Happy Friday! I’m popping in with a quick post to share a link to the interview that I did on Good Day DC yesterday morning, where I talk about all of my favorite finds from Facebook Marketplace! It’s been an amazing place to source everything from peacock chairs to a dresser to an Amazon Alexa (I purchased one that was brand new for just $15!), and I hope you all enjoy the interview! This was my first time on camera and the interview was completely candid (ie: not scripted!) and LIVE, so needless to say I was a bit nervous, but I’m so happy with how it all worked out and am grateful I had the opportunity to open up my home to the DC community! It was such a fun experience and I’m so appreciative of everyone who tuned in!
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’ve always been such a bag lover–when I was younger, bags were all I wanted to spend my money on…no shoes/accessories/clothes could compare! I love this bamboo piece that I snagged at Miss Pixie’s not only because of it’s chinoiserie chic design but because it lets me put several of my favorite pieces out on display. I have this hanging by the door going into my bedroom, and it’s been super functional!
I did a little browsing for equally adorable hooks and am rounding up a few of my favorite options here. The best part is that they’re all under $50, so you can save your hard earned money for yet another a bag rather than a storage system 😉
This midcentury modern option from Urban Outfitters is super aesthetically pleasing…I kind of want it; it would look great in a foyer for coats (we actually have a set of hooks downstairs that came with our place, though).
I’m always amazed by how many great products I find when browsing World Market. This wall hook is likely even prettier in person!
This animal head hook is another World Market find that would obviously be perfect in a kid’s room but would also add some (always needed) sass to a grown up place.
Anthropologie obviously has several styles of stylish hooks, but I really like these monogrammed ones.
This wall hook from West Elm is on sale for $41 and is one I’ve been swooning over for awhile now! The gold is so gorgeous.
You’re sitting at your desk at home or at work and realize you have something to sell or get rid of, so you…open Facebook? Trust me, it works!
Have you purchased or sold anything on Facebook marketplace? I tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, on a complete whim! I always forget about the marketplace option given how useful Craigslist has been (and am honestly on Instagram so much more than I’m on Facebook these days!), but I had heard some good reviews and wanted to see if anything good had been posted. Lo and behold, I found something fabulous–a white campaign dresser for only $40!
The post had been up for about a day, but I messaged the seller to see if the dresser was still available, and she said it was! It didn’t appear to be in pristine shape, but it looked good enough, and better yet, she was willing to drive it over to me since it was already in the trunk of her car. This was such a nice gesture since I don’t have a car and live about 20 minutes away from her.
I had actually just scored another white campaign dresser on Craigslist that’s now in my bedroom (and after buying it, I sold my more antique-looking one, which I also had loved but could no longer fit), so I actually put this one…in my bathroom. Don’t laugh. I wasn’t sure where I wanted it to go, but it fit, and I needed a bit more storage in there for towels, extra sheets, etc. I consulted Pinterest to see if bathroom dressers were a “thing” (it turns out they sort of are!), and it doubles as a little vanity/makeup station.
I’m also in the process of trying to sell a few things on FB marketplace, so fingers crossed that I find a buyer! I like how efficient it is since you can contact people and it goes directly to them via messenger (versus having to send a traditional email), and it’s nice to put a face to someone’s name before meeting them.
I’ll keep you updated on how that experience goes…and will share a picture of the dresser once I get a good one!
Photos by Heather Bien
Long time, no post! I’ve been super busy preparing for a big work event on Friday and combined with after work activities, getting sick for part of the weekend, etc, I haven’t had a ton of time to devote to the blog, oops! However, I did want to pop in with a quick mid-week post to share a few things on my mind:
1) Jack Rogers on sale (again!). You’ve probably heard about the official Jack Rogers summer sale by now, but if you haven’t and are in the market for a new pair of sandals (or booties for fall!), head on over to the site, because there are still lots of good styles left. I have been rotating wearing the four (!) pairs of Jacks I scored on sale earlier this summer and am trying to hold off this time since I’m more than stocked up, but that doesn’t mean you all can’t partake! 😉
2) KIND protein bars. Guys–I picked these up on a whim at Target a few weeks ago because they were on sale (I think 2 boxes of four for $6) and they are a game. changer. They’re not only delicious but are super filling–I’ve been eating a packet before my Saturday morning gym shifts and am usually good for the first three hours…only during the fourth hour do I start to get super hangry, haha. But seriously–I’ve tried more breakfast bars/granola bars than I can count, and these are so delicious (chocolate banana!) and full of fiber/protein, so they’re definitely worth keeping on hand or in a desk drawer for emergencies. I just spotted a few other flavors at CVS and picked them up, too.
