Life Lately Vol. 3

Happy Friday! We are headed to Philly today & New Jersey for the rest of the weekend. The forecast is 85 & sunny so we’ll be setting up camp on the beach for a couple of days! We’ll be taking our frenchie with us (on Spirit!) so hoping for an easy flight…

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{Mela loves flying}

Speaking of the beach, I’ve been looking to invest in some new swimsuits this year since Victoria’s Secret discontinued their swim line! (Wah). I like the Vix ones at Nordstrom but they’re super pricey. Any suggestions for affordable, cute bathing suits?!

Eating: Mason jar salads! Now, obviously this is not a new concept but as someone who brings my lunch to work everyday, I want something healthy, easy & delicious! I’ve been on the Greek salad kick for legit like 4 months now. I keep thinking I’ll tire of it but I enjoy it every single day. I layer (from bottom up) olive oil/red wine vinegar mix, red onions, chick peas, feta cheese, cucumbers, red peppers, green peppers & lettuce. I make 5 on Sunday and boom- lunch done! Anyone have any non-Greek style mason jar salads/meals they recommend?

Reading: A lot of upsetting airline stories lately! First there was Bumpgate, then the stroller incident, then the deplorable responses from airlines (looking at you, United)…ugh, it’s such a shame because travel should be FUN! Whether you fly often or once in a blue moon, it’s super important to make yourself aware of your behavior. I find that it’s best to be prepared to alleviate stress (from yourself, other passengers, officials, etc). What does that mean? Have your ID & boarding pass out, get your sh*t together when going through security (or get global entry like me so you don’t have to!), and be cognizant of the boarding process. There’s nothing more annoying than kids running around while boarding begins, or passengers rushing the gate when they’ve got zone 5 boarding, or some jerk so deep into their phone that they’re holding up the line!

Be polite, be passionate & be present.

Wearing: I currently can’t get enough of the bare shoulder tops. It’s really mixed weather here in Boston so these are perfect for the in between weather. This white one, this floral one & this blue striped one are some current favorites!

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?!

How I chose my “getting ready” wedding venue

When I think of my dream wedding, a few key pieces come to mind: a gorgeous dress, the look in my husband’s eyes, being surrounded by family & friends, and eating, drinking & having fun! Then, when I dive deeper, I think about how I want to feel on my wedding day – excited, nervous, calm, pampered, special, etc. SO many emotions, right?! Since a LOT of excitement comes leading up to the wedding (days prior, getting ready, etc) it was absolutely critical for me to have the perfect place to get ready in. After all, I’ll be there with my bridesmaids, my mom, my grandma, the photographer, videographer, hair & makeup…it takes a village people! haha.

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{#picturegoals}

In all seriousness, I looked long and hard for a location that would be perfect for (a) Terry & I to spend our wedding night and (b) a venue for me & my girls to get ready in.

So…what was the criteria?! I came up with 3 things that were important to me…

It has space

This was HUGE for me! The thought of being cramped on my wedding day immediately stresses me out. With 5 bridesmaids, 3+ family members & a handful of vendors, having an open space with plentiful counterspace is absolutely necessary. We’ll be there for at least 5 hours on Saturday and need the space for hair & makeup stations, a light lunch spread, a champagne bar (obvi!) & of course, plenty of closet space for our dresses!

It feels swanky yet sophisticated

Let’s be honest, when else in your life can you justify splurging on a super nice hotel room for a weekend? (Okay, maybe the honeymoon too…) Since our wedding is out of town, renting a place was our only option. Given that I only plan on getting married once in my life, I want to get ready in a place that is luxurious and chic, yet sophisticated and classy. Something that appeals to both my grandma and my bridesmaids. Something that makes people say “wow” and that makes the photographers swoon. Think of all the pictures that will be taken here!

It feel special

In addition to the aesthetic feel (mentioned above), feeling “special” to me means a place that has amazing customer service, that understands the importance of your wedding day, that will go above & beyond to assure that everything goes as smoothly as possible with minimal stress & worry. Keeping calm on your wedding day is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

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When I found the Pavilion Grand Hotel, I knew I found the right spot. From my first interaction with the managers to our hotel tour, they made me feel right at home. They understand the excitement & anticipation that comes with your wedding day and they have all the bells & whistles to guarantee that your entire weekend goes smoothly. From valet parking to an on-premise salon to an in-house bistro, they’ve got it all. The space. The swank. The special feel I’ve been dreaming of.

Let the countdown begin! Less than 3 months til the big day. Be sure to stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing many Instagram posts & a follow up post of my experience.

