FRIDAY FEELS, #9

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Above: The delicious brunch Shelby and I enjoyed in Morgantown last weekend! I’m still salivating thinking about the egg white veggie omelet (with goat cheese!) that I ordered (along with the yummy hazelnut cold brew!).

On my playlist: I discovered this song last week and kinda love it…don’t listen to it unless you reallyyyy like country.

On my nightstand: I packed a bajillion books for Paris (I’m heading there tonight–more on that below!) because I love using long flights to catching up on my never-ending reading list. One that I can’t wait to start? This hilarious-looking book by Jen Lancaster, which has gotten amazing reviews. I’ll do my usual monthly recap in a couple of weeks and hope to share lots of good reviews with you all!

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On my mind: Ok, I have a new show recommendation and you better love it. 😉 A few of my friends told me about “The Bold Type,” a new tv show on Freeform (which is apparently the new name for ABC Family, guess I’m super out of the loop). It follows a group of three best friends who work at the same magazine in NYC (a publication that’s basically modeled after Cosmo), and I’m obsessed. It reminds me of my own experience working in magazines with Shelby (and when we’d get ready for dates in the work bathroom after hours, which totally seems like something the characters would do) and actually presents the profession in a serious light, which is refreshing. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds and hope it gets renewed! Has anyone else watched? Also, I caught Legally Blonde 2 outside in NOMA the other evening and it did not disappoint (even watching it for like, the 10th time!).

On my wish list: I’ve never jumped on the whole BBG bandwagon, but I spotted Kayla Itsines’s cookbook at Target last week and really want to order it! I’ve mentioned before that I’m no chef, and I’m often at a loss when it comes to brainstorming dinner ideas (especially healthy dinner ideas), so maybe this will help. Adding this to my Amazon cart, stat.

On the agenda: I’m flying to Paris with my family tonight! I’m so ready for all of the croissants and delicious French food (macarons, anyone?). I traveled to Paris for a couple of days during my semester abroad, and my friend and I managed to see a ton during the short time we were there, but I’m excited to explore the city at a more leisurely pace this time around. Expect lots of Insta posts/stories, and I also have a few pre-scheduled blog posts that will go out while I’m gone, so check back here next week for my usual content!

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Winery in WV

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I’m back from West Virginia and had an amazing (albeit short!) weekend with Shelby. We managed to squeeze in birthday celebrations, a delicious brunch, a trip to the most adorable donut shop (which apparently is a chain–so check it out if there’s a location near you!), lots of shopping, and an afternoon trip to the most gorgeous winery, Forks of Cheat.

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I mean, how gorgeous is this view?

Shelby and I sampled a couple of West Virginia wines (we picked sweet flavors, like peach and raspberry) before ordering glasses to drink outside. The winery also sold various meats, cheeses, and crackers that you could take outside, although we’d kind of been eating all day and weren’t super hungry at that point. 😉 While it was super quiet on the balcony where most other visitors were sitting, we walked a little bit out of the way and had a mini photo shoot (because, what else would we do in such a scenic location?!).

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It was a little rainy when we arrived, but thankfully the weather cleared up a bit and we could enjoy some time outside (this DC girl is very appreciative of cool summer afternoons, since they can be a rarity!).

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Honestly, there’s nothing like a good friend, good wine, and some peace and quiet! I’m already itching to go back here next time I’m out for a visit…and touring some of the local wineries in Virginia is on my list, too! If you have any recs, please let me know!

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FRIDAY FEELS, #8

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It was a busy week! I turned 26 on Tuesday and rang in the big day with margs and a delicious Mexican dinner at Rosa Mexicano with my family. I’ll be continuing the celebration this weekend and I can’t wait! I was also thrilled to learn that my Apartment Therapy home tour went live on Wednesday (I already shared the link on Instagram, but I’ll post it here, too!). I love being able to share my space with you guys!

On my playlist: I’ll be taking a five hour bus ride to West Virginia this weekend (10 hours if you count both ways…eek), so I’m looking for podcasts galore. Please, please send me some recs!