3) Our new living room dresser! It feels funny to talk about a “living room dresser,” but this seems to be the trend at the moment, and I’m not opposed. I’ve seen people using dressers as TV consoles, makeshift bar carts, etc. My roommate and I needed more storage, and the console table that we’d had in our living room was also cracked and had seen better days, so we decided to replace it with something that could hold a bit more. I stumbled upon an amazing genuine midcentury piece (it’s American of Martinsville–the brand is going for $$$ on sites like Chairish) on Craigslist for only $30, and we couldn’t say no. I’ve had fun styling it and will hopefully post a picture on here soon (it’s tough to get a good shot downstairs!). I believe that older furniture is just made better than modern replicas, so it’s nice to be able to find a quality piece that not only looks nice but didn’t cost a fortune!
4) El Centro brunch. On Saturday afternoon, a coworker and I grabbed brunch at El Centro on 14th Street and it was an amazing deal (flag this if you’re local!). For only $39, you get unlimited servings off their extensive menu of Mexican food, plus bottomless drinks. We honestly sat upstairs on their balcony for three hours catching up and enjoying our margaritas! I’d highly recommend El Centro for big groups, too–there was a table of about 20 behind us having a blast!
One of the things I love about browsing for books on Amazon is that there are always tons of new titles being recommended to me…although sometimes it can get a little out of hand when I see how many amazing books there are coming out and think about how many are still sitting on my shelf at home unread! However, I’m making sure to bookmark these titles for the coming weeks/months, because I just don’t want to miss them. Start adding these to your Amazon/library wish list! (I’ll admit that these are pretty rom com-ish, so if that’s not your thing, feel free to skip this post!).
The Proposal, by Jasmine Guillory: This book is by the author of The Wedding Date, which I read a couple of months ago and loved. It’s always the best when you discover a new, up-and-coming author and then find out that they’re releasing another book that’s already gotten great reviews. This one looks like a hilarious rom-com type of story that will make a great quick, relaxing read.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, by Christina Lauren: Who can resist a book about a guy and girl friend pair who ultimately fall for one another (at least it seems like this will be the case)? This book looks like another cute one by an author I’ve never heard of (which is always fun), and while the plot is somewhat stereotypical, it’s still a book I’d love to pick up.
Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty: I’ve read many of Liane Moriarty’s books, and while I’ve liked some more than others, I’m always excited to see what the hype is about each time a new one is released. (Btw, who else can’t wait for season 2 of Big Little Lies?!). I love a good mystery with lots of interesting characters in the mix, so I’m excited to see what’s in store this time.
As you probably have seen on Instagram by now, the Houzz tour for my (not so) new apartment is LIVE! Carrie and I participated in this shoot back in January, and while a lot of our (ok, my…) decor has changed, a lot is still the same (aka Carrie’s room and our downstairs!). What can I say…I love rearranging from time to time, so my room is always slightly in flux!
I also thought I’d take this time to answer a few frequently asked questions about our place–many of which I’ve discussed on the blog over the past year (but I know answers tend to get lost in the shuffle!).
Q: How did you find your apartment?
A: Believe it or not, we found it on Craigslist! Carrie and I had visited tons of different rowhouse apartments, mostly in the Eastern Market area, but were having trouble finding something that fell within our price range, was convenient to public transportation, was located in a safe neighborhood, and most of all, felt like home! This place was truly a gem of a find in that it checked all of those boxes and more. I have a detailed post about DC apartment hunting where I talk about our whole process and include several tips if you’re starting your own search. I also shared some “before” pictures of our place in this post.
Q: What’s the building like?
A: It’s old and small in population–but charming! Our building used to be one person’s house (my room in the attic was probably the maid’s quarters). There are about 8 different units now, most of which are studios or one-bedrooms. Everyone is roughly our age, but we’re the only roommate pair living in the building, so it’s definitely less of a “social” atmosphere than many of the buildings that cater to 20- and 30-somethings downtown. We live up two long flights of stairs (which don’t bother me too much, but my friends who live in elevator buildings definitely notice when they come over!) and are on the top floor of the building along with one other unit. We’re fortunate enough to have a roof deck that is only accessible from our unit, which makes for the perfect private spring/summer entertaining spot. One downside is that there is only one washer and one dryer for everyone to share–they’re located in the basement–but we were willing to forgo having one in-unit when we saw how much else our place had to offer.
Q: How did you handle the move with the spiral staircase?
