Deck your home…Christmas decorations without the kitsch

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No inflatable Santas here! These home decor pieces will knock your socks stockings off.

1) You can’t go wrong with anything deer-themed (and no, for once I’m not talking about the Snapchat filter). Whether you hang up some fun antlers or add a cute candle holder or two, this holiday (or really year-round) trend is a winner. (Wall hanging, candle holder)

2) We all know the classic song…but that aside, how adorable are these silver bell ornaments?! (Small ornaments, large ornament)

3) Omg. This plaid blanket though. It’s only $25! (Plaid blanket)

4) Plaid or fuzzy pillows are always the right answer…always. (Fuzzy pillow, plaid pillow)

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This weekend, I…

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Caught up with two of my best friends from college who were in town visiting…

Went on a ghost tour by the White House at night…

Started teaching myself more of Photoshop…

Watched too many episodes of The Mindy Project, my latest obsession…

Didn’t get quite enough sleep but enjoyed staying up until 2 am catching up with friends. I know NYC is cool and all, but you guys can move down here now!

What did you do?

Oh, and a few links for you:

Loved this article about doing things alone. A few of my friends travel for work and have recently discovered the joy of eating dinner solo.

This piece on what to look for when shopping at estate sales had my name all over it!

As if you need more home inspo….I spent too much time checking out each of these Instagram accounts and can’t pick a favorite. These ladies are too talented!

…but mainly I’ve been reading about the election this week. Not necessarily something to dive into right here and right now, but I’ll admit that most of my TV watching and article reading has been related to that. I am glad that I got out there to vote (even if it meant taking 2.5 hours out of my way, it was worth it to play a part in the democratic process), and I’ve engaged in a lot of impactful conversations these past few days. After an emotional week, it was nice to catch up with old friends and think about more positive things.

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Tis the season

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Ok, it may be a little early to start blasting Christmas music (at least in my opinion…but if you’re into that kind of thing, go right ahead), but December will be here before you know it and that means it’s time to get your holiday shopping list in order! I was walking around Georgetown yesterday (the wreaths are all up and they’re beautiful, but it’s kind of funny since it’s still in the 50s and 60s out), and I realized how crowded M Street will get once the holiday season kicks into gear. Basically now is the time for sane holiday shopping before things get too cray out there.

After spending way too much time in Francesca’s and Anthropologie, my head was bursting with gift ideas galore (don’t you just love when you spot something that you know would be perfect for someone on your list?). But if you still need some inspiration, I’ve got you covered…

Kate Spade candle: A winner for the girl who has everything.

Monogram pillow: Neutral enough no matter their preferred color scheme.

Baublebar bracelet: Black, white, and gold never go out of style.

Katie Kime print: The peppiest print will add a pop of color to her space.

Bar tray: A bit masculine, it’s the perfect finishing touch for your fave couple’s bar cart.

Domino book: Trust me, your design buff friend can’t wait to get her hands on this.

Essie polish: A festive shade + a gift card to her local mani place is = you nailed it.

Jewelry holder: Just pop in a bracelet and you’ve got yourself two great gifts.

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Easy ways to treat yourself…

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…without spending too much time or money.

  • Grab a piece of candy (or two) from the ever-tempting office stash without feeling guilty about indulging.
  • Read a few chapters of a new book before bed.
  • Light a candle and do a face mask on a random Tuesday night.
  • Eat your favorite breakfast food for dinner.
  • Order something on Amazon Prime that you could’ve just picked up at the store. Time is money, people!
  • Blast your favorite Pandora station while getting ready in the morning or on your commute home.
  • Treat yourself to an affordable massage or manicure.
  • Pick up a weird seasonal flavor of something just to try it.
  • Call or FaceTime a loved one.
  • Buy an issue of your favorite magazine even if spending $5 on something you’ll look at for 30 minutes feels silly.

What would you add?

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Closet Cleaning Hacks

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I’ve always liked to organize. When I was little, I would move furniture around in my room so often that my parents had to start telling me that I could only do so on Fridays/weekends so that I wouldn’t make a big mess before having to wake up for school the next day. My childhood room was always scarily clean and uncluttered, but that’s how I liked it!

Not much has changed even though I’m now on my third adulthood apartment (eek!). The other day after work, I had the weirdest urge to clean up my closet (it’s a strange size and was getting a bit out of hand) and was able to do so in less than 45 minutes.

My closet is technically a walk-in, but only in the sense that I can walk in and out rather than just reach in to grab things. (Note: the above closet layout is what dreams are made of and is unfortunately not mine). The closets I had in my apartments in Philly and New York were both HUGE, so this has been an adjustment. However, for all of the fun decor and wall art I collect, I’m really not that big of a clothes person and am good at paring down as needed. Having too many outfit choices kind of stresses me out, so I do a pretty good job of making consignment store runs and donation piles throughout the year to keep things from getting too chaotic.

