The Latest on Sale at Nordstrom

Happppy Saturday! Popping in with a short post today, but I just had to share this roundup with everyone who’s doing a little online shopping today. Slash I should really just call this post “things you should spend your holiday gift money on” or “everything I want for 2018” because all of these items are too good. Nordstrom is always having amazing sales, and this one doesn’t disappoint. I think my favorite item here is the fuzzy white vest (probably because I’m writing this while hiding under layers of blankets).

 

What would you choose? Both of the ruffled sweaters on here are also calling my name!

 

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2018 Goals

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

…It’s almost time to pop champagne and celebrate the new year! But first, I wanted to share some thoughts as we prep for 2018.

I’m writing this while feeling a little in a rut, but I kind of feel like goal setting comes more easily when you’re in the mood of wanting to improve yourself, you know? I also feel like a lot of goal setting is pretty personal, so this is just a sampling of what I hope to tackle in the new year and feel like sharing here. Setting similar goals for yourself? I’d love to hear.

1) Find a meaningful volunteer opportunity. I would love to find a way to give back within the greater DC community while also expanding my social circle in the process. I have a few places in mind, but I’m still kind of getting into a groove with my new job and want to get a better sense of how much extra time I’ll have before I commit. I would love to work with an organization that supports women/families (animals are cute but not so much my expertise! Haha) and am excited to hopefully be a part of something meaningful in the new year.

2) Get back into reading. Ugh, kicking myself for being such a bad reader this fall. But cold evenings + lots of new books on my shelf = the perfect motivation to get back into a rhythm. Plus, I really like plowing through books so that I can review them on the blog for you guys! My book posts are always favorites and it’s so fun to hear what other people are enjoying.

3) Try a dry-ish January/month. I was talking to another blogger about this and we both agreed it’s so hard to try to set this type of goal when we’re also both dating, because it seems like every first date occurs at a bar (and I’m not opposed to that). However, I’d like to make more of an effort to forgo that glass of wine at home or out with friends, because more often than not I just feel tired and headache-y. I actually went out with some friends the other night and ordered one (very watered-down and juice-like) margarita and couldn’t have been happier with my decision, because when it was time to go home I felt energized instead of dehydrated and exhausted!

4) Be more straightforward. I have a tendency of not really speaking up when things are bothering me, and it’s something that I think has held me back at many points throughout this past year. At the same time, I’m also trying to be more internally aware of when it’s worth saying something and when it’s better just letting. it. go. (which is most of the time).

And a few things I’m excited for in the new year: 

-My job! It’s going great so far and I love feeling a little more in the know about things with each passing day.

-Two weddings–one in NC next summer and one in DC in the fall.

-My five-year college reunion. Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I’m the biggest fan ever of my alma mater (annoyingly so). I can’t wait to go back and reunite with friends and classmates in June.

-Continuing this blog! There are definitely points where I just want to throw in the towel altogether, but most of the time, having this creative outlet brings me tons of joy (and amazing friendships).

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

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Easy Ways to Spruce up Your Home

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It may not quite be time to take down those holiday decorations (we usually left them up through New Years growing up), but with December on its way out, you’re likely thinking about how you’ll survive without all of that festive decor ways to spruce up your home for 2018. I’m sharing a few of my tried and true tips that are cute and easy, and most importantly, won’t require a total overhaul of your space.

1) Add fresh flowers. I definitely don’t keep fresh flowers in the apartment on a regular basis, but I love grabbing some either before a photo shoot or when I know I’ll be entertaining. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of cheap bouquets, so I almost always grab mine there. I love how they offer so much variety each season, and their flowers seem to last for a decent amount of time! For affordable, eye-catching, and long-lasting plants, I love Little Leaf, which is located right in my neighborhood and is where two of the three plants pictured in this post are from.

2) Grab some new items for your bar cart. Put away the candy canes and peppermint Schnapps and put out some fancy bottles of your favorite wine, liquor, or mixer. I also love displaying new glassware I purchase and frequently find myself rotating out pieces.

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3) Clean out your cupboards. Eat up food that’s been sitting in there for ages and toss things that have expired. You may surprised what’s hidden back there. Have extra granola bars or bagged snacks that you never eat when you’re at home? Bring them to work and stash them in your desk drawer for emergencies. Honestly, anything tastes good when it’s 4 pm and you’re absolutely starving! I kept a supply of Annie’s crackers in my desk at my old job, and I never regretted having a package on hand for that mid-afternoon slump.

