A Touch of Glam

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A lot of the time when it comes to decorating, the saying “less is more” really does hold true. There is nothing wrong with a simple room that boasts a few glam touches here and there, and luckily, it’s super easy to add some pizazz to your abode without breaking the bank.

I’ve had my eye on the adorable Anthropologie sign pictured above for several months, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet (partly because I hate paying for shipping online. Does anyone else add, like, two months’ worth of paper towels or something else totally random to their cart in order to get around this?! I totally do this when shopping on Target.com!). Anyway, how cute would this sign look hanging in a Parisian-themed or gold and white bedroom? J’adore.

The other sayings are great for various rooms around the house–hang the “entree” or “bonjour” sign by your front door to greet visitors with some extra pep. I’m not sure I’m on board for the “salle de bain” option, but hey, to each their own!

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Working Out

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The new year is upon us, and fitness content is EVERYWHERE. Whether you work out once a day or once in a blue moon, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Should I be doing more? Should I be adding more variety to my routine? Wait, how am I supposed to feel excited about going to the gym when it’s 20 degrees and pitch black out?

For me, working out has always been a must. In high school, I played sports on the weekends, but I never gave much thought to additional exercise except until my senior year of high school when I started using the elliptical my parents kept in the basement. I’m now an elliptical fanatic, so I guess that wasn’t such a bad idea!

When I got to college, my friends and I would often go to the gym in groups, but once classes kicked into gear it became harder to maintain a schedule. I remember at one point during my freshman year, my dad–a true exercise fanatic–told me to think of working out like homework. It was something that I just had to do and incorporate into my daily routine.

I was great at getting to the gym in college, and often I’d go right before dinner so that I wouldn’t grab a snack instead (I was an early bird in a friend group of late dinner eaters!). I’d walk into the dining hall wearing my black leggings or Nike shorts, no shame at all. My college emphasized wellness and physical activity, and everyone on campus was in tip-top shape. Most years, the gym was somewhat far from my dorm, but it was free (and not to mention, it wasn’t a bad spot for people-watching). 😉

In the real world, though, getting exercise has been harder and is something that I’m not exactly looking forward to after a long day of work, commuting, and a looming bedtime. When possible, I enjoy taking Flywheel or SoulCycle classes or experimenting with ClassPass, but these options can add up! I’ve found a very affordable gym in my neighborhood, but it’s still a 10-15 minute walk.

But the thing is…and it’s so cliche…I generally do feel better after I go. Whether it’s because I’ve crossed something off of my to-do list or because I feel less stressed, it’s usually a good decision. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has days where they need to go home and relax or spend time with friends or just get to bed early, but working out usually yields good results across the board.

I do need some tips, though. I basically have to work out after work given how early my job starts (even the 6 am SoulCycle classes are too late for me to feasibly attend, eek!). And I’m definitely not waking up earlier than normal to get to the gym, because I value my sleep in the morning too much (plus, a girl’s gotta do her hair and get ready before work!). But any tips on fighting the urge to take another rest day or new workout music suggestions or things like that…send ’em my way 🙂

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Wedding Guest Dresses on Poshmark

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My college friends and I are going to a few weddings together this spring, and we can’t stop talking to one another about dresses! For many of us, these will be the first “friend weddings” we’ll go to, and we want to look cute but also make sure to dress appropriately. Several of my friends have chosen to use Rent the Runway for their dresses, but I think that Poshmark is also a great option if you’re looking to cut back on spending and still find something fun and fancy. For more information on what Poshmark is and how it works, check out this post.

The nice thing about Poshmark is that you can easily spend under $50 (just as many people would aim to do on Rent the Runway), but you can keep the dress and therefore don’t have to worry about 1) mailing it back in a hurry, 2) keeping it super clean, and 3) returning it if you fall in love with it! The difficult aspect is that you definitely have to know your size beforehand, as you can’t exactly return the dress, and you won’t be receiving multiple sizes to try on as you would via Rent the Runway. But if you know your size or frequently wear a specific brand, such as J.Crew, it can be easy to find something great on the site.

Here are my Poshmark wedding guest dress picks for under $50:

This J.Crew lace dress and this one

This Zara cocktail dress

A fun red option

A cute Anthropologie piece

And for bags/clutches:

This jeweled LOFT clutch is only $10

A wicker Kate Spade option 

An adorable foldover bag

You can also purchase shoes, jewelry, and other accessories on the site…have you bought wedding pieces on Poshmark before?

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Best New York City Themed Gifts

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This coming weekend (!) I’m going to New York City to visit college friends as well as grad school friends, and I couldn’t be more excited! Ever since I’ve moved away from NYC (and even when I lived there, to be honest) I keep finding the cutest city-themed decor–and the best part is that it isn’t at all cheesy (which can be tough in a city filled with touristy souvenir shops!). Here are my favorite items…time to start a NYC collection?

