A Few Tidbits + How to Score Diptyque on Sale

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Happy Friday! I’ve been posting a lot because I’m on vacation and have had extra time to write, which has been wonderful. Going forward, my goal is to post three times a week, which I think is pretty manageable. Help me hold myself accountable!

I’ve come across some great websites/series lately, and because sharing is caring, I’m going to pass them along to you all…

1) If you’re like me and you’re 1) nosy and 2) trying to be better at budgeting, you’ve come to the right place. I don’t remember how I discovered Refinery 29’s Money Diaries series (one of the stories may have popped up on my news feed), but I found out about these pieces about a week ago and have been hooked ever since. I was so inspired after reading several that I sat down to reevaluate my budget in order to be better at staying on track!

I found it super interesting to see how different women spent their earnings and how factors like location and relationship status played a role. I also noticed that barely anyone was doing any shopping! People spent a lot more money on groceries and going out to dinner but really steered away from things like Amazon Prime and impulse buys…food for thought and definitely good inspiration!

2) If you love Diptyque candles but are looking for a discount…check out C.O. Bigelow. Traditional Diptyque candles don’t go on sale (unless you’re talking about a sample sale in New York City, and even then, they go quickly!). But C.O. Bigelow offers a $10 discount upon signing up for emails, and when you pair that with free shipping, you’re getting a better deal on a splurge-worthy candle. I’ve also snagged some of the holiday candles on sale here, and combined with the $10 coupon, they were a great deal — think $7 for a mini and $25 for a regular size!

3) I am always looking for tips on how to improve my poor, damaged hair (which has been straightened nearly every day since I was 13…eek) and I’m hoping to try out some of Danielle’s tips. Fingers crossed! I always love trying new products, so I may check out some of her recs. Let me know if you have any advice to send my way.

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Drooling over DSW

Ok, so I never thought I’d be saying this because 1) I’m not really a shoe person (I know) and 2) DSW is just one of those big chain stores, right? However, they have some awesome stuff that’s both affordable and on-trend. Seriously, I want it all! Think scallops, springy styles, classic work totes, and more…

It all started with these shoes, which I spotted in an issue of Real Simple (such a good magazine) that I was reading on the plane the other day. I made a mental note to look them up online when I landed (they were listed as $39 in the magazine) because they were too cute. Well, what do you know? They’re actually on sale for $19! I quickly clicked add to cart (oh, and they come in black, too) and arranged to pick them up at my local store, because I’ll do anything and everything to avoid shipping costs. Will report back once I get ’em!

I’d heard of the Kelly and Katie brand before and immediately went to check out their other stuff. Omg, this tote, y’all. Need. I can’t decide if coral or black is better? I’m thinking black is more classic and versatile, but the coral kind of reminds me of this Kate Spade option. The light pink would be cuter if it looked more like the shoe color, but here it looks tan-like and also seems like it would show dirt faster. Leaning toward black at the moment, but either way, it’s super cute and only $34!

And below, a few other adorable finds…

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National Cherry Blossom Festival

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The cherry blossoms have been on such a weird schedule this year! They were blooming at the end of February and then got all frozen during the storm…I’d been hoping to see them since I’ve been away during this time for several years, but we’ll see. I’ve heard the best days to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival are later this week or this weekend…I’ll be out of town, but if anyone can makes, report back and take lots of pictures for me!

When I was googling the festival, I spent some time browsing its website and saw that they’re selling the cutest merchandise. Anyone who knows me knows that love a good piece of wall art, and what’s better than a fun DC-themed print? I ordered this one, and at $12, it’s super affordable and also a great size (18 by 24). Now I just need to figure out where to put it when it arrives! The colors are super springy and make me happy.

I also love these fun mugs (I don’t need another mug…I don’t need another mug) and cute shot glasses! They’d be a cute hostess gift or a perfect collector’s item if you’re into that.

Fingers crossed that I can see the blossoms in person soon! We had a cherry tree in our front yard when I was growing up, and it was beautiful (although I’ll admit that the blossoms got stuck on our shoes and ended up all over the house when the tree was in bloom!).

Image by Hado Photo

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How to Stay on Top of Your Sh*t

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Ok, disclaimer: I definitely have moments where I’m not at ALL on top of my sh*t. But because I get motivated reading about other people’s organization tips, I figure you all may feel the same way. We can all learn from each other, right?! Nothing groundbreaking here, but these are a few ways I stay on top of things around the apartment and beyond:

Bill Paying: I am probably the most old-fashioned bill payer ever, but here goes. I keep all of my bills clipped on my fridge with a magnet from my university (so glamorous, I know), but I never forget about them because I see them several times a day! I also pay most of my bills via mail because I’m 80 there can often be fees associated with paying with a card online, and sometimes it’s just easier to toss something in the mailbox (make sure you know that the mail in that mailbox is actually getting picked up, and be sure to stick a stamp on firmly…not that this has ever been an issue for me 😉 …).