ANYWAY. Here are my 45-minute or less closet cleaning tips…

  1. Pick a clothing type to organize and focus primarily on that. I’ve been digging into my sweater collection more as the weather has gotten cooler, but I wasn’t thrilled with how they were looking in my closet, so that was the focus of this cleanout. I had originally turned storage cubes on their sides (thanks for the idea, Mom!) and stacked them, piling up sweaters and sweatshirts in each cube. For awhile I decided to keep sweaters and sweatshirts in a big bin, but this wasn’t extremely functional, so I went back to the cube system and things already began to look much neater once I had re-folded and stored everything.
  2. Make a quick giveaway pile, even during a small clean-out. My church is holding a large yard sale event in early December, so I knew that if I found any clothes worth donating, I’d be able to get them off of my hands relatively quickly. I frequently sell clothes to consignment stores, but it really is hit or miss when it comes to what they’ll take. I had just made a big consignment run a few weeks back and was sent home with some rejects, so now those items have moved to my donate bag.
  3. Keep supplies at the ready. I like using thin, cloth hangers (the ones that are all the rage at the moment), and I found tons of extras that I had on hand from my move. I tossed them all into a large reusable bag that I now have hanging in my closet, ready for future use.
  4. Be practical. I decided that being November, it was finally safe to stash my portable fan on the top shelf of my closet (rather than letting it sit on the floor). I also filled a large tote bag with extra toilet paper and made it accessible without letting it take up prime real estate. Items that I have at the ready (aka on the floor of the closet) include my Hunter boots (they’re also generally useful for snowy weather) and a step stool (my top shelves are pretty high!). I’ve hung up bags, backpacks, and baseball hats on the hooks that are attached to my closet walls.

Less than an hour later, my closet was good as new and I was ready to move on with my evening! Organization really doesn’t have to be stressful if you go into it with a goal in mind. What tips would you add?

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Office Party

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Do you ever work from home? One of my friends does full time, and another negotiated to work from home one day a week. I believe that regardless of your work situation, having a cute office space where you can crank out everything from quick emails to larger projects is a must. Even if you never, ever can imaging doing work work from your apartment, you likely have personal tasks to take care of at home…paying bills, scheduling appointments, and the like. So you may as well carve aside at least a small area to do just that!

I mentioned before that in my apartment I decided to make a little “office” area for myself in what was supposed to be a dining nook. While admittedly I still do most of my work/blogging in my living room or on my bed, it’s nice to have a formal area where I can sit down and just plug away if needed. If you don’t have room for a desk, you can still fill a little box full of office supplies/essentials (such as tape, stationery, stamps, checks, a mini stapler, and a couple of pens and pencils) and access that as needed. But if you do have a little extra room, have fun with it! Stock your home office with cute desk supplies you’d never imagine using at the office or are too pretty to stash in your cubicle (there’s a time and a place for my dog-shaped tape dispenser, and I think that place is at home). Below, shop some of my favorite picks:

If you have a memo board, these pink ampersand push pins (I mean…be cuter) are a must.

While these likely aren’t office appropriate, drink-shaped paper clips add some whimsy to your home workspace.

Who says this gold marble brush holder has to be used for makeup supplies? It would look equally cute on a desk holding pens and pencils. Likewise, this matching ring dish could double as a place to store paper clips or loose change.

A motivational print or wall hanging that isn’t too cheesy can be hard to find…but I’m pretty sure this one nails it. Thoughts?

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It’s time for a Q&A…

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Because you’re obviously itching to know the answers to these questions 😉 Leave me a comment with your responses!

Signature emoji: Brunette girl with arms crossed. I even have the cutest print of this hanging up in my living room!

Catchphrase: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” That being unnecessary commitments, drama, and the like. My mom and sister and I say this to one another all the time!

Biggest weakness: Golden retrievers. Duh.

Food guilty pleasure: If we’re talking about junk food, I’ll admit I’ve been addicted to pickle-flavored chips lately. I know it sounds weird, but they’re so good! Raspberries are also a guilty pleasure just because they can be so expensive and a carton only lasts me one sitting.

Starbucks drink of choice: I’m pretty simple and like a regular coffee with a pump of hazelnut for flavor. I’d order this all the time during my semester in Scotland when I wanted a taste of home!

It’s brunch time. Do you go for sweet or savory? Savory for days. Love a good egg white omelet!

Country or city? I’m a city girl (unless we’re talking about music!)

Favorite song of the moment: I’m going to go with the entire Grease soundtrack. Such good pump-up music and who doesn’t like a fun throwback?

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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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