Cat Cafe

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Meow, meow! I’m so overdue for a blog post about the cat cafe in Georgetown, Crumbs and Whiskers! I’ve now been by three times (woah), so I’ve seen it all. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do in DC (or LA, they have a location there as well), I highly recommend it!

My first visit was in August when I took a “cat yoga” class, aka yoga with cats crawling at your feet (and under you during downward dog). The actual yoga was very, very beginner, so it was fun and didn’t require a ton of attention (I was more focused on the furry creatures roaming the room). I did notice one kitty throw up on someone’s mat at the start of class (#nervous #gladitwasntmine) and another clawed at my mat a bit. So this isn’t necessarily a class to which you show up in your Lululemon best (unless you want to get cat hair all over those black leggings!). I thought the whole experience was hilarious and enjoyed squeezing in some kitty cuddles and a quick workout.

I then went back a few weeks later with a friend from out of town, and more recently my mom and I stopped by mid-week (the cafe does require reservations, which cost $15 per person. Food and drink–they serve macarons, and the coffee cups come with adorable sayings–can be ordered once you arrive and is extra). Both times, we had a blast sipping coffee, entertaining the cats with a few different toys, taking tons of pictures, and people watching (I’m pretty sure my friend and I saw a couple on a Tinder date). The cats are all up for adoption and range in personality from super feisty to completely calm and shy. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!

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7 Things I Love About Fall

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  1. Walking around my neighborhood and taking pictures of all of the houses decorated for fall. I’ll have to post a photo roundup soon, because the homes in Georgetown know how to make Halloween look classy. No inflatables here, just tons of pretty pumpkins!
  2. Pumpkin-flavored everything (ok, maybe not everything). Call me basic, but I’m a fan. True story: when I was in college, I rarely got off campus and once spent an entire week looking forward to the PSL I would be able to get at the airport Starbucks when I flew home that weekend. I don’t buy PSLs that often anymore (regular coffee with a bit of pumpkin spice creamer will usually do it for me), but I finally tried the iced version the other day and omg, it rocked.
  3. Halloween. I’ll admit that I was one of those kids who went trick-or-treating until I was wayyyy too old, but now I enjoy dressing up and going out to a bar with friends, and I also completely look forward to handing out candy on my front stoop. Here’s to hoping there will be plenty of trick-or-treaters in my new neighborhood!
  4. Seasonal beers. If you like Angry Orchard, you have to try the cinnamon flavor. Sure, it tastes a bit like fireball, but it’s so fall-like and festive that I have to recommend it!
  5. Riding boots. I wear my boots to the ground no matter what the season, but in the fall you can wear boots without worrying about getting them scuffed up from snow and ice (and without worrying about slipping on ice…but maybe that’s just me!).
  6. Thanksgiving. Whether it’s a big group or a small family gathering, I love everything about Thanksgiving — the food, festivities, family reunions…bring it on!
  7. Apple cider. It used to gross me out since I don’t like apple juice, but I just picked up the yummiest carton at a farmer’s market the other day and am hooked! Hoping to whip up Katie’s apple cider sangria recipe once I have a new carton on hand!
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How to Crush it on Craigslist: A Q&A

This antique-looking dresser was a Craigslist find when I was living in Georgetown!
This antique-looking dresser was a Craigslist find when I was living in Georgetown!

I’m a fan of Craigslist. A big, big fan. As someone who is super into interior design and wants to redecorate frequently without breaking the bank, Craigslist has answered a lot of my prayers over the past few years (I even scored the adorable abstract painting pictured above!). While some of my friends do use the site (whether to buy, sell, find roommates, etc), a lot of people I know are totally put off by the idea. And for good reason. You have to feel safe and confident about picking up something from a stranger, first of all. And while I’ll certainly encourage you to use good judgment when buying and selling, I’m not going to get into that here. Instead, I’m going to answer a few questions I’ve gotten about my experience using Craigslist and share a few pieces of advice. (If you google this topic, you’ll find tons and tons of posts devoted to Craigslist tips. I’ve read a bunch of these and agree with a ton of the advice I’ve read, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to share my perspective with y’all).

Q: Who is using Craigslist? (Aka, it’s you and a bunch of old, scattered retirees, right?)

A: Most of the people I’ve bought from on Craigslist actually happen to be young women my age! This may have to do with the pieces I’m interested in buying and the style to which I’m drawn, but also when you think about it, a lot of girls in their 20s are moving around geographically, moving in with a significant other, trying to sell off stuff for extra cash…so it kinda makes perfect sense that they’d be prime Craigslist sellers. I honestly could picture myself being friends with several of the people I’ve met through Craigslist (in a 100 percent non-creepy way).

