How to Say Goodbye to a City You Love

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The physical process of moving is stressful enough, but what do you do when you absolutely love where you’re living but have decided to say goodbye for practical reasons (i.e. to save money, start school, move near family or a significant other)? For me, I absolutely loved living in New York City, but decided that grad school was the right time to explore someplace new, so off to Philly I went! While saying goodbye will never be 100 percent seamless, I thought I’d share a few things you can do to make your transition from one city to another a bit easier.

Check off your city bucket list: During my last week of work, a friend and I went on several city adventures which included: trying the famous 40 Carrots frozen yogurt at Bloomingdales, stocking up on candy at Dylan’s Candy Bar (I swore my huge bag would last me until my move–news flash: it did not), and taking the tram from Midtown to Roosevelt Island (definitely a bit scary but provided awesome views). All of these were things I had been meaning to do for awhile (well, I’d been to Dylan’s many times, but who can say no to candy?) and it was fun to break up the work week with little excursions. Another friend and I spent a Sunday picking up fancy macarons, going to brunch, trying out a new pizza place near my apartment, and watching a cheesy movie about Will & Kate on Netflix (talk about treating yourself–if only every Sunday could be that decadent!).

Throw a goodbye get together: Moving means saying bye to friends and coworkers, and while it’s difficult to make plans with a bunch of different people, group get togethers can be a fun way to introduce old friends to new friends. I ended up having a small get together at my apartment on one of my last Saturdays in the city, and it was fun to bring together girls I had interned with during college, friends from school and work, friends from high school who ended up in the city, friends’ roommates, and more. Hosting such an event is a nice way to see a bunch of different faces at once, but it’s also a great way to reciprocate for past invitations before you physically part ways with friends.

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Remember you can always visit: While I attended grad school in Philadelphia and was therefore very close to NYC, I didn’t have the money to take trips up every month (remember that even if you find cheap train or bus tickets and a friend to crash with, you’ll still be spending money on meals out, “must have” souvenirs, happy hours with former coworkers, etc). However, visiting only on special occasions made my trips to the city that much more fun. I honestly found that as much as I enjoyed myself when I visited the city and caught up with my friends, I wasn’t bitter about having to head back to Philly–rather it was nice to have a little “oasis” to visit when times at school got tough.

What are your tips on saying goodbye to a favorite city?

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Poshmark Tips

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I’ve always loved shopping for clothes secondhand, ever since I was in early high school. I think it’s largely because I like the thrill of the find. A store like TJ Maxx is way more exciting to me than, say, the Container Store (although I love organization, so that’s probably not the best example!). Same goes for clothes–I love finding something unique–or even totally on-trend but priced well–and knowing that I scored something special.

I discovered Poshmark (check out my closet here) a couple of years ago while living in New York and have completed multiple transactions as both a buyer and a seller. Since I love the site and know that some of you do, too, I thought I’d share a few tips for success!

Tip 1: Be flexible. When I’m selling on Poshmark, my goal is often to make enough money for a larger purchase rather than to make a ton of money off of one item. That may sound confusing, but trust me–if you’re focusing on working your way up to earning $100, you’ll be less disappointed when your sale only gives you $10 in earnings. That’s still progress! I have friends who would rather sell one or two items for a big commission, but I’ve found that buyers come running when items are priced fairly. My goal on Poshmark is not to make a profit but to earn back what I paid or at least a portion of that. I recently used some of my Poshmark earnings to go on a “shopping spree” at another secondhand store I love IRL (oh, the irony), but hey, I needed some new-to-me work clothes!

Tip 2: Describe your items well. Treat buyers how you would want to be treated. If there is a hole or small stain on an item you’re selling, include a picture and be sure to mention the issue in your description of the item. Saying something like, “small pen stain on the inner pouch but otherwise in great condition” is totally fine. Including a description of any errors in your original posting will prevent unhappy buyers in the long run. Buyers rate their purchases after accepting them on the app, and I don’t know if prospective buyers actually look at sellers ratings (I certainly don’t) but I aim to please and would rather receive five stars than one!

Tip 3: Mail your items out early. I’ve had sellers who have waited more than a week to mail their items and ultimately I’ve just cancelled the order because I’m not sure if the item will ever get sent to me! Poshmark notes that generally, sellers send their items out within two days. Of course there may be times where a buyer purchases one of your items and you happen to be on vacation, or the item is stuck at your parents’ house, and in that case it’s best to notify the buyer that there will be a slight delay. But since Poshmark shipping is pre-paid, it really isn’t that hard to go to the post office, stuff your item in a priority mail box or envelope, attach the label you printed from home, and send away!