Outfit Planning: When I was in middle school, I would actually write down all of my outfits for the coming week on a sheet of notebook paper (yet somehow I’m not a fashion blogger…hmm) so that I could keep track of what I was wearing and be prepared in advance (middle school started early, guys!). My cousin actually did the same thing, but she would keep the paper after the week was over to make sure she didn’t repeat outfits later. We were fashionistas, y’all. I also used one of those sweater hangers (with the different slots) to lay out my clothes for the week; I had a separate compartment for each day. Maybe this will inspire you? But currently, I follow a much simpler method and sometimes lay out outfits in my closet or just think of a few go-to options (depending on what I have clean). I’ll then set out my clothes the night before so that I can grab them in the morning (because my job now starts even earlier than middle school…cringe!).

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Social Calendar: I use my trusty Lilly planner to record both work events and assignments as well as social events. If I have an upcoming date, happy hour, girls night, etc, I’ll write it down so that it’s on my radar (this can also help with budgeting for the week!). I know some people swear by Google or Outlook calendars, but I’m a pen and paper gal (see a theme here?). I also use the notes section on my phone to keep track of this and that…errands I need to run, things to buy, books I want to read…and it’s always helpful to quickly jot down information there if I don’t have a pen with me.

Hair Styling: I try (read: try) to look somewhat presentable and straighten my hair every day, and showering at night (which works out great since I do evening workouts) makes it super easy to get ready in the morning without having to shower/blowdry/straighten all at once. Blow drying my hair before bed or letting it dry while I sleep has really been a HUGE time saver when it comes to getting ready. I don’t know how people can do it all in the morning without waking up super early!

Images by Hado Photo

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Home Decor at Gilt

If you use Gilt or similar sites, you may know that they have awesome city-wide deals and clothing sales, but did ya know Gilt also sells adorable furniture? They also frequently email out additional coupon codes (for an extra 20 or 30 percent off the site), which can make for a great deal. Prices can range from affordable to $$$ depending on the item and the brand, but overall, I’d say there are definitely some amazing finds!

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I’d love this Rifle Paper office set to use at work. I have a Rifle Paper notepad on my desk right now, and it’s perfect for my daily to do lists (but I also don’t want to use it up too quickly because it’s so cute!).

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This little box would be fun for jewelry or on a nightstand.

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Oh my goodness, how perfect is this business card holder??

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 10.36.25 AMThis striped storage bench would be a perfect addition to an office, bedroom, or living room.

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A gorgeous bar cart.

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Steals and Deals

I think spring is right around the corner. At least, I hope. But that doesn’t mean stocking up on off-season essentials is a bad idea. In fact, there are lots of great sales going on right now that make it super easy to grab some adorable items for next fall and winter. Here are a few of my faves…

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At $16 (yes, that’s right, SIXTEEN DOLLARS!), these adorable Nordstrom Rack booties are necessary for next fall. You can bet I snatched them up in brown!

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Snakeskin is cute all year long, and I’m loving this adorable crossbody for nights out.

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Oh my goodness…be cuter, camel-colored peacoat. Perfect for next fall and under $40!

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These ballet flats would look perfect at work, at brunch, wherever!

A few other must haves…this time, for spring and summer:

1) Navy and scallops? Yes and yes. Also loving this scalloped work tote.

2) So I actually ordered this J.Crew scarf (it was only $3.90 with the coupon I posted the other day!) with the intention of framing it. I’ll have to see what I think when it arrives, and I know framing can be $$$, but how cute would it be as artwork?! I’ve been obsessed with the idea of framing scarves lately and would love to try it out!

3) Speaking of J.Crew, I also picked up this nautical sunhat which will be perfect for my upcoming Florida trip!

4) This anorak is super classic and will be perfect as the weather warms up a bit.

What’s in your shopping cart at the moment? I’ve been trying to really search for deals and purchase items that I know I can wear for both work and play. As much fun as it was to shop for going out shirts in college, I like to find items that I can wear to the bar and at my desk. Right now, I’m loving anything with lace (whether in shirt, tank, or dress form), so if you have any recs, send ’em my way!

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5 Ways to Feel More Creative

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Happy Friday! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day–are you wearing green? I am! I love dressing up for holidays, even as an adult (it’s a good thing I work at a school where people actually notice these kinds of things). TGIF. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend catching up with my sister, who’s home for her college spring break, and going out on Saturday night with friends. I’m heading to Soul Cycle tonight (woo!) but also need to do tons of laundry and cleaning and mail out a few Poshmark sales from this week (blah!). Any fun plans?

I don’t know about you, but I need to do something creative at least once a day, whether it’s at work or at home. Whether you prefer to do something on the computer or journal away, I’m sure you can relate! Here are 5 ways to incorporate a burst of creativity into your day.

1) Pin away. Honestly, just going on Pinterest for a few minutes can help me feel so inspired (and a little bit overwhelmed!). I love filing away new pins, especially those that link to blog posts which I can read when I have a bit more time. Seeing examples of other people’s creativity definitely helps me feel more motivated.

2) Make a playlist. I love making workout playlists to share with my friends, but making a playlist for your eyes only is fine, too! I was bored on bus home from work and ended up making an awesome playlist with all of my favorite mellow songs from college.

