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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Small Space Inspiration

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

After yesterday’s post, I’m still thinking about these gorgeous small spaces but also am lusting over a leopard stool like the one I spotted while viewing this recently-published Apartment Therapy tour. I’ve tried to find a similar version online but haven’t had any luck. I suppose you could reupholster a footstool with cute fabric and get a similar look, though. Anyway, in my browsing, I came across this ottoman from…Macy’s of all places! It’s on sale at the moment, and I bet you could scour for an extra coupon or two to get an even better discount. While I’m not a fan of tons of animal print mixed together, I think a statement piece like this one would be gorgeous in an otherwise simple room. So naturally, inspired by the stool and the small space home tour linked above, I began browsing for other items that would look adorable in a tiny but sophisticated space.

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Leopard stool//gold mirror//blush pillow//figure art//gold lamp

And actually, putting this collage together made me think of Chloe Livingston’s aesthetic, pictured below. I’ve followed Chloe on Instagram for several years now, and I absolutely love her style–plus, she’s also amazing at making small spaces look like a million bucks! If you don’t follow her, go check out her profile…now! I guarantee you’ll be inspired.

Chloe Livingston
Chloe Livingston
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Living Simply

I’m feeling the minimalism trend lately. I’m writing a couple of articles at work about living with less, and I seriously come each day home inspired to do just that! Not to mention, after seeing a few small space tours that I absolutely love, I’m now feeling extra motivated to part with unnecessary furniture/accessories and embrace small space living for good.

Look 1:

Shannon Crain
Shannon Crain

I’ve already shared this gorgeous space, but I had to come back to it because it’s just TOO good. This is closest to my current space, featuring lots of blue, lucite, and chinoiserie!

Look 2:

One Kings Lane
One Kings Lane

If you’re an avid blog reader, you’ve likely seen snapshots of Amy’s home on other sites, but it has also inspired me a ton. I love how “grown up” and curated her space looks–nothing is out of place or unnecessary.

Look 3:

Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy

Lastly, I came across this Apartment Therapy tour a few days ago and am so glad I did. I love the sophisticated, feminine look that’s present here (and in the other two apartments I’ve mentioned above). There’s something about having just the right amount of details and personality in a space that really motivates me to pare down my belongings and pick out a few favorites to feature. Honestly, can you believe this studio is less than 200 square feet? It’s practically the size of a two-person dorm room, and we all know how cramped those felt!

Have you been inspired by small spaces lately? I have lots of prints and accessories that I love to showcase, but picking out a few special pieces and saying goodbye to the rest sure can look good!

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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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July Reads

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Another month, another list of book recs as I work my way through a huge pile of must-reads! I’m adding a new “read it if…” piece for the books that I loved and would personally recommend. So without further ado…

The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo: Remember how I said I wanted to save this one for when I had time to fully enjoy it? Well, I’m so glad I did, because once I started the book, I couldn’t stop–I read it all in one sitting! Read it if: You appreciate a good love story but don’t want anything cheesy (and don’t mind a tearing up a bit!). 

The Big Life, by Ann Shoket: I read this book on vacation and it was a quick, inspiring read that also did the job of making me feel super motivated and ready to return to work (if you like to unplug completely when you’re away, I don’t recommend bringing this with you!). As the former editor of Seventeen, Ann knows all about the struggles that millennial women face in the workplace and beyond and uses a lot of real life anecdotes from her conversations with women in their 20s and 30s to supplement her advice. Read it if: You’re craving an extra dose of inspiration! 

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan: If you’re looking for a rom com-esque read, this one is for you. Nina is in her late twenties when she loses her job at the town library and decides to go out on her own and open a traveling book truck (I mean…how adorable?!). She moves from England to Scotland to start her business, and, of course, ultimately falls in love. Having spent a semester abroad in Scotland, I loved reading about the different towns she visited and the characters she met along the way. Read it if: You need something fun and relaxing for once, especially given that everyone is all about dark, creepy thrillers these days.

Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell: I started this book and just couldn’t get into it, but I’m putting it on July’s list anyway. I read about half of this story, which is about two close female coworkers whose emails to one another are actually being monitored by the company tech guy, who starts falling for one of the girls. It’s a super cute plot (kinda wish I’d thought of it myself!) but the book was just too slow-moving for me and there were other things that I was more eager to read instead. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future–and as a whole, I’ve heard wonderful things about the author, Rainbow Rowell, and I know other people who enjoyed this particular book, and it got amazing reviews on Amazon, so clearly I’m in the minority!

I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist, by Betty Halbreich: This book had been sitting on my shelf forever and I’d been meaning to start it for, oh, a year and a half! Betty Halbreich chronicles her life growing up in Chicago in the 1930s before moving to NYC with her husband. She later forms a personal shopper role at Bergdorf Goodman, where she remains working for decades. Read it if: You love a good memoir, appreciate fashion and New York City, and want to read the musings of an incredible 86-year-old author!

I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron: This quick read was funny, insightful, and a nice glimpse into the late Nora Ephron’s life. Having read one of her other books, I Feel Bad About My Neck, I was curious to see what else she had in store and actually found this book at a used bookstore in Cape Cod! Read it if: Again, you like memoirs and are in the mood for a short but engaging read. 

All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg: This book wasn’t outstanding in my opinion, but it showed up on my Amazon recommendations so I thought I’d give it a try. This short story follows a 39-year-old woman who is single in NYC and is facing various family issues…in short, not the glamorous, Sex and the City type read I was expecting. I wasn’t a huge fan.