Q: Why would you buy something on Craigslist when you can just order a similar-looking, similarly-priced item online without the hassle?

A: This is a personal preference. For me, I like the feeling of finding a diamond in the rough and snagging something that’s on-trend but still slightly different than something you can acquire in an online shopping cart. That’s also why I like shopping at places like HomeGoods, thrift stores, etc. I like spotting something cool and slightly less common than what you’d see on the floor at Ikea or West Elm.

That said…

Q: Isn’t everything on Craigslist old and gross?

A: No! Definitely no! Craigslist is full of pieces from stores like West Elm, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, you name it. Sure, sometimes items aren’t in great condition after years of use, but you can also find practically-new pieces at steep discounts. Not everything on Craigslist looks like it’s a reject from your great aunt’s yard sale.

Other tips from my experience as a buyer and a seller:

-Be polite and grammatically correct in emails. If you sound like you’ll be difficult to communicate with (literally and figuratively), I’ll be less inclined to keep up a correspondence with you.

-Don’t ghost. Seriously. This sucks in the dating world, but when there’s money involved? Ouch! I recently had a woman call me the day before she planned to pick up an item. She seemed enthusiastic, took the initiative to call and confirm her pickup time after we had been emailing a bit, and we agreed that we’d meet the next day. Fast forward 24 hours later to our scheduled rendezvous and…there was no sign of her. Thankfully, I had countless other people interested in the item and was able to sell it quickly, but I was frustrated that I carved time out of my day to meet her and she was a no-show.

-Be creative. If an item looks less than perfect but you’re a good DIY-er, consider ways in which you can spruce it up. If you’re already getting a good deal, you can invest that extra bit of money into making something simple look great.

Do you agree with these tips? I’d love to hear any that you have to share!

photo by forbetterdays4@gmail.com 

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Abstract Art

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In high school, my friends and I would sit in the hallway and catch up for 10 minutes or so after our buses had arrived but before classes were set to start. I remember there was this one painting we would sit near every day that was one of those pieces of art that makes you go “Huh? I could’ve made that myself.” It was some abstract piece that looked like someone just dragged red paint across a canvas and called it a day. Yet it was stored in a glass box in the hallway along with other artwork that had been deemed “important” enough to show off. What?

Clearly, I didn’t appreciate abstract art at that time, but now the trend has really grown on me. Although I will say that I am a much bigger fan of pieces that incorporate tons of different colors and brushstrokes rather than something that looks like one big glob of paint!

I now have a few abstract pieces hanging up around my apartment, and I’ve been pinning tons of rooms featuring abstract art for further inspiration. Below are some rooms featuring amazing abstract paintings that totally pack a punch. It’s safe to say I’m more than a little obsessed with all of these looks!

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Leopard Chairs

I recently spotted (ha!) the most adorable leopard print chair on Craigslist for a pretty decent price. However, as much as I love the print, I didn’t know if something so bold would work in my apartment. I think I’ll stick to leopard pillows and accents for now! That’s not to say that animal print chairs don’t look absolutely amazing in other homes. I mean, how adorable are these looks I rounded up on Pinterest? (Yes, oftentimes if I’m thinking about incorporating a certain design into my apartment, I’ll do a quick Pinterest search first to see how other people have made it work — I recommend this if you’re on the fence about something!).

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Feeling Like Fall

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It’s finally fall! Sure, I may complain a bit when I get out of the car in the mornings (the heater has been my best friend lately…), but fall also means Halloween, football games (I’ll be watching my first big college football game at WVU in November), and most importantly, pumpkin patches.

Last Sunday, my friend and I took a trip to an orchard about 40 minutes outside of DC and had a blast. We spent most of our time exploring the little “country store” where we purchased tons and tons of fall treats, including kettle corn, apple butter, apple cider donuts (we sampled both glazed and sugar-coated), and more. We even tried apple cider slushies which were delicious! I picked up some funky-looking pumpkins and white gourds that are now decorating my living room, and on the way home, I stopped at Trader Joe’s and grabbed a few more fun pumpkin-flavored items for the week.

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In the fall, I basically live in this jacket from J.Crew, and many of my friends own the same one! I purchased this coat during my senior spring in college and it’s held up extremely well over the past three years. I originally got it because I loved how Barbour jackets looked but couldn’t trust myself with one at the time. I didn’t realize how popular the J.Crew coat was when I ordered it — I only knew one other girl who had it — but now I see it everywhere! Hey, it’s popular for a good reason!

Hoping to wrap myself in a blanket scarf as cooler days approach…this one is a great (and super affordable) option if you’re looking for one yourself.

Happy fall, friends!