4) Switch out your wall art. I do this fairly frequently as well. Sometimes I swap out a piece and pop a new one into the frame, while other times I re-do my gallery wall completely to add in entirely new pieces. Just make sure you’re storing your backup art in a place where it won’t get crushed or crinkled. The last thing you’d want is to accidentally break glass on a frame or get wrinkles in a favorite print. I keep a lot of my extra pieces in an under-bed bin for easy access and safekeeping.

5) Do your chores. Vacuum, clean, wash your sheets…it can weirdly be kind of therapeutic, and you’ll go into the new year feeling so much better about the state of your space (bonus: if you’re having friends over for NYE and will need to tidy your place up anyway, you can kill two birds with one stone).

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6) Organize paperwork. Go through all of those bills and junk mail that’s been piling up and file away the things you need to keep in a folder. I keep old pay stubs and important documents in a folder in my desk drawer (though I should probably just go digital with some of this stuff!). However, knowing where things are located makes it super easy if I need to grab something quickly.

7) Organize and donate. If you’ve gotten some new pieces over the holidays, you may want to donate or sell lesser-worn items sitting in your closet. Take advantage of your time off and get those old items out the door so that they aren’t cramping your style (literally) when you’re going through your closet each morning before work.

What tips would you add to this list? It’s really the little things that make a huge difference in improving your space!

 

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Top Posts of 2017

Happy day after Christmas! I hope that everyone who celebrated yesterday had a great holiday–I’m headed back to work today, as I can’t really take any time off yet at my new job! However, we did get a four day weekend this past weekend and will for NYE as well, so it’s really just a three-day work week.

I’ll soon be finished with my first full calendar year of blogging, which will mean that I’ve been posting on here for almost a year and a half total! I thought it would be fun to share some of my top-clicked posts from 2017 as a way to look back on the year’s content and recirculate some posts you may have missed (in all honesty, I love when other bloggers share their top posts of the year because sometimes I stumble upon ones I inadvertently forgot to read!).

1) An App for Home Goods? This super short post has been pretty popular, but I actually never ended up purchasing anything from app that I talk about here. The selections seemed pretty limited at the time I was browsing it, but hopefully it will expand!

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2) The Best Feel Good Movies on Netflix. I published this post last January 1, but my opinions still stand (although it’s always sad when Netflix takes certain movies off of their site, so I’m not sure if all of these are currently available). Love all of these classics!

3) How to Crush it on Craigslist: A Q&A. I haven’t done quite as much Craigslisting since moving into my new apartment (living up a set of spiral stairs will do that to ya! Plus, I do like all of the items that I brought with me and haven’t felt as much of an urge to redecorate). However, this post is full of all of the tips you need to score that dream item on Craigslist before it’s too late! I recently updated with a photo of my new space featuring a dresser that was a fun Craigslist find and works super well in my current bedroom.

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4) An Easy DIY for Summer. I love being able to share creative projects on the blog, so this post was an especially fun one to write. I’m also now the owner of way too many sequin-lettered hats. The project was affordable, turned out cute, and is definitely quick and beginner-level (no tears involved), which you can’t always say about DIYs!

5) Q&A with Cole from Cookbookish: I’m so happy that you all enjoyed this post as much as I did–and if you don’t follow Cole, hop on over to her Instagram and add her for tons of yummy, healthy meal inspo. Months later I’m still inspired by all of her recipes, and I’ll probably be bookmarking a few as I hop on the post-holiday detox bandwagon!

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Gifts You Can Get at the Mall

I was thinking the other day about how crowded shopping malls will be this coming weekend with Christmas falling on a Monday. Today is going to be a big shopping day for all of the procrastinators out there!

In high school, my friends and I were always hanging out at our local mall, but I actually haven’t been there in ages (mainly because DC is full of great stores to browse and online shopping is way easier for most things). However, I hear it’s vastly improved in the past few years–now they have a Lilly Pulitzer, a Lululemon, and even a cookie dough place?!

While chain stores are full of options, it can sometimes seem harder to find a gift that’s whimsical and meaningful. For example, I personally love cute, quirky shops like Furbish Studio and Waiting on Martha, but I haven’t come across any chain stores with similar selections (although as I’ve mentioned before, H&M home has some great pieces!). However, I did a little digging and rounded up my favorite items that YES! you can buy at the mall, but NO! they don’t look too generic. Scroll through this prior to your last-minute holiday shopping and you’ll feel a bit more together during what will no doubt be a chaotic situation.