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Window Shopping: TJ Maxx

Welcome to part 2 of my new “window shopping” series!

Love it or hate it, but you have to admit that TJ Maxx has some pretty cute clothes. I mean, if you looked at half the styles below, you’d probably assume they were from Nordstrom or Loft when in reality, they’re all $30 or less (but as you can tell, most are $15 or less, which is even better).

While not everyone loves bell sleeves and ruffles, these are all great purchases if you’re on the fence about the trend or just want some causal summer tops that don’t necessarily need to last past this season. They also make great going out shirts as the weather gets cooler–does anyone else struggle with what to wear to the bar after it gets too cold for just a tank top? 

While TJ Maxx charges for shipping for orders under $89, you could either order a bunch of pieces and then return any unwanted items to your local store (super easy) or sign up for their email list and get free shipping on your first order. If you’re already on their email list, stay tuned because free shipping is offered pretty frequently. If only you could order items and pick them up at a store nearby, but we all know that the nature of these places basically revolves around the concept of going, going, gone! While I’ve found that this is somewhat true for the website (items won’t be online forever), the turnover isn’t necessarily as quick as you may expect (meaning you probably have between 1 and 2 weeks to order one of these shirts before they disappear!).

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My Home Picks on Amazon, Part 2

Last month, I posted my favorite Amazon home finds and wanted to share some additional picks with ya! Seriously, Amazon Prime really pulls through with affordable, stylish pieces. I’ve also been really inspired by Alaina’s home and Danielle’s and feel like all of these pieces would work in their places, too. 😉 It’s funny how once you get a certain style in your head, you keep stumbling upon pieces that match it perfectly!

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This glass and gold vanity tray is also perfect for a coffee table or bar cart. I love the gold accents on the corners and for under $20, it can’t be beat!

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I recently purchased this gold lamp and was influenced by many of the positive reviews saying that it looks much more expensive than it is (I mean, it’s under $40!). It adds a great pop of gold to any room and is a fraction of the cost of lamps at places like West Elm.

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This pillow cover is very West Elm-esque but is only $10. It’s great for a modern living room.

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I was lucky enough to find this chair on Craigslist for just $30 (compared to $150 on Amazon!), and its stylish frame adds a fun element to my living room.

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This set of mirrored trays would look fabulous on a coffee table and again look much more expensive than they are IRL!

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Key Entertaining Essentials

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Happy Friday! I wanted to pop in with three entertaining essentials that I’ve found extremely useful over the years (from college to apartment living, they’ve been musts!):

Small bowls: When serving snacks and dips, I honestly sometimes still use colorful plastic bowls that I bought at Target the summer before my freshman year. They’re super durable and I never have to worry about them breaking. However, if you’re looking to step up your serving ware game a bit, I’m also loving these from Anthropologie.

Lots of cups: I got two sets of plastic Lilly cups in college and still have ‘em! They’re great for when you have several people over but don’t want to resort to Solo cups. Mine have held up extremely well, are super cute (of course), and are easy to wash. I recently purchased these blue Lilly cups for my bar cart, and while they’re a different style (the plastic is thicker and they’re a bit shorter), I’ve loved using them, too!

Festive cocktail napkins: One of my favorite things to look for at HomeGoods and similar stores is festive napkins (Michaels often has adorable options, too!). At only $2.99 or so a pop, packets of napkins are a great investment and make for fun party props. I’ve seen everything from donut-themed ones to sassy sayings and more. You can never have too many (says the girl with an overflowing drawer full of printed napkins!).

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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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Window Shopping: The Nordstrom Sale

I thought this would be a fun new series to write whenever inspiration strikes. I love checking my favorite clothing and home goods websites for new arrivals, but I don’t always share things with you all unless I end up ordering them! So here comes my “window shopping” series–where I’ll feature a few of the exciting new (or new-to-me) products on my radar…maybe this will also stop me from pulling the trigger on an item right away…

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t touch on the #NSale (aka the Nordstrom sale) at all?! But in reality, I don’t think I’m going to be purchasing anything this year! I have more than enough clothing for fall and didn’t see anything I had to have. There was one raincoat that I thought was adorable, but it was sold out before the sale opened to the public (sad, but I already have a great raincoat, so it was probably a sign to say “no”). However, just because I won’t be purchasing anything (seriously, I think this is the first time I’ve EVER said this in general, let alone about a sale, haha), I can still browse to my heart’s content. So if you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket and just don’t know what to choose, hopefully the guide below will come in handy!

My shoe picks: 

Stocking up on some Tory Burch is basically a given if you’re going to shop the sale–everyone is obsessing over the riding boots! But since fall is still a ways away, it doesn’t hurt to stock up on some cute summer basics. My friend Allison was rocking the Sam Edelman sandals in Cape Cod and she said they’re actually pretty comfy!

My bag picks: 

Everyone has been loving the BP scalloped tote for the past year or so, and it’s exciting to see it on sale for half its usual price! But let’s be real, all of the bags I’ve featured on here kind of have the same look–and I think they’re all perfect options for work. I have a similar tote that I sometimes bring to the office but have also found useful for travel (sans laptop). A sturdy, solid color bag really never goes out of style!

My “other” picks: 

The great thing about the #NSale is that there’s truly a huge range of items. Also, don’t forget to scroll through the home section! I noticed a few bloggers seemed surprised by the number of home items for sale, but there’s truly been a great selection each year (trust me, that’s the section I care the most about, haha)! Last year, I snagged one of the famous Jonathan Adler zebra trays in blue and I absolutely love it. I didn’t see them this year, but I think many of my picks here are just as cute!

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