Tip 4: Don’t spend $$$. Or I guess I would say, don’t spend big bucks unless you know for sure that an item is something you really want, is authentic (if that matters to you–many buyers searching for brands such as Kate Spade or Tory Burch are only looking for the real thing), etc. I have often ordered items that were described well but just didn’t work on me when they arrived. You can always “re-Posh” (sell an item you purchase on Poshmark and hope that someone else will be interested), but this can be difficult, as selling in general can either be super easy or take a few months. When ordering clothing, I generally order from brands I already have in my closet (such as LOFT and JCrew) as I know my size and can be 90 percent sure an item will fit. However, both of those brands are also known for vanity sizing, and I have noticed that my size is not always the same across the board (skirts in my size may be too big, while pants fit just right, for example). Basically, just think of this as online shopping with no direct returns/guaranteed refunds, and purchase accordingly!

Tip 5: Be nice! When interacting with others as either a buyer or a seller, be courteous! I was once with a friend who also sells on Poshmark and a buyer was being a little rude to her–asking her for various measurements without saying thank you, etc. Little did she know my friend had to run up flights of stairs to her room and pull out her item from her under-the-bed storage container each time the buyer asked a question! Even if someone wants to make a sale, answering countless questions can become a hassle, so be kind and ask everything at once without being too demanding!

I hope all of these tips help you–I am totally in favor of Poshmark but wanted to give you all the low down if you’re new! Let me know if you have any tips of your own to share!

 

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Cheap Date(s)

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As twenty-somethings, we often find ourselves frequenting the same happy hour spots or restaurants with friends, and as fun as it is to have a routine, things can eventually get a little stale (although I’ll never get tired of my favorite margarita place in NYC!). However, when searching for new spots, especially for meals, it can also be difficult to select a place that fits everyone’s budget, is located centrally, etc. I thought I would share a few of my favorite ideas for friend dates (and they can even be adapted to serve as date dates!) that are both fun and affordable (and yes, most of them pertain to food).

1) Make personal pizzas. Even your friend who would rather eat dirt than pick up a piece of Domino’s will be able to get behind this idea, since it’s much healthier and she’ll be able to pick exactly what goes on her pie. Grab ingredients (Trader Joe’s has a few varieties of pizza dough plus all of the fun stuff to go on top), and invite friends over to your place for a night of cooking. Friends can help offset the cost by picking up a few toppings or a bottle of wine for you all to sip on while the pizzas cook.

2) Have a wine and cheese night. Cheese platters at restaurants are often overpriced and poorly portioned, so make your own and let your guests pick a wine or cheese to bring. Don’t forget sides like crackers, grapes, apricots (always a big hit in my experience!) and even labels if you want to get cutesy (and allow guests to identify which cheese is which). This was a favorite get together of mine in grad school and is a great way to have people over without the stress of serving a full meal.

3) Set a standing date night. During my first internship in New York City, I lived in an NYU dorm that was located right next to both a 16 Handles and a Pinkberry (seriously dangerous because at the time I think I was the world’s biggest froyo addict!). While it would have been tempting to stop in for a cup multiple times a week, my roommates (who were equally in love with froyo) and I decided that we would make Wednesdays our 16 Handles nights. It was seriously something we all looked forward to and allowed us to catch up halfway through the week. I was also less tempted to go in on my own because a) a girl can only consume so much froyo each week and b) I decided I would rather save my money and go as part of a social activity rather than just because I felt like it. When one of my roommates and I ended up back in NYC the next summer, we carried on the tradition!

4) Try some DIY cocktails. Pinterest is crawling with fun drink recipes and in the long run it’s cheaper to purchase your own supplies than buy fancy drink after fancy drink at the bar. Invite a friend over and try a recipe (there are tons of great seasonal choices that can make a normal get together extra festive!)

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Business Casual in Black

We all know the importance of owning a little black dress. But as DC residents, black isn’t just for formal occasions–it’s part of our daily wardrobe! Here is a little outfit I put together that’s business casual but, in my opinion, not boring.

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My skirt is old from LOFT and is fun for both work and going out. My friends and I all love shopping at LOFT for both workwear and loungewear (although I had never shopped there at all until after college and had always thought of it as too “old” before I realized that they had such cute stuff!). My necklace is from Francesca’s (love their accessories), and I’ve linked a similar style.

I remember being younger and dreading workwear because I thought it all sounded so boring (skinny jeans + colorful shirts = much better). But I’ve actually enjoyed shopping for more “grown up” styles over the years and thankfully have always worked in creative environments where a little color and pizzaz isn’t frowned upon.