1. Tiffany NYC mug//Ok, this is super pricy for a mug, but how cute is the design?!

2. NYC print//I’ve loved these prints for ages, and they also sell a DC version!

3. NYC pillow//Bring the big apple home with this fun piece.

4. NY cutting board//Over the top? Nah. Plus, it’s available on Amazon.

5. NYC mug//These mugs are SO cute and inexpensive. My friends and I are obsessed with them and love the different state options!

I’m so excited to be back in the city soon. My last trip up was in June, and it’s been far too long. I’m excited to hopefully try some newer places that have opened up since I’ve moved: by CHLOE (I want to try the regular meals as well as the sweets!), Levain Bakery (somehow I never made it over there while living in the city, but since my friends all live on the Upper West Side, it’ll have to happen!), and a bunch of restaurants downtown (every time I see a cool place on Instagram, I take a screenshot, so I’ll have to start making a master list!).

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Loving Lately

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1. Nest holiday candle//I purchased the mini one on sale, and it smells so good.

2. Cards Against Humanity//I just bought this using a gift card I received for Christmas, and now I’m seriously thinking a game night is in the, uh, cards. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this game!

3. Capture Your Style//After seeing this book all over Instagram, I had to pick up my own copy. In addition to having an adorable cover, it also contains some great advice pertaining to building a personal brand.

4. The cutest jar//Perfect for storing food, nail polish, Valentine’s Day candy…love the gold scallops!

5. All of the tea//I brought a whole box of this flavor into the office the other day, and it’s the perfect cold weather pick-me-up.

What are you loving lately?

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A Mini Vanity

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I’m kind of in love with my little vanity area next to my bed. While living in Philly, I snagged this vanity for $25 (it came with a small mirror that could attach), and it made its way with me when I moved to DC. This summer, I had the idea to paint it (my mom did an excellent job!), and once I saw the end result, I thought it would work great as a desk.

After living in my apartment for a few months, I realized that I rarely sat at my desk (I’m very guilty of #bloggingfrombed) and decided that I’d rather go back to a vanity situation. Inspired by Pinterest (of course), I moved the table next to the side of my bed and love the look. The table is the perfect size to double as a space for getting ready while also serving as a nightstand (it usually holds my latest read + a cup of wine or coffee depending on the time of day).

I knew I wanted to hang a large mirror above the vanity table, but I was having trouble deciding whether I wanted to go for an old, ornate look or do something modern. When I stumbled upon this mirror from Target, I knew it was the one. It looks just like designer versions (honestly, I don’t know why someone would pay for a more expensive lookalike, as this one is great), and really makes the space pop. I stuck one of my x-benches (also from Target, but purchased via Craigslist this fall) under the vanity, and it’s a great way to add seating without eating up space.

***Looking for a vanity table of your own? I love this one in either color.

Not sure what to put on top of your vanity table? I wanted mine to contain the essentials without looking cluttered. I keep a jar (love this Mint Julep style one from the Sugar Paper line at Target) full of makeup brushes, a tissue box with a fun cover, a small piece of art, and of course, a candle! Again, since the area does double as a nightstand, I placed a lamp and a fun coaster off to the side as well. Easy peasy and a fun way to dress up a bedroom if you ask me!

The images that inspired me…

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5 Small Ways to Keep Your Apartment Tidy

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I’ve always been a clean freak, but living alone has made me realize what a mess one person can make! I feel like I’m constantly taking out the trash, vacuuming my floors, doing laundry…blah!

My guess is that, whether you live alone or with roommates, chores consume a large part of your week (or weekends) and somehow you always feel like there’s still more to be done. While it’s tempting to shove all of the clutter into a closet and call it a day, that’s obviously not the most sustainable choice in the long run. Today I’m sharing five tips that work for me when it comes to keeping my apartment in order. Even if you hate cleaning more than anything else, at least you’ll be in less of a scramble if a friend (or parent!) decides to stop by last minute.

1. Make. your. bed. There’s a reason this is always the first thing people tell you to do when tidying up your home–it really does make a difference! When sheets are haphazardly curled up in a ball and pillows are scattered across the floor, it’s hard to get into a “clean” mindset. Of course there are some days when I’m running late in the morning and barely have time to brush my teeth, let alone pick up after myself, I always feel better when I cross this simple task off of my mental list.

2. Vacuum. I kid you not when I tell you that my first Christmas present after graduating from college was a nice vacuum (#adulting). If you don’t have one, get one–you’ll thank me later when your floors are spotless!