On my nightstand: Don’t judge me for being so late to the party, but I’m finally reading this. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf forever but wanted to be able to enjoy it when I didn’t feel rushed (it seems like there are always a million books I want to get through at the same time), so summer is the perfect opportunity!

On my mind: I shared this on Instagram but not on here–my Houzz feature on Libby’s colorful DC apartment went live last week! Also, my feature on Ashlee’s beautiful place went up–it’s so airy and features tons of hometown pride!

On my wish list: I’m trying to curb shopping at the moment, so I haven’t been browsing a ton…

On the agenda: I’m heading to West Virginia for a few days to reunite with Shelby, see her new apartment in Morgantown, and celebrate my birthday! We already have plans for a night out on Saturday and a delicious brunch on Sunday, and I’m excited to be reunited with her for the first time since…March?!

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BBQ in Cape Cod

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I had such an amazing, relaxing trip to Cape Cod last weekend, despite encountering flight delays on my way to and from Boston! It was the perfect mix of beach time, catching up, cooking/eating, and sleeping…yep, sleeping! My friends and I all agreed that we actually felt refreshed after the trip (I was known to take 3 hour naps each day, ha) even though we certainly did a lot during the short time we were there. We explored South Dennis, the area where we were staying, ventured out to Hyannis and Provincetown, and spent tons of time laughing and eating in the gorgeous backyard of our Airbnb or drinking sangria and playing Cards Against Humanity on the front porch.

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On Saturday night, we decided to do a big cookout in the backyard (side note: I was seriously in love with the yard–there were hydrangeas, lounge chairs, huge tables for eating dinner together, and an amazing outdoor shower). The cookout was the best decision of the whole trip! For $27 each, the six of us enjoyed all of the food pictured here PLUS two pitchers worth of sangria (one for Friday, one for Saturday) and countless leftovers–all for the price of what we likely would’ve paid for one small dinner at a restaurant!

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I was craving watermelon and made sure that it got added to the grocery list, but we served a delicious mix of foods…corn on the cob, potato salad, mac and cheese, and more. My job was to do the tablescape 😉

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What would a beach vacation be without tons of ice cream? The above cone is from Kandy Korner in Hyannis, but for the most part, Sundae School in Dennis was our go-to spot: try both the coffee Oreo and the lemon sorbet–separately, that is! The store also featured banners from various colleges (apparently where all of the workers went), so we were super excited to walk in and spot Colby, our shared alma mater!

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I’m already itching to return to the Cape sometime soon, and we all definitely want to head back next summer! We’ve decided that while we still found a pretty good Airbnb despite only booking in May, we’d like to plan ahead and nail something down in the winter, maybe in a different area in order to explore a little more. If you have any Cape recs, send ’em my way and I’ll file them away for the future!

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FRIDAY FEELS, #7

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Greetings from Boston or Cape Cod, depending on when you’re reading this! I took a 10 pm flight up to Boston last night and will be driving down to the Cape today for a college friend reunion. I couldn’t be more excited–spending time with my college girlfriends brings me SO much joy, and while our trip will be fairly short, we’ve been counting down for months and can’t wait to reunite! There are six of us coming from DC, Boston, Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin, so we’re looking forward to some much needed catchup time (and we’re sending love to the West Coast contingent of our crew who couldn’t make the trek out!). Think lots of beach time, wine + game nights, and more. I also purchased a palm leaf swimsuit for the occasion, which you may have seen on Instagram, and can’t wait to break it out…

On my playlist: The perfect summer beach jam and one of my faves from Summer ’16.

On my nightstand: I packed a few books for the beach and am excited to dive in, but in reality I probably won’t be reading much this weekend other than on the plane. I also ordered The Light We Lost but want to wait to start reading it until I know I’ll really have time to sit down and enjoy it (so probably next weekend when I’m back!). Is anyone else like that with books? Sometimes I feel like I rush through books when I travel, and I want to be able to savor this one because I KNOW it’ll be good! I’ve heard amazing things from everyone who’s finished it (but I’m also sure that I’ll sob my eyes out…another reason why I don’t really want to bring it on this trip!).