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Thank you to The Pavilion Grand for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are my own.

5 Stylish Home Organization Spaces

I feel that when I’m totally overwhelmed/stressed out/anxious in life (currently: 9 out of 10), one of the things that helps me most is to get (and stay!) organized. Now, y’all know I’m a huge fan of to-do lists and making the bed each morning but there are some bigger, more effective ways to stay organized in your home, while keeping things stylish. Let’s be honest, not everyone has the time, money or patience to spend hours at The Container Store buying organization pieces. Also, who wants their home to look like Martha Stewart feverishly took over each room? Ain’t nobody got time for this:

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{Sorry, Martha}

I find that there are 5 main areas in the home that not only get the messiest quickest, but cause the most added stress when they’re a clusterf**k. Let’s explore…

  1. The Pantry

Ahh, who doesn’t love an organized pantry? I hope to have a walk-in pantry one day and I know that I’ll be that annoying person with labeled jars and baskets. But, if you cook often, this type of organization is a lifesaver! Minimal waste, no spoiled food & easy access to all. This is an easy rainy day project – do it!

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{pantry via}

2. Kitchen Countertops

Lucky for me, I grew up in a home where the kitchen was always clean and that stuck with me. I prefer a minimalist kitchen, with just a few decor pieces on the counters. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing 10 appliances on the counter with a ton of knick knacks. I’m too OCD for that!

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{kitchen via}

3. Bathroom Closet

You’ve got guest towels, sheets, toiletries, hair dryers, curlers, etc. On top that, if you’re like me, your guest bathroom and master bathroom are the same thing so you’ve got a lot of stuff in a little space. Nobody likes a messy bathroom or bathroom closet. It’s gross. Spend an hour, take everything out, and re-organized it. Easy peasy!

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{closet via}

4. Mudroom/Laundry room

Let’s get real. Nobody likes doing laundry. It’s even more annoying when there are piles everywhere. This clean, calm space even makes me want to do laundry….a little bit.

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{mudroom via}

5. Home Office

Whether you work from home or just have an office with a family computer, this space is one of the most important to stay organized. From taxes to documents to calendars, there is so much information stored here, why have it messy? The key to a home office is to have a system- once everything has a home, you can keep it organized pretty easily.

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{office via}

What’s your best organization tip?!

Life Lately Vol. 2

This week was a total sh*tshow…I got into a car accident on Tuesday (luckily nobody was hurt, but my car on the other hand…) which totally threw my week off – work wise, workout wise, productivity wise, etc. That being said, I am more than ready for the weekend! Here’s what’s happening:

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Wedding: We’re in the task phase – making timelines, deciding on stationary wording, finalizing menus, getting outfits together, etc. I must say, the day-of timeline is very tricky. Anyone have tips?!

Home: We had the best time hosting some friends for Easter and now we’re itching to do it again! If only we had more space….I’ve frantically been searching Zillow & Craigslist for a larger, more spacious apartment (preferably in the South End). Any Boston peeps know someone looking to lease their place?

Listening to: Okay, so I mentioned S-town last week. Well, in 7 days I’ve gone through the ENTIRE season! Omg yall this podcast is sooooo good!! It took a turn in ep. 3 that I did not see coming and it just got better & better. Since I’m done (for now), I need new podcast recs – any favorites?

Friends: My friend Amy just got back from Paris (also did the bike tour we did last year, loved it!) and so we randomly decided to try and learn French together! We’ve signed up for “French 1” classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education which is an amazing place in the South End – they have classes on art, language, wine, photography, technology, etc. You name it, they’ve got it. We begin next week & are so excited!

Mela: This little piggy is going on Spring break, starting next weekend! We are so lucky to have family somewhat nearby, who will watch her whenever we need. She’ll be heading there next Friday and staying for at least a month! I gotta say, it is nice to have a pet-friendly home for a few weeks (think less vacuuming!) but we sure are going to miss that cuddle bug!

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What’s happening in your life lately?!

5 Ways to Bring Spring into your Home

First, congratulations to all of you who completed the Boston Marathon yesterday! It was a beautiful 70 and sunny day – we watched for hours and were consistently inspired by all of the runners, especially those running with disabilities. Those who ran with guides, the push-rim division, those with prosthetic legs, etc…what unbelievable athletes!

Now…let’s talk decorating for Spring! With longer days & warmer temps in full effect, it’s time to make sure your home is ready as well. I’ve put together 5 simple, effective ways to bring Spring into your home:

 1. Swap out some white accessories…vases, pitchers, potters, books…white accessories are fresh, clean & perfect for sunnier days.