3. Designate a “recycle” area. I keep a paper bag in my kitchen at all times and use it to collect soup cans, bottles, and cardboard packaging so that it’s easy to bring everything down to the recycling bin at once. Don’t let empty wine bottles clutter up your counter (or worse–end up in the regular trash!).

4. Toss those freebies. Unless it’s something you’ll actually use, you can toss that promotional notepad or magnet and make room for more special items. The last thing you want is extra junk cluttering up your already small space.

5. Magic erase. I’m convinced that magic erasers are one of the best inventions ever. Whether you have a small scuff stain on the wall or can’t get that mark off your stovetop, grab a magic eraser and go. to. town. You’ll thank me later 🙂

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Dinner is Served

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very fortunate that my job offers a “meal plan” (one of the perks of working at a school!) and the food is GOOD and affordable. Lunch is always my biggest meal of the day and always has been since I started working (yes, I’m one of those strange, strange people who would prefer to feel full at work). However, dinner is more of a struggle for me. I’m not a cook and also aim to do my workouts at night, which means I eat later than I’d like to and get lazy. Lazy as in, I’ll just heat up a can of soup or have some cheese and crackers. Not good.

Leave it to Pinterest to inspire me with some recipe ideas that look easy, healthy, and tasty. My goal is to try making at least one of these this winter, and if it goes well, I’ll report back…

1//2//3

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Hey, 2017

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Happy 2017! With the new year here, what better time to start sharing a few goals, plans, and thoughts? Check out some of mine below.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to take a bartending class–or a mixology class, as they’re often called–and am on the hunt for the perfect place to enroll in one in DC. Requirements: affordable, easy enough, and convenient…anyone have any recs?

I have two weddings coming up in early 2017 (one in February and one in April) and I’m excited to celebrate with college friends and also expand my travel horizons. The April wedding is in Seattle, and while I’ll only be there for a few days, I’d love to hear about any must-see or must-do things to add to my list! It will be my first time traveling there and right now the only things I associate with the city are Starbucks, Macklemore, Bill Gates, and Grey’s Anatomy. Help a girl out!

Speaking of weddings, my friends and I have been going back and forth sharing our outfit ideas with one another. One debate that came up: is black appropriate for an evening wedding? What about in general? I’ve googled and found mixed answers, although most people seem to believe that in this day and age, black is a yes.

Looking to step up your Insta game? This book has gotten rave reviews (not to mention the cover sure is pretty) and I just picked up a copy of my own. Time to add Aimee Song to your “following” list.

Has anyone taken a self-defense class in DC? It’s something I’d like to do, maybe with a friend. Again, if you have recs for places that are affordable, informative, and convenient, let me know…

Whew. Time to enjoy one last day of relaxation before the work week kicks into gear. Happy New Year, all!

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The Best Feel-Good Movies on Netflix

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HAPPY 2017! I hope everyone had a fantastic New Years Eve. I was sick and had to cancel my plans (so bummed) but ended up having a pretty relaxing night in…Indian delivery + blogging + watching NYE coverage on tv = fine by me!

Now that the holidays are over, it’s easy to feel down in the dumps. Several of my friends have been dreading heading back to reality, and I don’t blame them! Between several days of vacation and a sick day, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been spent a full day in the office.

While 2016 has definitely been deemed the year of good TV, I always like going back and watching old favorites, and Netflix has no shortage of feel-good movies available to stream. Looking to cure those winter blues? Here are a few of my lighthearted faves:

10 Things I Hate About You: I loved this movie in high school and haven’t re-watched it in ages. It may be time–I love Julia Stiles and I guess I have a theme going here, because she also stars in the Prince & Me!

Serendipity: The cutest holiday movie that also happens to take place in NYC! When I lived in the city, I ventured over to Serendipity to get the famous frozen hot chocolate a few times and now I’m craving it just writing this…

Grease: Another one I haven’t seen in ages! I’ve been obsessed with the Grease soundtrack lately (no idea why) and am going to have to watch this one again soon!

The Prince & Me: Another cute, fluffy movie that’s perfect for anyone obsessed with royals (isn’t that all of us these days?!).

Love Actually: I’m not as into this one as everyone else seems to be, but how could I leave it off this list? It’s a great one to watch year-round, so don’t feel bad turning it on even after the holidays are over.

The Parent Trap: Ok, when I heard that The Parent Trap was coming to Netflix in January, I thought it was going to be the version from my childhood, not the original. However, I’ve seen this one back in the day and would probably watch it again…but give us the Lindsay Lohan version sometime soon, ok?!

Bridget Jones Diary: A classic, and who can resist Colin Firth and Hugh Grant (they also both star in Love Actually). Make it a marathon and watch both back-to-back!

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