On my mind: Oh my goodness. If you need a new show, Friends from College (which seems to be a recurring theme in this post, ha!) is SO good. I started watching it last weekend and finished it within 24 ish hours (there were only eight 30-minute episodes, but still). One of my other college friends got into it too, so we’ve been texting nonstop about all of our favorite scenes/characters. Basically, the show revolves around a (co-ed) group of college friends who are now all living in the same city as 30-somethings (#goals). However, conflict ensues as one friend tries to get pregnant, two others maintain a complex romantic relationship, and more. The show definitely made me laugh out loud several times, and anyone else who has watched TV with me will know that this is a rarity (seriously, I was once watching The Office with a date and maybe chuckled a couple of times and he was convinced something was wrong with me…or maybe I do have a problem). But this show is funny and touching (the opening credits get me every time…#sentimental) and will have you binge-watching right away! You heard it here first (and if we’re friends IRL, you’ve already heard me talk about it nonstop). I already want to watch the season again!

On my wish list: Let’s just call this the summer of wicker bags? Everyone and their mother is obsessed with them and I can’t get enough either. I’m loving this one (which is only $22 on Amazon Prime, so it’s basically a no-brainer) and actually ordered it for my Cape trip, so I guess it’s actually off my wish list now.

On the agenda: After a BUSY work week, I’m excited for my time off–relaxation is just what I need! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

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FRIDAY FEELS, #6

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On my playlist: James Taylor, anyone?! So excited because tonight we’re taking my mom to the James Taylor concert at Nats Park (my dad, sister, and I got our family tickets as a birthday present for my mom earlier this spring), so naturally, I’ve been listening to his music this week to prepare. My mom loves him and always had one of his CDs in the car when my sister and I were growing up. I distinctly remember her driving me up to Maine for my first year of college with “Carolina In My Mind” and other classics of his on repeat (hey, it was a long car ride). We’ve also listened to James Taylor and Carole King’s joint album MANY times, and I love the two of them together. Also, did you know that James Taylor used to be married to Carly Simon? Like, musical worlds colliding. But anyway, I’m a fan. As Taylor Swift says, “You said you never met one girl who had as many James Taylor records as you…But I do.” (Such a good throwback song!).

On my nightstand: Other than binge watching Season 3 of How to Get Away with Murder (it’s on Netflix, so it’s kind of a no-brainer), I’ve been reading The Attachments, which is a funny novel about two female coworkers who gab their brains out over the office email system, which is monitored by a guy who kind of has a crush on one of them…it’s a cute story but hasn’t been my favorite read, although I want to finish it because I hate abandoning books!

On my mind: So, this really cool new falafel place (called Falafel Inc, the Post did an article about the restaurant here) opened up right near me in Georgetown and I was thrilled to try their famous $3 falafel and pita sandwich earlier this week (and I know I’ll have to go back and get it again + try one of their delicious looking sides sometime soon!). The best part? Not only is the food cheap, but proceeds go toward feeding a refugee for a day. Talk about a win-win! I basically SPRINTED over there after work on Monday (at like, 5 pm) because I was so hungry and ready to eat dinner, haha.

On my wish list: I’m totally obsessed with straw totes/bags right now and love this half circle one from Tuckernuck! Also, weird wish list item, but I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’ve really been wanting to try these famous cotton candy grapes! I’ve been freezing regular green grapes and eating them while I watch Netflix at night (#coolkid, I know), and they’re SO good. Like not even in a “I’m trying to be healthy so I’ll eat these instead of candy” type of way…they’re just actually delish and I kinda prefer ’em to candy! If you haven’t gotten on the frozen grapes bandwagon, add them to your list! I bet the cotton candy ones would be good at their usual temperature but I’m also curious what freezing them would be like?! I just need to get my hands on them first…next time I make a Giant or Whole Foods run, for sure.