3) Write down a big idea (or two). The other day, I took a five minute break at work and wrote down an idea I have for a novel (and promptly emailed it to my mom, haha). Who knows if/when I’ll get around to pursuing it further, but it was nice to develop my ideas into a few sentences!

4) Get in the kitchen. I’m not a fan of cooking, but I could definitely get behind learning a new cocktail recipe or two. Creativity + productivity (getting dinner on the table) = a win win.

5) Journal. I’ve never been great at keeping a journal, but sometimes I’ll feel really inspired and write down pages and pages of reflection (usually on the computer!). Writing can be so therapeutic, and it’s up to you whether you’d like to share your creation with anyone…no stressing about turning in a perfect “A” paper here!

What tips would you add?

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Thursday Things

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What have you been up to this week? Working at a school, I’d been waiting all year for a snow day, and we finally got one on Tuesday (although the students are all on spring break anyway!). I really tried to take the spontaneous day off to heart and made a little breakfast in bed tray for myself, haha. I had already requested Wednesday off and kept that day to get some much needed errands done. It was wonderful having a mini weekend in the middle of the week, but back to work I go! We have slightly shortened hours while the students are away, so it’s nice to ease back into things.

A few of my favorite finds from the past few days:

-Need/want something from J.Crew Factory? Use this free coupon from Gilt for 35 percent off your purchase. Basically, Gilt is just giving this away! Use it to save a few extra $ on already marked down clearance, or treat yourself to some new arrivals for spring!

-I just ordered this book and cannot wait to read it. I hate paying in the double digits for a book (just because I constantly find such good deals when I’m at my favorite used bookstores), but I’ve been itching to read it for several weeks (partly because I’ve read in the reviews that Cat and I are from the same hometown). It’s gotten a lot of interesting press and I’m hoping to save it for my trip to Florida later this month!

-I just tried Prime Pantry for the first time ever and am waiting for my items to arrive. Some of the items I ordered were definitely cheaper than they would’ve been in-store, and it’s nice not to have to carry bags and bags of food/cans home. Does anyone swear by Prime Pantry? I know a LOT of people who grocery shop online, and while it’s never something I’ve felt compelled to do, I figure I’d take advantage of my Prime membership and try it out!

-Ok, totally unnecessary, but how CUTE are these bow socks from ASOS? I’ve actually only ordered items from there once or twice, but they have adorable products and I should really shop there more…ya know, if I absolutely need something. 😉

Happy Thursday, all!

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Gingham Girls

I remember being maybe 7 or 8 years old and dancing around in a gingham outfit at my friend’s house as we yelled, “We’re the gingham girls!” The good old days! Even 15+ years later, I still can’t resist a good piece of gingham, and it’s truly a pattern that has stayed in style over the past several decades. I love a good gingham piece in pillow form or in my closet (loved Kelly’s husband’s post on the pattern, haha). It really is irresistible! A few of my favorite gingham finds, below…

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Vest//Blouse//Crossbody//Bikini Top//Clutch//Ruffle Top

 

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On My Playlist…

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If it was 2006, I’d call this post “On my iPod,” but let’s be real, who listens to an iPod anymore? I listen to all of my music either on my iPhone or on Pandora at work (#TeamPandora for life…never going to switch to Spotify because I’m stuck in my habits and like all my stations!).

I love sharing music recommendations with friends (actually, that’s kind of a lie…I used to hate it because I feel like music can be so personal! When someone would look through my iPod in college, I’d literally flinch and hope they only saw the “good” stuff…aka whatever was in at the moment. When people would take turns plugging their phones in to DJ newspaper production nights, I always hoped and prayed that no one would ever ask me!). Anyway…weirdness aside. I’ve now gotten over the fear of people “judging” me based on my music choices and do enjoy sharing playlists — especially workout playlists — with friends. I’ve shared some of my latest (and longtime) faves below (leaving out the ones that I only like for weird personal reasons and most people probably won’t like, haha #dontjudge), so write ’em down and download away! I’ve linked to YouTube videos here if you want to try before you…buy (does anyone actually buy music these days?).

Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (Who isn’t listening to the Chainsmokers right now?!)

Bright Lights – Matchbox 20 (ALL the feels)

Growing Up – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (So. good. I think I texted my group chat about how much I liked this song when I first heard it. #notsorry).

The Greatest – Sia (Wooooo)

Somewhere On A Beach – Dierks Bentley (Because…country)

Next to Me – Kendrick Lamar Remix (I’ve officially been obsessed with this one ever since I heard it two years ago in a Forever 21…yep.

Countdown – Beyonce (Another one that never gets old and always puts me in a good mood. So many memories of listening to this during a chaotic junior fall!)

Chained to the Rhythm – Katy Perry (She’s at it again…and it’s kinda deep. Yes, I did see the Katy Perry documentary during one of my magazine jobs, so Katy and I are basically BFFs.).

Send me your music recs, please! Are you a Pandora or Spotify gal?

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