Top 7 Flying Tips

It’s no secret that I fly quite often (check out my total 2017 travel numbers). Given the extensive amount that I’m in & out of an airport, often for quick weekend trips, I have a pretty solid routine down. For those of you that don’t travel often, I get that the whole process can be intimidating and overwhelming. I am asked quite a bit how to ease the process, so I thought that today I’d share some tips I’ve picked up along the years.

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Make sure everything is charged.

The night before I fly, I charge everything – my computer, my Bluetooth headphones, my ipad, my cell phone. And then I put it all on low battery mode. The last thing you want is to not be able to access your phone or have your ipad die mid-flight. Many new planes have plugs so be sure to have your charging cords within reach (I keep one in my personal item and one in my carry-on bag). Also, it’s usually a good idea to carry a (fully charged) portable charger in case.

Invest in good carry-on luggage.

I’ll be doing a full luggage round up in coming weeks but to me, the 4-wheel spinner carry-ons are the best for domestic travel. They’re lightweight, easy to pack, fit in overheads and they maneuver easily. I always bring my Longchamp bag also as it fits right atop my Samsonite and it fits my laptop, ipad, clutch purse, scarf, water bottle & snacks. Also, it has a top zipper so I can squeeze it under the seat or in the overhead bin without worry of items falling out. I’ve had this bag for over 5 years traveling and it’s still in mint condition, no joke!

Don’t forget snacks & your water bottle.

In a recent post, “How to Stay Healthy While Traveling”, I harped on the importance of staying hydrated on airplanes. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to spend $7 per water bottle each time I go into an airport. That’s insane! I’d rather bring my Swell and fill it up in the filter station (located outside each restroom) so I can make sure I’m drinking enough while waiting to board and while on the plane. Typically, I’ll pack a Larabar, an apple and some nuts so that I don’t get hangry if there’s a delay or if I missed a meal that day. You can never have too many travel snacks, am I right?

Dress appropriately.

This should go without saying, but I am constantly appalled surprised with what people wear to the airport. The lace up knee high boots, the ten layers of clothing, the pajamas (horrible!) …the list goes on and on. This is public people – let’s dress presentable. Going through security can be stressful, especially if you don’t have TSA precheck (which I cannot recommend enough), so why make it harder by having to take on and off a million pieces?! My “go-to” travel outfit is a pair of nice black leggings, a light sweater layered over a tank and either booties or nice athleisure sneaks that slip right on/off. I always throw a scarf and extra socks in my purse in case I get chilly on the plane. Usually I stick to gray/black as well in case I spill anything!

Come prepared.

Flights get delayed, you’ll get stuck in a middle seat or next to a crying baby, the airplane televisions won’t work…it happens. Best to come prepared and that means with a bag full of tricks – mine always includes my ipad, a book/magazine, a crossword puzzle & pen, extra headphones, sleep mask and snacks.

Be nice to airline workers

Travel can be stressful but remember, we can only control our reactions. So, you may as well come with the expectation that something will be annoying, but it’s always best to have a good attitude. Everyone is (usually) doing their best and so there’s no sense in getting snippy with the flight attendant or gate agent. In fact, having a patient, kind attitude can often times result in a free upgrade or glass of wine (believe me – it’s happened to me many-a-times). Trust me on this one. 

Keep boarding passes & reservations on your phone.

(This, of course, only works if your phone is fully charged…hence #1!) Again, the tips to traveling are making everything as seamless of a process as possible. Don’t waste your time printing out boarding passes, keeping stacks of papers – everything can be stored on your phone these days in your Apple Wallet. It stores and scans so simply. And let’s be honest, your phone is probably in your hand anyway!


Catching a 5am flight for 1 week out west isn’t easy, but we made it work!

So those are my top 7 travel tips for you when traveling domestic!

What’s your best travel tip?




How to Style a Buffet

Happy Monday Y’all! We had a fun filled weekend with some dear friends that came up to visit us from NYC. Sometimes a weekend full of laughter & good conversation with great friends is exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m feeling refreshed this morning!


So, while this post is titled “How to Style a Buffet”, it really should be called “how to style any surface” but that just didn’t sound as pretty. I get asked ALL the time for styling tips – people often find that their surfaces (buffet, tv console, side table, nightstand, mantle, dresser, etc) are either too crowded or too empty. It’s hard to find that balance of looking styled, yet natural.

A few key “rules” I like to follow when styling a surface:

Let one piece anchor the space

Stick to groupings of 3

Incorporate natural elements (plant or flowers)

Stack books to elevate / create mixed heights

Keep it cohesive with a color scheme

Here’s are two examples of how this can be done:

The above buffet is about 60″ long so I wanted to create two small spaces so that it didn’t feel overcrowded. The art (roughly 2/3 the length of the buffet – the perfect scale) anchors the space, while the two groupings create some visual interest. While everything is in the white/cream/grey family, I created interest by using various textures & materials (ceramic, marble, glass). The lamp provides more height and the flowers bring in a natural element. I’ve actually got another similar white vase that I swap out (it’s short and squatty) and I’ll fill both with greenery. So many options here!

