’t get our act together early enough to go see Mean Girls the musical (it’s in DC!), but cities offer so many shows that play/musical/concert tickets are never a bad idea! Book of Mormon has also been in town, and summer brings tons of the country concerts!

-A cute reusable tote filled with “city essentials.” In DC and Maryland, plastic bags are 5 cents a piece due to tax regulations, so I try to keep a reusable bag with me at all times because why spend money on that (not to mention it’s a much greener solution). Pick up a fun tote (I own and love this one because it folds up and you barely notice it’s in your purse) and fill it with a little umbrella for emergencies, Rx or Luna bars, hand sanitizer, and the like. Germ-free commutes and a solution in case she gets super hangry? Check!

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The Best Macaron-Themed Gifts

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Paris and macarons go hand in hand, so in honor of my trip, I rounded up the cutest macaron-themed items  I could find online! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the actual treats (oh, and here is a list of the best places to buy them in Paris–totally bookmarking that for this week!). However, my friends have also given me tons of macaron-themed items over the years–soap, erasers, notecards, and more.

A few notes on the items I own:

I recently ordered the macaron-printed tea towel from Target (item #1 above), and it could not be more perfect for the macaron lover in your life. At only $12.99, why not scoop up a few extras for gifts? Also, I’m wondering if there’s any way to frame this towel and make it look good–let me know if you have any suggestions!

I also own the macaron print from Hobby Lobby (item #6) and it’s hanging up in my kitchen. I absolutely love the colors and it makes what’s kind of a dull room (or nook, to be honest) in my apartment a little more cheery. It would also look great mixed in with other prints as part of a gallery wall and could even work in a nursery!

While I don’t own the colorful journal shown above (item #5), I’m kind of loving it. How perfect would it be for a teacher (or student) or really anyone who enjoys taking good old-fashioned notes (raises hand). At less than $10, it’s also a great back-to-school gift or end-of-year teacher treat (bonus points if you pair it with a couple of real macarons–voila, easy gift = done!).

Happy shopping!

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South Moon Under Finds

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Just because I won’t be shopping in April doesn’t mean you can’t! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pink finds.
A Sarah Secret: Stores that are traditionally known for their clothing and accessories can sell some super cute home items. Don’t discount them! I mean, Zara and H&M have great home sections, and so does Modcloth. Next time you’re browsing for a new pair of shoes or a springy dress, don’t forget to take a peek and see what else is in store (literally!). That brings me to another clothing store that happens to have amazing decor…South Moon Under!
I love shopping at South Moon Under and this post is in no way affiliated with them; I just genuinely like all of their items! There was a South Moon Under store located pretty near me when I lived in Philly, so I’d stop in from time to time (I’d usually rush straight toward their sale section). For primarily being a clothing store, they also have some really cute accessories, home items, and desk items and they frequently have great sales and discounts. I’ve ordered from them online several times since I’ve moved to DC because I just can’t get enough of their stuff!
Here are my current favorites:
1) Lip Balm: I have this lip balm in another flavor and I use it all the time. If you’re like me and love trying new colors and scents, pick this one up (if not for the adorable container).
2) Candle: Umm, a candle with a Notorious B.I.G. quote? File under quirky items I love. I bet it smells great, too!
3) Mug: Ok, I am the last person in the world who should be buying another coffee mug, so I’ll resist the urge…I have way. too. many. Blame it on TJ Maxx and HomeGoods always having adorable, witty options. But this one is so fun and, if we’re being honest, would be all the rage on Instagram. Plus, who doesn’t want to share their love for rose?
4) Notebook: Again, my obsession with notebooks is similar to my obsession with mugs…aka I do NOT need another. But, if you do…
5) Tray: I love little jewelry trays and throwing a fun quote in the mix makes them even better!
 6) Ring Dish: This would be so cute for a newly engaged or married friend…love the pink, too!
7) Lipstick: See explanation for item #1…
8) Make Up Eraser Cloth: I’d be curious to try this, although when it comes to makeup remover, I’m usually not too picky and go for the drugstore option. Bonus points for being an eco friendly option, though!
9) Pink Candle: A candle (or 3 or 4) for every room of the house is a must! This one is super sweet and girly.
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Sunday Shopping

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What’s better than some online shopping on a lazy Sunday? It’s not as if you need an excuse, but if you do…Nordstrom’s winter sale ends TODAY, and there are tons of cute items marked down! I’ve rounded up my favorite items that are either on sale or are full price but still a good deal. Sign me up for one of each?

1) I don’t have pierced ears because I have a metal allergy (boo!) but these tassel earrings are the cutest and would make a great gift!

2) I have this print and absolutely love it. If you love all things cheeky and sassy, it’s the perfect addition to your gallery wall.

3) This bag would be perfect to use every day to carry work or school supplies, and it’s also roomy enough for travel. Nothing like a good classic!

4) Cooking becomes more fun with a preppy apron. Would be a wonderful gift for mother’s day or even for a wedding!

5) A monogrammed tray is always a fun staple. This one would be a great hostess gift.

6) Valentine’s Day may be over, but this pillow can make a statement all year long. How sweet would it be in a nursery?

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An Easy Gift Idea

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Need a gift for the funny girl in your life? I’m still super pleased with one of the Christmas presents I put together for my sister–she loved it! With Valentine’s Day coming up, this would be an adorable gift to give to your BFF (or anyone else who is the Amy Poehler to your Tina Fey!).

I had long seen this card during my (very frequent) trips to Paper Source, and I always thought it was hilarious. I love both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but my sister, an avid SNL watcher, is an even bigger fan of the duo. When it came time to think of Christmas gift ideas, I had the perfect idea–why not give her a copy of each comedian’s book and pair it with the card? Creative, personal, budget-friendly, and easy to transport = the perfect gift in my opinion!

My sister has already started reading through Tina’s book, and I’ve read both before–go check them out from the library ASAP if you haven’t read them yet!

If the funny girl in your life isn’t a huge reader, you could alternatively pair the card with a Sisters DVD (kind of kicking myself for not thinking of that idea earlier!). Or, honestly, the card itself would look adorable in a frame. I’m all about keeping cards on display, and this one would definitely be a conversation starter!

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