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What do you guys think about these sunglasses? I posted on Instagram that my one and only pair of sunglasses (seriously- I only owned one pair other than maybe a cheap plastic pair from college!) fell into the Tidal Basin. Like, talk about a DC moment. I’d had those babies for five years and they survived a semester abroad, NYC, part of college, grad school…come on! So while I am waiting to place an order for a new pair (I generally wear prescription lenses, so the process takes a bit longer), I am having fun with these trendy ones from Marshall’s!

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Girl, Put Your Records On

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I remember first hearing about Pandora back in the day, maybe when I was in 11th grade or so, and it was this cool new thing that I wouldn’t fully get into until college (aka while studying for my art history final freshman year, haha). Well, I’m pleased to report that years later I’m still a Pandora fan (using the free site, I doubt I’ll ever sign up for a paid subscription!). I’m constantly switching back and forth between channels (unless I either LOVE a song or am doing a big cleaning project and am too lazy to get up and press “next,” I usually skip around quite a bit). Over the years, I’ve come up with some favorites, so I thought I’d share my most listened to stations as well as some newish finds. I always love reading posts with other bloggers’ music recs, so I hope these are interesting to you all as well!

Tried & True: Stations I’ve listened to for years

Florida Georgia Line Radio: Ok, I love country music and especially love Florida Georgia Line. Seeing them in concert is definitely on my bucket list! I often listen to this station for minutes/hours on end, whether I’m doing a monotonous project on the computer, getting ready for a night out, or completing household chores (hey, there’s something about country music that makes cleaning a bit better!). Every song on here is great and I seriously know the words to most of them!

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Radio: This is a hit or miss station but it reminds me of college (in the best way), so I’m into it!

Summer Hits of the 90s Radio: If you like chill 90s beats, head right this way…I also recommend Summer Hits of the 2000s Radio. (Why summer is in the title, I don’t quite know).

Brand New: Stations I’ve recently discovered

Showtunes Radio: Ok, so far this station seems to play the same five or so songs on repeat, but if you like Chicago the Musical or Les Miz, you’re in luck. Haha. I also love the Beauty and the Beast songs they throw in intermittently.

Grey’s Anatomy Cast Radio: I listened to this station a couple of times prior to this summer but really got into it recently. Let’s be real, I mainly listen to hear the songs from the Grey’s musical episode–so good!

Sunday Funday Brunch Radio: This station was on repeat at the restaurant I hostessed at and it has the best classic songs as well as some more calm ones. It’s honestly the best background music and makes me happy!

 

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My Fave Instagram Accounts

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Let’s be real, guys. Instagramming is HARD. Now that I’ve started posting blog photos, I have so much more appreciation for those who can perfectly “stage” a shot and think of witty phrases and find objects to style. While the above photo is my own (and I’m pretty darn proud of it for now!), there are lots of ig-ers who have entire pages filled with cute pics like this one. I always love when other bloggers share their favorite accounts to follow (but I often find myself searching and clicking on random hashtags until I find an account that I can’t get enough of!). But I’ll save you that step. If you’re looking to fill your feed with even more cuteness, check out these 10 accounts:

@meganpatty_ I love Megan’s blog, Sparkles & Sprinkles, and her Insta embodies everything you’d expect based on that name! I love her use of bright, cheerful colors, but let’s be real, I’m totally also on her page to swoon over her adorable golden retriever puppy.

@notes_from_monroe I started following Anna when she lived in Australia (she’s in NYC now!) and could not get enough of her adorable apartment (seriously, it is perfection) and loved following along on her adventures with her pal @theladymimosa (also a must-follow!) If you love home decor and all things chinoiserie, these are your girls!

@carlyahill Carly’s account makes me wish I still lived in New York largely because all of her food adventures. Seriously, she manages to find all of the cutest spots (but they’re mainly downtown and still would have been a trek from my UES apartment…at least that’s what I tell myself to ward off the jealousy!). Check this out if you live in NYC or need some inspiration for your next visit!

@historyinhighheels Ok, an academic who is also a fashion/lifestyle blogger with a cute apartment and research that takes her to Italy? Officially jeal. If you love food, fashion, decor, education, and travel, this is for you!