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2. Go for fresh flowers…cherry blossoms, tulips & hydrangeas all scream spring. I currently have pink tulips in the kitchen, yellow & white tulips in the den and hydrangeas in the master. You seriously can’t go wrong!

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3. Trade out the textiles…I have a ton of different blankets, pillow covers, etc that I keep on hand and like to swap out! For spring, think light colors, floral patterns & palms. Now’s a good put away the faux fur throws & the heavy fabrics.

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{via}

4. Get fruity…fruit is an inexpensive, colorful, practical way to bring spring into your kitchen& dining room. I like using lemons, limes, oranges, apples, etc & displaying them in either clear apothecary jars or an oversized bowl. Odds are, you’ll eat these yummy treats so simply replace when you head to the grocery store!

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{via}

5. Tidy up! Really this should be number one, as I believe it’s the most effective way to make any space look fresh. Spend a day purging your closets, junk drawers & everyday spaces. Trust me, there’s no better way to feel like you’re officially in a new season.

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{via}

What’s your best tip for bringing Spring into your home?!

Life Lately: Vol. 1

So I decided to start this weekly Friday “life recap” for a few reasons. First, I love reading other people’s recaps, as it gives you a glimpse into their life, shopping links, activities, etc. while not getting too detailed or overstepping boundaries. Second, it’s a great way to stay afloat when trying to maintain balance. I often struggle trying to balance my very demanding day job (that includes a 2-3 hour commute daily), this blog (which is WAY more work than it looks- props to bloggers out there), planning a wedding (aka full time job #2), doing my interior design projects on the side (currently only 2), working out daily & trying to maintain friendships and keep in touch with family (hi mom!), all while living across country from 99% of my people. Whew! Busy. Is. Right.

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Wedding: I’ve been trying to knock out a lot of the small details now (music details, cake topper, welcome bag items, parent/bridesmaid gifts, etc) since I know a million new things will come up as we approach the big day. Any tips for staying organized?

Clothes: Speaking of wedding, I’m ferociously searching the internet daily for cute, white dresses! I need approximately 2 shower dresses, 1 bachelorette one, and 3 for wedding events. Help! I’ve locked down 2 but still need the *perfect* one for our casual, yet festive BBQ rehearsal dinner. Am I crazy to wear white and eat BBQ?!

Listening to: S Town. My mom turned me onto it and I can’t wait to start listening. Podcasts keep me sane during my long commute and considering I was obsessed Serial & Undisclosed, I think I’ll like this one too. Anyone heard it?

Cooking: All of the Easter food! You saw my post yesterday on the Easter table so today I’m heading to Homegoods (need a few cute decor pieces) and to Whole Foods, as I’ll be making chilled asparagus, spring salad & key lime pie.

Design: I have a friend who recently spilled the beans that she’s got a little bun in the oven so naturally, we’ve already been talking nursery design! In fact, I think she’s already ordered this chandelier – it will go well in any little girl’s nursery/room. (Bonus it’s 20% off today!)

Lastly, good luck to all of you running the Boston Marathon on Monday! I’ll be out watching with some friends and cheering you on. What an accomplishment!

Easter Tablescape Inspiration

Happy Thursday y’all….if your week has been like mine, you are counting down the seconds until the weekend is here! We quickly went from no Easter plans to hosting dinner for 6 (maybe 8) overnight, so my mind is going into planning mode!

So, what’s on our menu?

Appetizers & Nibbles:

Deviled eggs & Mediterranean platter

Jelly beans & Jordan almonds

Main Menu:

Baked ham

Chilled asparagus,  roasted brussel sprouts & scalloped red potatoes

Spinach, fruit, walnut & goat cheese salad

Desserts:

Homemade brownies, coconut macaroons & strawberry shortcake

Yummy, right? We’re in charge of the ham, salad, apps & desserts. Our guests will be bringing sides and of course, lots of wine!

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{marble + wood cutting board / textured bowls / long wood bowl / wood + ceramic dip bowls}

One of my favorite parts about hosting is of course the table setting…however, living in a small 900sq ft apartment with no dining table proves to be a challenge. Luckily we have a 6′ folding table that fits directly over our coffee table so we’ll just move the sofa out back & place some chairs around it. Hey, you gotta work with what you have!

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Easter Easter Table Decor with White Hydrangeas and Tulips Cente

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{1/2/3}

How beautiful are those tablescapes? Whether you have the space or not, here are a few pieces to help you build a classic, pretty table for your guests:

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{table runner / gold flatware / wine glasses / white dinner plate/

gold salad plate / cake stand}

What’s on your Easter menu?!