A: Omg, it was a nightmare–not really physically, because I hired movers, but logistically and financially. Basically, I had started contacting moving companies to give them a heads up about my October 1 move-in date before Carrie and I even knew where we’d be living. I didn’t want that date to fill up and knew that even if we didn’t find a place by then, I needed to still get everything out of my Georgetown apartment and take it to my parents’ house (thank goodness Carrie and I were both local–it took a lot of pressure off having to find a place by October 1, since we knew we could always live at home for a bit). Once our apartment application was approved, I called the moving place back to let them know that the logistics would be a be more difficult than I’d anticipated–the room I was moving into was located up a flight of narrow wrought-iron spiral stairs! Luckily, the moving company was confident that they were up for the task–and they did a great job. Everything that I wanted to go upstairs made it up safely thanks to three movers and their teamwork/hoisting skills. The only real issue I’ve encountered was when I purchased an awesome mid century modern dresser in April and needed to get it up there (I usually can lift other items by myself or with Carrie’s help, but this was ridiculously heavy, even with the drawers removed!). It was nearly impossible to find a Task Rabbit/service who would hoist just one piece of furniture (as opposed to a whole move’s worth), though I found one eventually and they were in and out within 15 minutes!
Since I did hire movers and knew that the upstairs move-in process would be lengthy and expensive, I tried to carry up as many boxes as possible the day before our official move-in date (our landlord gave us the keys early) because I figured the more things I could carry myself, the less costly the next day would end up. However, going up and down two big flights of stairs was definitely a workout–but it was also a great way to begin unloading things bit by bit.
I’ve been loving sharing a little tour of our space with the internet, and everyone’s nice comments on the feature have made it even more fun. Without further ado, enjoy the piece!
Sarah and Stacy here, also known as your resident Craigslist addicts. We’ve put our heads together to come up with a joint blog post where we share our massive list of Craigslist tips, whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or just browse. Happy hunting!
Tips to sell:
-Post clear pictures and a detailed description. Sometimes I have forgotten to take and post measurements and then get tons of questions from interested buyers. It’s easier to anticipate questions like these ahead of time and include this information in the original posting. Be clear about what it is you’re selling–sure, your coffee table is clear or see-through, but is it technically also acrylic or lucite? Does the vintage dresser you’re selling happen to be campaign-style? Do a little research before writing your post–who knows, maybe an item is worth a lot more than you thought, and adding specific words can also help you show up in more searches.
-It’s better to be honest about an item’s flaws than to hide them. It’s a waste of time for you (not to mention, for the buyer) to schedule a pickup only for the buyer to change their mind because they weren’t aware of a scratch or mark that diminishes the quality of the item. (Obviously, all used furniture has some amount of wear and tear, but if you look at your item and see immediately see anything that stands out as less than perfect, disclose it!). I’ve had instances where I’ve gone out of my way to grab something only to realize that it’s much shabbier than it looked online. I usually have still taken it home with me (I have a hard time saying “no!” in general!), but it can be frustrating.
-Price items fairly. Even if something is like-new (maybe you took it out of the box and realized it just doesn’t work in your home), still think about offering a discount. Otherwise, why would a buyer have incentive to purchase it from you rather than directly from the retailer? Prices don’t necessarily need to be garage sale low, but they shouldn’t scream boutique furniture store, either. Pricing items to sell is the key to getting them out of your house, fast!
-Remove sentimentality from the equation. I’m sure your great grandmother was the sweetest woman on earth and obviously she had great taste because I’m interested in her table! But, don’t price with your heart – price with your head. If an item is really that special to you, perhaps you should consider holding on to it for a few more years until you are ready to part with it.
Tips to Search:
-Look up style terms for things you may be interested in purchasing. If you are a fan of mid-century modern furniture, then terms such as “MCM” and “mid-century” may give you desired results. If you know even more specifically what you want, then look up terms like “Parsons” or even a designer like “Baughman,” or “Baughman-style,” if you are okay with the item being a reproduction.
-Not sure what you want? Then describe the piece in your search terms, such as “oak table” or “fabric sofa.” Make sure you use all combinations of words. For this example you may also want to search “fabric couch.”
-If you are dead-set on getting a particular type of item, create an account and save your searches. This way you can be alerted via email when new items are added to the site. Be careful, however, if you add terms like “mid century” and save an alert. You may be getting a huge amount of emails as things are listed with that term throughout the day.
-Look for potential in an item. Even if a piece isn’t perfect now, that doesn’t mean it won’t look adorable with a coat of fresh paint and some new hardware. While it is difficult to find a classic piece in pristine condition, a little DIY will go a long way. If something has seen better days but still has good “bones,” use your imagination and think about what it would look like in a new shade or with some modern updates.
-Scroll, scroll, scroll. You can craft the best search in the world only to stumble upon a mid-century gem that was simply described as “dresser.” If you’re feeling patient, just click through current listings page by page, and you might be surprised at what stands out. (Maybe you’ll find something you didn’t even know you needed!).
Tips to purchase:
-Email/text a seller right away after seeing the posting, as sometimes items can get snagged in a matter of minutes! If you need further information, like clarification on color or measurements, ask away. If you know that you would 100 percent like to purchase an item, say so, and note that you can come by at such and such time (the sooner, the better) and ask if that would work with the seller’s schedule.