On the agenda: In addition to going to the James Taylor concert, I’m also planning on getting together with friends and probably having a lazy Sunday afternoon reading by the pool. Summer weekends are truly the best weekends! Hope you have a great one!

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Getting Personal: How I Started Blogging

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I started blogging last July (and have since published 230+ posts!), and I can’t believe how quickly the time flew! For me, blogging has been an extremely fulfilling hobby and creative outlet. It definitely took awhile to feel like people (other than a few close friends–thanks, guys!) were reading my posts, but I was honestly fine with that (it’s a little scary to write about yourself and wonder what other people will think–so many bloggers are constantly picked apart for the slightest things!). Now that I feel more in the groove, I’m so excited to have a larger audience and am thankful for all of the Instagram friends, IRL friends, and new-to-me sites I’ve discovered over the past year.

So first, here’s a little bit about what blogging means to me…

When I was going into my sophomore year of college, I discovered The College Prepster and read it religiously. If I was awake, I seriously would log onto my computer right at midnight, knowing that a new post would be up and ready to read. I also kept up with Carly’s Tumblr every day and constantly felt inspired (I’d even ask my own fashion-related questions from time to time!). That same summer, I had major jaw surgery that left me bedridden and only able to eat through a straw for about a week. During that time, I poured over Her Campus, a new-to-me site at the time. I loved every single article on there and would text my friends about them, even though normal college life couldn’t have felt farther away.

When I returned to school, I was beyond nervous about what would lie ahead. I was already fairly shy, and while thankfully my close group of friends understood what I was going through, I was terrified for my other classmates to see my mouth filled with braces, a splint, and rubber bands, which I had to wear 22 (!) hours each day. If I knew I was going out one night, I’d rush through all of my meals and wear the rubber bands as long as I could so that I could take everything out and have two somewhat normal hours at a party… #funtimes. I couldn’t eat a lot of the normal food in the dining hall, was scared to speak up in class without being stared at, and dreaded normal things like the photo shoot and pizza party my college newspaper staff had one afternoon, because there was NO way I wanted to pose for a headshot, and I couldn’t even eat pizza!

Looking back, all of this seems kind of silly, as I have friends who’ve gone through far, far worse situations while in college AND had to experience these things without the support system that I was so fortunate to have. I’m also thankful that I was able to address the extreme jaw pain I was having (I feel so, so much better now) and had understanding professors who supported me (they were always so thoughtful and reassuring, and sophomore year ended up being my best academic year in college!). But at the time, looking and feeling weird was all I could think about. So how does this tie into blogging, you may ask?

I distinctly remember coming back to my room after class every day and catching up on my favorite blogs, which truly comforted me. Even though I felt kind of weird around people I knew in real life, lots of bloggers were kind of quirky, not to mention interesting and inspiring. I grew to follow blog after blog (Bloglovin made it all super easy!), and by junior year, I was checking the site every morning to catch up on my favorite reads. For me, blogs were an escape from the chaos of normal college life. By senior year, I started a fashion and lifestyle blog of my own where I’d profile classmates of mine. I made a point to generally steer away from covering close friends, because I really wanted to showcase a range of people, personalities, and interests. I had a great time writing these posts, chatting with classmates of mine, and just being creative.

This site didn’t ever turn into anything after college, but I still kept up with my favorite blogs when I moved to New York. When I moved back to DC last summer, I finally had a little more time (I was living at home and working shorter hours) and figured, why not?! After several confusing hours trying to set up a site on WordPress.org (and ultimately resorting to professional help!), DC to a T was born! It has seriously been a blast going from blog reader to blog writer (although I still read a number of blogs every day and love them). It’s also been exciting to see friends start their own blogs, meet other bloggers in the area, and see my (small) Instagram following and readership grow over the past year.