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Whoops, I haven’t been good at blogging this week! But I’m back with some favorites from the past few days…

1) ShopHouse. Here in DC, ShopHouse (which is generally described as a Southeast Asian version of Chipotle — think yummy noodles and rice bowls with various meats and toppings) gives out free bowls if you flash your library card on Tuesdays in October. I’ve already gone twice and it worked out perfectly, since I’d been wanting to try out their food anyway and nothing beats a free dinner! Highly recommend it — there’s still time to make it for the last two Tuesdays in October!

2) Target’s beauty box. I am always kind of hesitant to sign up for subscription boxes (I’ve tried a few that I’ve stumbled upon myself or received as gifts), but Target’s monthly beauty box is the perfect treat pick-me-up for two reasons: first of all, it only costs about $7 and you receive a bunch of samples, so you don’t have to shell out big bucks (or really anything at all) to try some cool new products. Second, the box doesn’t renew on its own (this is one of the things that generally bothers me about subscription boxes because I don’t want to be billed automatically for the next month if I don’t like the contents), but the catch with this is that the box does sell out pretty quickly after it’s announced each month. So once November rolls around, sign yourself up! I’m enjoying the samples I’ve received so far — I think my fave is the tinted Chapstick I received because it adds just the right amount of color!

3) Mintwood Home. Guys, I would buy everything on this site if I won the lottery…haha. But the items on here are too cute, and I love that this is a local DC business! If you’re a home decor fanatic like me, check their site out stat.

How’s your week going?

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Craigslist Crazed

I’ve been on a Craigslist spree lately. I check multiple times a day and have waked away with some amazing deals. But for as many fabulous things as I’ve found, I’ve also come across a few questionable pieces in the DC area. They’re too hilarious not to share with you all, so enjoy!

Lucite and brass are two search terms I use quite often…but lucite + brass + a baby head? No thank you.

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I keep seeing this posted under the furniture section…just why?

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The seller made certain to note that wine is not included in this cat-shaped bottle.

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‘Tis the season for apples…but fake ones? Not something I’d seek out on Craigslist, that’s for sure!

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Have you seen anything crazy on CL lately?

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Legs for Days

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Let’s talk about legs. Furniture legs, that is (this isn’t a fitness blog!). I was browsing my usual design sites (Domino, My Domaine, etc) and came across an article that highlighted this amazing website, Pretty Pegs, where you can buy table legs to go with Ikea furniture! The legs are sized perfectly to fit Ikea’s pieces and they honestly look like they’d make such a difference.

The only thing I’m a bit hesitant about is the price–it seems unlikely that someone would be willing to spend $170 to jazz up an Ikea table (why not just buy one cuter table at that price and leave it at that?) but I do think this is a fun way to mix high and low end looks. I mean, how awesome do the legs look on the table above?

I’m also loving these for a coffee table–gold mid-century style legs? Yes, please!

What do you think about this idea? Silly to spend extra money on inexpensive furniture, or an awesome Ikea-hack type of strategy?

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Tips & Tricks, Take 5

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Whew! Hope everyone had a fun and productive weekend! I sure did — I spent time with some friends (and my friend’s adorable niece), hit the gym, did errands, and started reading First Comes Love (I finally got off the waiting list at the library after having requested it in May!). Speaking of reading, September wasn’t my best month for books…so my roundup post will happen at the end of October. I love, love reading, as you know, but last month was just packed with the start of the school year, settling into my apartment, and just getting used to my new routine in general! At the end of the day, Netflix was often the more enticing option 😉 Anyway, here are a few links for you all…

From My Domaine: “Employers Agree–This Is the Job Skill They’re Really Looking For,” by Kelsey Clark. This headline definitely grabbed my attention–what are your thoughts?

From Vimbly: “10 Underrated Travel Spots You Should Book a Flight to ASAP,” by Jessica. Love seeing Maine on this list! I honestly am shocked when I meet people from the Northeast who haven’t been there. I’m obviously biased since I went to undergrad in the Pine Tree State, but hey, I think we can all agree it’s cool to see Maine listed in a roundup that highlights places all across the globe!

From Domino: “How to Channel Your Inner Lorelai” (aka decor inspired by Gilmore Girls). Anyone else excited for the Gilmore Girls reboot? If so, you’ll love this piece. Put Rory, Lorelai, and cute decor into one story and you have me sold!

From Burlap and Lace: “DIY Faux Marble Tulip Table,” by Shannon Claire. This is an old post on a new-to-me blog! I cannot get enough of Shannon’s style and love that she is a fellow DC resident. Marble is very in right now and this DIY turned out perfectly!

And a few other things I’m loving lately…

This doormat (need!)

This show (the hilarious musical numbers get me every time)

All of these rooms

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