-Use correct grammar and spelling in your email. I have definitely ignored messages that are less than coherent because they don’t give off the best vibe…you’re a stranger to the seller, after all, so you want to put your best foot forward! Be clear, polite, and succinct, and you’re more than likely to get a prompt response.
Negotiate price ahead of time. If you are exchanging messages with the seller, make sure to be clear about the price you are seeking. Be reasonable when expecting a bargain. Shaving off a few bucks is appropriate but asking for half would likely insult the buyer and may end the deal.
-If the seller requests cash only, bring exact change. Don’t expect people to have small bills on them (and worst of all, don’t show up $5 or $10 short and then ask the seller on the spot if they would be willing to take less, unless you spot a major flaw in person). I often ask people in advance if they’re ok using Venmo, especially for larger purchases, but some people may say no. Plan ahead and stop by an ATM en route to picking up your purchase, and I guarantee the seller will thank you!
-Don’t be late showing up to pick up the item, and if you need to reschedule or are stuck in traffic, contact the seller sooner rather than later. Exchange phone numbers if you haven’t already, assuming the seller is willing. Respecting other people’s time is always KEY. (Same goes if you’re a seller–if you tell a buyer you’ll be at home or plan to meet them by a shopping center at a particular time, be there!). I once had to wait at the metro station (our designated meeting spot) for over 30 minutes. I debated leaving but reallllly wanted the chair that the person was selling. However, the experience was annoying and left me a little creeped out, especially because the person wasn’t being responsive to my calls or texts for the firsts 20 minutes or so before finally stating that she was on the way.
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!
-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!
…sorry about the title of this post, but literally every time I hear the word “Savannah,” the “Havana song starts playing in my head. No bueno. But the good news is that a few college friends and I are traveling to Savannah at the end of April! One of my friends is in her second year of med school and has boards coming up, so we’re taking the trip right after to celebrate. It’ll definitely be nice to have a warm weather getaway with close friends to look forward to these next few weeks (especially as I write this while snow is falling outside–this post is scattered with pictures of the snowy walk I took earlier today!). Plus, I haven’t been on a real trip since the summer (which may seem like a shocker to all you travel bugs!). Moving this past fall and then settling into a new job in December has kept me in DC, but I honestly like it a lot (when I studied abroad, I was one of the people who mainly stayed in town and explored the city as much as I could, as opposed to the person who was flying to a new destination each weekend. I really like getting to know my hometown–and my new neighborhood–better and really feeling at home somewhere!).
I’ve already gotten some great Savannah recs thanks to Facebook and Instagram, but if you have any others, I’d love to hear!
As for what else has been going on…
- Life has been super busy lately, so I feel like I haven’t been great at keeping up with blog posts. I’ve essentially been in two roles at work since mid-January, so tackling all of my assignments has been my main focus. However, I’d much rather be busy at work all day than feel as if I don’t have enough to do–I’m sure many of you can relate. I’ve definitely learned a lot in my new role(s) despite having a never-ending to do list!
- I’ve also struggled a bit with really carving out a community in DC. I feel like I’ve made a ton of effort to meet new people and am SO thankful for the friends that I have down here. It just sometimes seems like it’s impossible to make plans with people, and I was definitely spoiled in college having a group of friends who all knew each other (it doesn’t really happen that way once you hit adulthood!). However, I’ve loved introducing some of my close DC friends to one another these past few months. I’m such a girlfriends girl that feeling balanced in this area can honestly stress me out more than dating! I think a lot of my college friends feel the same way in their cities, though. It can be really hard to find people to do things with (although I love doing touristy things/shopping alone, too, haha) if you aren’t in the city where you went to college or have left somewhere and moved back.
- I never get sick (I missed two days when I was working at a K-12 school, and both of them were during breaks, which means I didn’t even catch anything from the kids!), but this week I was home one day with a migraine (my first “real” one ever–it sucked) and now kind of feel like I have a cold. I get really paranoid about getting sick and if I am, I don’t cope with it well (just ask my mom) so this has been a struggle, haha. A few people sent me migraine-related tips on IG the other day and I’ll definitely keep them in mind if this happens again…but I hope it won’t anytime soon, ouch.
- These past couple of weeks have been a fail because of the cold weather, but I really enjoy walking to work now! It takes me 20-25 minutes and is such a nice way to start and end the day. I’m really trying to amp up my fitness routine in general to be in good shape for a few events this summer, so I’m hoping that April will be my month of workouts/eating healthier. Now that I found a gym I love, I just need to keep incorporating it into my schedule (which may mean going before work sometimes). Trust me, finding a gym that’s convenient is everything!
What’s going on in your world lately? xo