Old Navy: All of these items are either a) practical and classic or b) totally fun for this time of year. Old Navy isn’t just where you bought your 4th of July tee in 2003–the current offerings are definitely on trend.

Francesca’s: I’ve always been a huge fan of Francesca’s for things like dresses, shirts, and sweaters. If you love prints as much as I do, this is your place! Plus, they frequently have sales or other promos. It’s a great place to shop for gifts because of all of the accessory offerings. No need to worry if you don’t know someone’s exact size or style preference–there are tons of items like scarves, coffee mugs, and wristlets that make easy gifts.

Gap: If I hadn’t known better, I would’ve mistaken most of these items for J.Crew! Gap has really stepped up its game and I’m kind of lusting over everything shown here. Plus, some of these items would be great outfit additions for NYE (if you want to pick up a few things for yourself while you’re at it!).

Urban Outfitters: I realized I hadn’t been including any guy gifts on here (whoops), so I’m adding a few here along with some additional items for the ladies! In addition to their signature items, UO sells items from a great mix of brands, including Patagonia, Ouai (eager to try their products), and more.

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5 Things to Do Before Starting a New Job

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Taking a break from holiday content to post about work! I’m now two weeks into my new job and enjoying it so far–it’s definitely different starting a new role right before the holidays, as the pace is a bit slower, but it’s a great time for me to settle into the role and get acclimated before 2018 kicks off. I was reflecting a bit on the things that helped me going into the job feeling prepared, and I thought I’d share them here…below, you’ll find my tips on what to accomplish before your first day somewhere new!

Unwind (but also cross things off your list!). I had the opportunity to take a week off in between jobs, and I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect mental break and also allowed me to squeeze in a fun trip to NYC and take care of necessary things like doctor’s appointments. While taking time off was definitely a reward, it was also key given that in my new role, I’m not allowed to take any leave for 90 days. Having just taken a little vacation and crossed things like check-ups off my list, the 90 day constraint should be pretty manageable. Of course, you’ll want to examine factors like your finances, health insurance coverage, and the like before deciding to take time off–you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself!

Reevaluate your wardrobe. I was going from working at a school to working in a much more formal office setting, so I knew that my office wardrobe would have to change. One piece of advice I have is to go into your new role with enough outfits for the first week, but then do any remaining shopping after you’ve gotten a sense of what everyone else is wearing (I used to do this in school/college, too–sometimes seeing what’s popular in your specific environment is helpful before you head out and make your purchases. Trust me–I thought Bean Boots were the strangest things ever until I saw how popular/practical they were where I went to college.). I still need to grab some more pants and skirts, but I’ve added some new blazers into my rotation since starting my job, as those are definitely practical pieces to own for my current role. Black pants and tons of different tops can also go a long way–my closet is bursting with blouses, so I need to focus more on bottoms and grab some work-appropriate dresses. If you have any favorite places to shop for workwear, let me know!

Read up on benefits. Take a look at what your office/company offers in terms of benefits and perks. For example, my new company offers a great gym membership that I will most likely take advantage of starting in 2018 (since I work at a university, the gym is about to be closed for winter break and won’t reopen until early January, so it didn’t make sense joining in December). This means that in the meantime, I’ve been relying on ClassPass for my workouts, so I purchased a large pack (for a great price!) earlier this month. However, it’s helpful to know that soon I’ll be able to head on over to the gym after work and also have a sense of what that will cost per month.

Fill out paperwork. See what paperwork you can fill out and submit before your first day. This is especially easy if you’re already local. I stopped into our HR office a few days early to submit some of my forms which helped expedite the process of me getting an email ID. At my old job, there were several administrative tasks that I needed to complete before I could formally start, such as getting fingerprinted, and it was helpful to tackle these things without feeling rushed.

Loop in with contacts. When leaving my old job, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many people I already knew had connections to my future place of employment, whether they’d gone to the university, worked there, etc. One woman I knew had served as a consultant in the office where I now work, and she gave me her business card before I left so that we could stay in touch. While emailing with my college alumni coordinator, she told me about another young alum in the area who also has a job at the university where I’m working now, and we’re grabbing coffee next week. You never know who has connections to your future place of employment, so it doesn’t hurt to share your updates. If you’re not having luck, a quick LinkedIn search can also connect you with contacts or friends of friends who may be valuable connections.