So, basically…if you’re still reading: THANK YOU. Blogging went from being an escape from real life to a way for me to TALK about my real life (well, parts of it!) and share it with you all. I am so grateful for all of the kind and supportive comments I’ve received on this site and elsewhere online. <3

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FRIDAY FEELS, #6

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Greetings from sunny Florida! I’m so happy to be spending a few days here before heading back to reality (aka work) on July 5. Anyone have fun plans for the 4th? I’m actually flying back that evening and may end up heading straight to a friend’s BBQ, can’t wait! Also, is anyone pumped that Younger returned this week? Season 4 looks like it’ll be a sh*tshow…let me know if you’ve watched!

On my playlist: It’s a mix of everything, as usual…one of my friends was making fun of me a few weeks back for liking Chance the Rapper, because no, I suppose his music doesn’t align with my usual aesthetic, haha. But I love Chance! Anyone else a fan?

On my nightstand: Started The Startup and am liking it so far (except that I brought it to a Nats game–don’t ask–and my water bottle spilled in my bag and got the book soaking wet…classic Sarah problems).

On my mind: 1) I was so excited to have my bar cart featured in a fun roundup on Houzz this week! Check it out here. I’ve also been stopping by tons of farmers markets throughout the city (pictured above is the market in Columbia Heights, which is open on Saturdays but also on Wednesday afternoons–so I got to go during one of my days off this week!) 2) I’ve rediscovered how much I like walking for exercise and am trying to do more of it. I get super competitive counting my steps (just on my iPhone, I don’t own a fitness tracker), and I’m always trying to reach a higher number. An activity that is a form of exercise + cuts down on transportation costs is something I can get behind! 3) Another lighthearted thing on my mind…Luke (from Gilmore Girls) is getting his own line of coffee. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out. 4) Lastly, Ashley Brooke Designs launched art prints! They’re so colorful and I may need to get the Florida one to remind me of my happy place.

On my wish list: HOW CUTE is this colorful pom pom straw tote? I’d probably use it for storage rather than as a bag, but I love it.

On the agenda: Relaxing in FL for the next few days and hoping to read a ton! My book pile is out. of. control. Also wrapping up a few freelance pieces for Houzz. I’ve profiled two awesome bloggers and their gorgeous homes and can’t wait to share the pieces once they go live!

 

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Bestie Q&A

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I love turning to my friends for inspiration on work looks, shows to watch, and books to read, so I thought that instead of just sharing a few of MY favorites, I’d also add a friend’s into the mix. Everyone, meet Shelby! We’re here to do a little Q&A (and no, it’s not the kind where we have to guess each other’s favorites and feel super awkward if we get the answers wrong…BUT that could be fun for another time!). Also, apologies in advance for a suuuuper picture-heavy post! When you spend a lot of time with someone over the course of three years, the result is a TON of pics…and this is me narrowing them all down!

Shelby and I met three summers ago when we were both working as editorial assistants at American Baby magazine in New York City. After not talking to each other for a couple of weeks (she apparently thought I was going to be super mean, which is kind of hilarious, because I’m generally over-smiley and talkative), I learned that she had decided to rent an apartment TWO blocks away from mine! A few days later, over Fourth of July weekend (hey, it’s almost our official friend anniversary!), I was supposed to fly out to Michigan to visit my then-boyfriend at his lake house, but my flight got cancelled due to terrible rainstorms. Shelby happened to text me the next day when I was moping around all alone, and we got frozen yogurt together at the 16 Handles on 82nd and 2nd (is that still around?!), ate it together in the park, grabbed margaritas, parted ways for dinner, and then met up again that night to watch a dumb Redbox movie at her place. And this was after having previously only spoken to each other, like, TWICE! It was clearly meant to be. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to meet so many special people in my life (and those who she hasn’t met all feel like they know her and constantly ask about her–and vice versa!). While Shelby briefly lived in DC this fall, she’s now back in her home state of West Virginia (more on that below) killing it in a new PR job. I’m bummed that we’re no longer in the same city, but we’ve had fun visiting each other in various places. She made it down to Philly a few times when I was there for grad school, and I finally made it to her hometown in WV this past fall and already have a bus ticket to go back in August!