@lilpoppybigworld This account has absolutely nothing to do with clothes or decor or blogging but it chronicles the adventures of the most adorable little hedgehog (I never even thought of hedgehogs as cute until I came across these pictures, but consider me converted!). The pictures are so creative and had me wanting to adopt my own 🙂

@kateymcfarlan I’m pretty sure I discovered Katey on Insta before I realized she had a blog, but I love her style and home posts (oh and she just announced her pregnancy, so more adorable posts to come, I’m sure!).

@styledbychloeliv I’ve also been following this page for awhile! Chloe is an amazing interior decorator living in New York and we’re seriously style twins (although I could probably say that about everyone I’ve mentioned so far, haha…I definitely follow people who all share a similar aesthetic!). I have loved watching her apartment evolve and it looks amazing!

@pineapplesandcoffeecups One of those perfect accounts that is always colorful, cheerful, and creative–also I’m glad there’s someone else out there with a huge addiction to cute mugs.

@agirlastyle This account has seriously made me want to live or study in Cambridge on multiple occasions…Briony’s “clever fiancé” (could her nickname for him be cuter?) is a student there and the two always seem to be having the best time–think macarons, punting boats, midnight croquet…BRB, heading across the pond for a bit!

What are your favorite accounts to follow? Do you follow these? (I love finding out that friends of mine follow the same accounts as I do, it’s like we’re both in on the same little secret, haha).

 

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Inspired by Pinterest

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Oddly enough, I first got really into using Pinterest (follow me!) when I was studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, during my junior year of college. It was actually kind of funny looking at pins while I was in the UK, because almost everything I saw on there was just so American. Fall bucket lists? Thanksgiving food spreads? Bring it on.

I now use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, especially when writing blog posts–often a single image will encourage me to write about a certain topic. But I also love finding clever tidbits as well, and I thought I would share a few below…

1) DIY Rosé Gummy Bears. We’ve all heard about the mile-long waitlist to try these babies at Sugarfina, so at this rate, making them at home seems a bit more practical (if you can even use the word practical when talking about designer gummy bears!).

2) Using a drawer as a side table (to store books!) Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t contain any text, but it’s pretty self-explanatory and would be a super easy to make, unique piece of decor to add to your abode.

3) And on the career front…who doesn’t want to sound smarter in emails?

4) My friend makes the BEST funfetti dip…I think these sprinkled animal crackers would be the cutest addition (or maybe a little too over the top?!).

5) This small rental kitchen vision board is calling my name and probably a lot of yours, too. I’ve had my eye on the Rifle Paper recipe box forever, too!

What have you been pinning lately?

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You know you’re a design addict when…

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MCM clearly refers to midcentury modern, not #ManCrushMonday.

You scope out the home section of the Nordstrom sale before looking at the clothes and accessories.

Bamboo is not just something that pandas eat but is a total hot commodity when it comes to furniture.

You do a happy dance every time your favorite website or blogger posts an apartment tour.

You’d rather spend your Saturday at the hardware store than at the mall.

You troll Craigslist regularly with the hope of scoring a hidden gem.

Anything else I should add to this list? 😉

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Office Inspo

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My new apartment has an awesome breakfast nook that I was planning on using to, well, eat breakfast, but I’ve decided that maybe it’s more practical to put my desk in there because I eat all of my meals on the couch anyway it would be nice to have a little more room for it so that I can really spread out when I work. For me, the slightest decorating idea turns into a Pinterest binge and I’ve found more office inspiration than I can keep track of–oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, Katey McFarlan’s office tour is the cutest thing ever and totally reflects my style–wish I could just order all of the stuff she has and dump it into my apartment, haha.

Let me know what you think of the looks below!

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I’ve had my eye on this For Like Ever poster for, like, ever (sorry, bad pun), and I love how it adds a pop of color to a white/clear desk. PS: Curious as to how the poster got so popular? This article explains it all. Hint: it all started with a thesis project!

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Could this office area be more cheerful? I think all of that color would be a little too loud for my space, but can you imagine how much fun it would be to work there?

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I’ve had this imaged pinned for awhile and love the classic look and the books laid out on top of the desk. Great idea to use a desk as a nightstand!

Decisions, decisions. Which look do you like the best?

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Lilly For Days

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I ordered this Lilly dress a couple of months ago on Poshmark (hop on over and shop my closet!) and planned to wear it for summer events, but I think it would actually be cute with tights as well when the weather gets cooler. Most of Lilly’s dresses have such loud prints that they’re definitely seasonal, but the darker colors on this dress definitely make it a little more fall appropriate in my opinion.

The dress is super comfy and has a fun print without being too juvenile. The tie belt is a nice feature in order to make the dress a little less boxy. Also, I’m still mastering the art of the outfit photo, eek.

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