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Shop My Shelfie

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Does anyone else look at people’s shelfies and want to know where everything came from? This angle captures a few of my favorite products that I wanted to share with you all (you could even order a few as last-minute gifts!).

Top shelf: 

Wood bowl: I actually ordered this on Amazon Prime after seeing this look on other people’s shelves. The bowl is totally functional and would be great for entertaining, but I like how it looks stacked on top of books for now. The price can’t be beat either!

The Bloody Mary: This book was another Amazon buy and has a super cute cover and fun illustrations. Buy it for any brunch fanatic or to place on a bar cart!

Trinket box: This silver box was a Miss Pixie’s find. If you find yourself on 14th Street, be sure to check out their store. Their inventory is always changing and you can find the best vintage furniture items and accessories.

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Middle shelf: 

Coffee table books: These (Dining In and The Coveteur) are two popular selections at the moment and are supplemented by vases from IKEA and H&M home. I love the neutral look going on in this section.

Gold tray: This was actually a TJ Maxx find awhile back and reminds me of this pricier West Elm piece. And let’s be real, I totally placed it there because Emily Henderson had a similar gold tray on her shelf. 😉

Diptyque candles: These are both holiday candles, but I can’t say I love the smell! However, anything by Diptyque is super luxurious and I know these will be fun to continue to light this winter.

Bottom shelf:

Paris photo: You may recognize this from my Instagram–this was the view from the apartment we stayed in and was too beautiful not to get framed! I ordered it through Framebridge and love how it turned out. I’ve used Framebridge a ton before to print out Instas. They make fantastic gifts and would be adorable for a newly-married or engaged couple, to honor a new baby, or, if you’re like me, to look back on favorite vacations or activities with friends.

Woven basket: Woven baskets are having a moment! I have several, but this one came from Chrissy who was re-decorating her apartment and kindly let me take it off her hands. (I’m low key obsessed with her home, nbd). DC locals: Bourbon Coffee on L Street sells these bowls, too! I recently grabbed one for myself and plan to grab at least one other for a Christmas gift. At only $10 a pop, they’re a great buy!

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DC Spin Class Recap

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This is more of a post for my DC-based readers, but given that so many studios have outposts in cities across the nation, hopefully it’ll be somewhat useful for other people, too! I mentioned awhile back that I decided to use all of my ClassPass credits for spinning, as I really just enjoy it the most (one of my good guy friends texted me the other day saying that he had just taken a spin class back home, and I was ecstatic to have converted someone else!). I’m a firm believer in tailoring your workout to match your needs and interests–just because everyone else is doing yoga, for example, doesn’t mean that you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to go to that must-try class.

Since I’ve now gone to each of these studios at least twice, I thought I’d share my views on them (and note: I’m by no means an expert when it comes to the actual class…I do NOT “score” as high as most people in the classes that display your stats, but I almost feel like that makes the post even more useful/relatable?!). I don’t love the competitive aspect of some classes, which I’ll get into below (my tagline seriously has become, “Everything in life is competitive–why should your workout be?!”), but I still have a blast regardless–at least most of the time!

Here’s a roundup of some of the regional studios I’ve tried, in no particular order. Note that I’m leaving out SoulCycle (my fave!) because it isn’t available on ClassPass, and I’m also not touching on Flywheel because it’s so common and there’s so much out there about it already!

Ryde/Revolve in Clarendon

I LOVE this studio (they have a branch in NYC, too!). I started going because it was somewhat convenient for me when I worked in McLean, and I also had come across a great deal for a pack of classes thanks to Groupon. (Trust me: even if you’d never use Groupon for anything else, check out their workout class offerings periodically. Same thing with Gilt City–you can find some great deals!).

Pros: Amazing themed rides. I’m talking Beyonce, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne vs. Kanye…yessss. For me, music can truly make or break a workout. I’ve been to too many Flywheel classes where the instructor decides to play some slow, new age-y “thoughtful” song during a hill and it. is. so. boring. If I’m going to be doing a difficult workout, I’d rather be distracted by good music (or at least be able to rap along, let’s be real) rather than dreading what song might come next.