Our first-ever picture together from that day in the park!
Our first-ever picture together from that day in the park! Note the 16 Handles cup in the background.

 

My all-time favorite picture of us (we each have it framed!), also from Summer 2014.
My all-time favorite picture of us (we each have it framed!), also from Summer 2014.

 

Cheering on her WVU Mountaineers in Fall 2016.
Cheering on her WVU Mountaineers in Fall 2016.

Whew! Ok, here is our lighthearted Q&A.

SARAH’S ANSWERS:

-Favorite place to shop for work clothes: LOFT
-Must-read book: This is a toughie, but I’ll have to go with Hillbilly Elegy or How to Murder Your Life.
-Guilty pleasure: Peanut M&Ms!
-Favorite thing about my hometown: Bethesda is full of cute stores and restaurants, and there are always new ones opening! I’m itching to try a new Thai ice cream place that just arrived…can you believe I’ve never had it before?!
-Weird habit: I rearrange my funiture WAY too often. I can’t help it!

 

SHELBY’S ANSWERS:

-Favorite place to shop for work clothes: LOFT
-Must-read book: The Light We Lost [Note from Sarah: This looks SO good. I may need to order it ASAP].
-Guilty pleasure: Chips & salsa (or peanut butter pretzels)
-Favorite thing about my hometown: I’m from a small town in WV (home of the pepperoni roll) and we have the best variety of family-owned Italian restaurants. You can say, “That’s Amore!”

-Weird habit: Making my bed. I have to make my bed first thing every morning or I feel sloppy and unproductive.

….and a few more pictures of us, because once I start going down memory lane, I can’t stop. We’ve also taken a TON of pictures together over the years. She’s probably sick of it by now. 😉

DC, Fall 2016.
DC, Fall 2016.

 

One of my last weeks in NYC in April 2015. We took the tram to Roosevelt Island and admired the view of the city!
One of my last weeks in NYC in April 2015. We took the tram (#scary) to Roosevelt Island and admired the view of the city! Also, I’m wearing a LOFT shirt that’s a Shelby hand-me-down. ;)

 

We used to go to the same diner almost every time we went out on 2nd Avenue (it's weirdly called 3 Star Diner, but I think it's a 5 in our book). Shelby would always order some type of breakfast food, and I'd obviously get french fries. I also distinctly remember us trying to shop the Lilly for Target sale on our phones there around 3 am. Oh, the memories!
We used to go to the same diner almost every time we went out on 2nd Avenue (it’s weirdly called 3 Star Diner). Shelby would always order some type of breakfast food, and I’d obviously get french fries (is it sad that the waiters remembered us?!). I also distinctly remember us trying to shop the Lilly for Target sale on our phones there around 3 am on the day of the launch before giving up and going to sleep!

 

Pre-meeting one of my college friends at a bar and then seeing Beauty and the Beast the next day. Spring 2017.
Pre-meeting one of my college friends at a bar and then seeing Beauty and the Beast the next day in Spring 2017!

 

That's a wrap! Thanks for reading!
That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading!
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FRIDAY FEELS, #5

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On my playlist: Does Serial count?! I started the podcast on my way up to NYC last week and finished a ton of episodes. I’ve heard people say mixed things about it, but I’ve found the storyline to be super interesting and it’s definitely something that makes you think!

On my nightstand: Finished this perfect summer beach read this week (a page-turner for sure!) and now am eager to dive in and start this new release!

On my mind: Is your doctor most likely a Democrat or a Republican? This chart explores political affiliation and how it varies by speciality (came across this in a NYT newsletter and immediately sent it to a friend who’s starting med school, because it’s kinda interesting!). Also, how interesting is this article–do you agree the rom com is dead?!

On my wish list: Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good leopard print, and these slides are not only stylish but also are super comfy looking (and affordable!).

On the agenda: This weekend I’ll be having dinner with a good friend, attending a Houzz photoshoot, squeezing in a workout or two, heading to a Nats game, and who knows what else…love summer! Hope everyone has a great one!

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