Cons: You have to pay a shoe rental fee, even when you visit on ClassPass. But that’s common at many places. Also, it’s right next door to the most DELICIOUS SMELLING bakery ever. Seriously, sometimes I walk in there just to smell/admire the baked goods (that sounded weird, but if you ever are in the area, go inside and you’ll see what I mean), and I have to exhibit tons of self control to walk out empty-handed. But yeah, there could be far worse cons!

LavaBarre in Rosslyn

This one was also convenient for me when I worked in Virginia and especially when I also was living in Georgetown, since it’s right off the Rosslyn metro (I’d pass through there on my way home anyway, so it made sense to squeeze in a workout!) and easy to access via the Key Bridge.

Pros: There’s a great “team” dynamic in the class rather than a feeling of competition. The classes always seem to go by quickly and the absolute BEST part is the cool, lavender-scented towels that are passed around at the end of each class. Seriously, I could rave about these forever.

Cons: I don’t feel like I’ve worked as hard here as I do at a place like Flywheel. The classes can seem a little slow-moving at times and there isn’t always that same feeling of energy that you may experience at bigger studios. Also, while it’s nice to be able to bring your own sneakers (not all of the bikes require you to clip in), there’s something about clipping in that makes it seem easier to move around and also feels more studio-y and less gym-like.

*Similar feel: Sculpt DC in Chinatown. I’m not writing a full review because I’ve only attended one class so far, but it’s also a bring your own shoes place. I didn’t get the memo, but thankfully the staff found a pair of spin shoes on hand that I could borrow for class! They were half a size too small but I graciously accepted them because I didn’t want to miss my workout (or lose that ClassPass credit!). The music was good and the class was small but not depressingly so, making for an enjoyable post-work, Monday night workout.

CycleBar NOMA:

I’ve only been to the NOMA location, but there’s also a CycleBar studio on Columbia Pike. I discovered this one through Groupon over the summer and while I always enjoyed the classes there, it’s a little more out of the way for me (surprisingly, Arlington is often a cheaper Uber ride than other places within the city, and the studio isn’t very near a metro stop, either).

Pros: Lots of perks! Fruit, free reusable water bottles, and fun after class treats sold me right away. Weekend “brunch” rides are followed by free mimosas (they’re small but a nice way to end class!), and the studio is brand new and very clean and modern-looking.

Cons: If you don’t like the Torq board aspect of Flywheel, you’re likely not going to appreciate this atmosphere either. I really can’t tell what’s going on up on the screens because I’m blind and am not going to put my glasses on mid-spin class, but I think everyone’s bike number is up there, so there isn’t really an option to “opt out” of the rankings. Or maybe I’m just bitter because I always do terribly even when I feel like I’ve had a good workout, so there’s that. However, you’re the only one who knows how hard you worked and you’re (hopefully) doing the class for yourself, not to impress someone else, so it really shouldn’t matter…but like, talk about a bruised ego after class. 😉

It seems like everywhere I look I’m hearing about a new spin studio, so if you have any favorites that I’ve left off the list, let me know!

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New York Weekend

Long overdue post, but better late than never! I spent the first weekend of the month in New York with my mom and had a wonderful time! True story: We were debating where we should go for a mini trip and tossed around a few ideas including Florida and Charleston (warm/warm-ish places!), but it was while we (separately) were watching the opening scenes of A Christmas Prince (embarrassing but too hilarious not to mention, #noshame) that we decided that we absolutely had to see New York all lit up–great minds think alike, ha!

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We spent two nights in the city and stayed at the Washington Square Hotel near NYU. It was a fairly small hotel but was in an amazing location, and one great perk was that breakfast was included. Since I always lived uptown (aside from the first summer I interned in New York) as do many of my friends, I usually spend most of my time back up there when I come to visit the city. This time, it was nice checking out a new neighborhood and seeing a side of NYC that I didn’t experience as much. Additionally, the location was near so many of my favorite “new” NYC places (aka those that didn’t exist when I lived there) including byChloe, Cha Cha Matcha, and Do (the famous cookie dough spot!). My mom kept making fun of me for only suggesting restaurants and other food-related places when it came to things I wanted to do, but honestly, isn’t eating a huge part of any weekend away?!

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So, in terms of restaurants…we had lunch at ByChloe in Soho on Saturday and then made our way to the Upper East Side, where we grabbed a snack at one of my favorite little coffee shops, Cafe Jax (it’s where I used to sit and study for the GRE!). I had really wanted to eat dinner at Rosemary’s our first night in the city (my intern roommates and I loved it when we lived in that area), but the wait was insane when we arrived around 6:30, so we opted to go to Westville (another staple!). I couldn’t get Rosemary’s off my mind, though, so we came back suuuper early the next evening (at like 5:15 pm on a Sunday, go ahead and judge us!) and were seated right away (the hostess even remembered us from the night before). We were still fairly stuffed from our brunch at Lafayette Grand that morning (make a reservation and order the lemon pancakes with fresh fruit!), so we just split a pasta and some salad and ended up grabbing fries at Pommes Frites (another must) after seeing the Rockettes that night. It was a blast going to the show and we made it extra festive by walking past the shops on 5th Avenue before heading over (the Saks window displays were adorable!).

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As for other things I did while there: I stopped in to see the new Sezane store and it was beautiful! I had been wanting to go in Paris, but it was closed at the time of my visit (late August = when all the Parisians go away and a lot of things shut down). I also made it back to my trusty used bookstore (not the one pictured above!), which is such a hidden gem. My mom also wanted to check out the Birkenstock pop-up, which was conveniently located near the High Line and Chelsea Market, so I got to show her both of those spots, too. My roommate and I would lounge and read magazines on the High Line back in the day! I didn’t really shop during this trip but did get this cute print from one of my favorite shops in Chelsea Market. I’ve already framed it and hung it up outside of my room, and the other city options are also adorable–I had eyed the Philly one when I lived there but never purchased it. Also !!! we walked by Grove Court (pictured above) because I’d been wanting to see it forever. Luckily enough, a resident happened to be walking in while my mom and I were standing outside taking pictures, and he invited us to come through the gate to get a few shots! It’s seriously such a beautiful residence and I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there (although my guess is it would be a little annoying with all of the tourists walking by to snap pictures!).

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On Monday, I had plans to explore on my own and stay with a college friend at night, but I was kind of exhausted and ended up leaving a bit earlier in the day (however, I’m excited for my next “friend trip” to the city, whenever that may be!). I did make it back to ByChloe a second time and walked around the surrounding area after grabbing the delicious pink drink at Cha Cha Matcha. I also popped in to Two Little Red Hens, which is one of my favorite little bakeries on the Upper East Side, and grabbed a salad to go from Just Salad–even though I ate their stuff for lunch multiple times a week while living in NYC, I still can’t get enough!

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In 2017, I…

For starters, it feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote this post reflecting on 2016! However, I wanted to publish a 2017 edition to look back on some highlights and accomplishments from the past year (but along those lines, let’s just forget all of the general shittiness that was 2017, shall we?!). I have to remind myself that while I’ve certainly experienced a tough time (or five!) this year, I am very, very fortunate and should focus on the aspects of my life I’m grateful for rather than dwell on things that are actually insanely trivial in the scheme of what’s been happening to our country and around the world.

With that disclaimer out of the way…here are a few things that I wanted to highlight from my life this past year.

In 2017, I…

Traveled to two of my college friends’ weddings. One was in West Palm Beach and one was in Seattle, and having the opportunity to see the two of them each get married, catch up with my good group of girlfriends (not just once but twice within the span of two months!), and see two new-to-me cities (props to my friends for picking to get married in places with beaches and wineries) couldn’t have been beat. I actually came back from the West Palm weekend (which was first) and sobbed the next day because I’d had such a great time and was bummed I couldn’t recreate that feeling with that group of people every day! (So it was happy tears, I guess?). In Seattle, I got to catch up with my study abroad bestie and see the city through her eyes for a day, which was amazing. Hint: while some people find attending weddings to bring about unnecessary stress, I think I’m going to continue to realllly like this part of growing older.

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Shared my love of interior design online. I was actually lying on the beach before my friend’s wedding when I found out that The Everygirl wanted to publish my home tour on their site! I was absolutely ecstatic and ran to the grocery store the next morning to pick up a notepad and pen so that I could send over a preliminary sketch of my space as they’d asked for (I think my friends thought I was insane as I sat at the kitchen table in our Airbnb trying to draw a diagram of my apartment). Around the same time, Houzz and Apartment Therapy also published features, and Houzz asked me and the photographer I’d worked with if we’d like to become a freelance team together in DC (of course we said yes!). I’ve had an incredible time scouting out potential features (mainly via Instagram) and when possible, attending the photo shoots to meet these amazing young women in real life. It’s been a blast getting to see some of my favorite Instagram spaces IRL and meeting tons of new local creatives, whether in person or via email. Stay tuned: my roommate and I are prepping our space for a January Houzz shoot, and I can’t wait to share the results on here with you all!

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Went to Cape Cod with friends. After having so much fun at both of the weddings, the East Coast group of my college friends made the trek to Cape Cod for a weekend this summer and had a fantastic time (still laughing at some of the things that happened on that trip). We cooked a delicious dinner outside and spent lots of time drinking sangria on the patio and lying on the beach. Flight delays heading back to DC meant that I got to spend extra time in Boston with one of my friends, so ya can’t complain!

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Traveled to Paris. This was my family’s first big vacation together in years, and it was incredible to spend time together in such a beautiful, historic city (don’t get me wrong, we definitely drove each other crazy from time to time). This may sound cliche, but destination aside, it was just nice that we could all take time off to be together, since that’s so difficult to do when 2/4 of us work, 1 had an internship, and vacation days aren’t unlimited! My mom did an amazing job choosing the apartment and neighborhood where we stayed, and we miss the daily baguettes like crazy!

Built a group of DC friends. Maybe “group” isn’t the right word since not everyone knows each other, but that’s ok! I had a blast meeting new girlfriends through Bumble BFF (one of whom lives right about the corner from our new place, and I’m so happy!) and Instagram while keeping up with the old. I LOVE having friends from different parts of my life meet one another, and I’ve been able to do that a few times this year, which has been a lot of fun. I definitely didn’t take my close group of college girlfriends for granted and am happy that I’ve been able to form new relationships with people in my current city who like doing the same things that I do (and by that I mean brunch, shopping, festive DC things, happy hours, coffee dates, and cookie decorating!). I’m proud of myself for making an effort to seek people out and do DC activities, since the process of getting to know new people can honestly be a bit like dating (and we all know how exhausting that can be!).

forbetterdays4@gmail.com
forbetterdays4@gmail.com

Moved apartments. I wrote about my decision to do so here and couldn’t be happier! Living somewhere new and having a roommate for the first time since sophomore year of college (minus a few months here and there as I got settled in NYC) has been a lifestyle change for sure, but it’s actually been a great arrangement. My roommate had also lived by herself for a period of time and we each value our time alone, but we’ve also done some fun things in our shared space, like hosting our first little get together this past weekend! I think the best part is that we each have so much space to ourselves but love sitting down in the kitchen or living room and catching up or venting about our days. It never feels like we’re living on top of each other in a cramped space, which is a luxury in a big city! I’m also in love with the space itself — we really lucked out finding a unit that has two separate bathrooms, tons of architectural charm, and its own roof deck! True story: This past fall, I had the opportunity to attend an evening event at a beautiful, very well-known historic private home in the area, and while I was there, I couldn’t help but think “this place is gorgeous and all, but for now? I’d rather go home to my exposed brick apartment!” Looking for a new place in DC right now? Check out my apartment hunting tips.

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Went home more. Of course it took me moving further away (ok, by like 15 minutes) from my parents’ house for this to happen, but I’ve found myself going home a lot more to eat dinner with or spend time with my family. I had always enjoyed having them come down near me to go out in the city, but I never really went out to our house much, for whatever reason. This fall, I’ve gone back a lot and won’t take my parents’ support for granted–they’ve been amazing with all of the transitions I’ve experienced these past few months.

Started a new job. This is probably the biggest one! I don’t really talk much about work on here because this is a public space, after all, but I found myself ready to move on from my current role and was thrilled to start my new job in higher education only a week ago! I’m really excited work with students, get to know my new coworkers, and have a MUCH easier commute (I can walk!). The job combines a lot of creative/communications work with event-related tasks, and there will also be a little bit of travel, which will be an exciting change.

While the year also brought its fair share of lows, it’s funny how writing about the good things can kind of make you forget the not-so-great moments (and who wants to sit here and read as I go on about those anyway?!). Whenever I’m down, I always think about EVERY negative thing in my life and feel even worse, but I’m finding that thinking about just one positive thing makes me remember all of the other positive aspects in my life. On that note, I’m wishing everybody a positive end to ’17…we’ve got this!

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