The mantle above is a bit longer – about 70″ and so there was more surface space to cover. Ideally, I would like a larger mirror but this works for now. As you can see, I’ve stuck to the neutral pattern as well, but incorporated some brass, gold and wood to give it more of a pop. The tall, oversized eucalyptus really makes this space work for me. Again, you can see I used the marble + wood box to pair with the beads & candle (set of 3!) and the picture frames at varying heights keep it cohesive, yet interesting.

I hope this helps! If you follow these 5 rules for styling your surface, you can’t go wrong! If you have any questions or need help styling your own space, feel free to email me.

Have a great week!


8 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Home Today

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When it comes to home decor, I always have an urge to mix things up and refresh my space. In the past, I’ve shared ways to shop your home before if you’re looking to update things but don’t want to spend any money. As Spring slowly approaches, I always find that now is a great time of year to update our space. Bring in some lighter tones, purchase a few new pieces and make our home feel as light & bright as possible. Here are 8 easy ways that you can refresh your home today.

1. Refresh your art. Framed, gallery style abstract art is having a huge moment right now and I love it. Art is one of those things that is 100% subjective so really, you should purchase whatever speaks to you. If you need a few suggestions, I love this garden canvas and this abstract piece. If purchasing a new piece isn’t in your budget, consider taking down a lot of your current art and switching things around. You will be surprised what a difference swapping pieces out can make!

2. While I’m typically one for fresh cut flowers, faux greenery is needed (Example: a bathroom with no windows). These boxwoods are an excellent styling prop for bookshelf styling, for the dining room table or atop a stack of books. If you have a vase that needs filler, try fresh eucalyptus (will dry nicely in place if you don’t touch it) or stems such as these dogwoods.

3. You’ve likely seen various types of decorative beads in pictures recently. I just LOVE them and think they’re such a versatile, beautiful way to decorate. I actually picked up the most gorgeous, light gray set in South Africa from a super chic boutique that I found in Cape Town (and they were under $10). My only regret is that I didn’t buy like 4 sets for gifts! Studio McGee has a great option on their website as do a lot of sellers on etsy. You can drape them over books, set them around a jewelry box or flow them out of a vase. Really the opportunities are endless.

4. Natural wood tones have been my wood choice for quite some time, especially for those of us living in small spaces. Nothing will make your home feel smaller than oversized, dark wood. I like the light/natural wood as a more mature, masculine alternative to white. Some examples are this bench, which would look great at the end of your bad, and this mirror, which I may have to snag for our entry way.

5. Add in some blue + white patterns, in the form of dishes, vases or planters. A more modern subtle to the ginger jar, a planter like this one would be a great way to update your space for Spring. This light blue pattern goes with pretty much any decorating style, which is why I always suggest them. They’re also great for sunrooms or outdoor spaces.

6. For a classic, modern touch to your home, try adding in some marble. One of my favorite material combinations is wood + marble, which just looks fabulous every time. An easy way to accomplish this is to display your wood cutting boards in your kitchen and then put a marble bowl in front. Or incorporate a bone inlay tray or mosaic bowl into the mix. I think this footed bowl may be the cutest thing ever. I purchased it myself and plan to set it by my wood bowl catch all (used for keys, chapstick, etc) alongside a marble vase I keep filled with fresh greenery.

7.  A tried and true favorite, and one I always recommend, is to swap out your pillows. Truthfully, blankets and linens fall in this category too – most textiles are seasonal.  Pastels are going to be huge this spring and pillows, like this lavender one, are a great way to display these hues. I am a huge fan of light blues, creams, greys & blush (just like my wedding pallet) in decor. It’s feminine yet a bit subtle.

8. One last way to refresh your space is to style with books. Coffee table books are the perfect gift for any occasion because your home can never have enough! Whether it’s decorating shelves, adding height to a vignette, stacking them on the coffee table, or displaying them on the nightstand, there is a way to use them! When I’m feeling bored with my space I always rearrange the books and it definitely gives a new feeling. I’m in search of 5-6 new ones for a styling project I’m working on. Favorites: Living with Pattern, Domino, Nate Berkus, The Nesting Place.

What’s your favorite way to refresh your home?!

An Alternative to the Bar Cart

Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good bar cart setup. In fact, I had one in my last apartment. They’re a practical, functional solution to a small space and they’re pretty perfect for apartment living when you don’t have an actual dining space. However, I also they’re they are incredibly overdone, too trendy and a bit too predictable. Here are a few  examples of bar setups that I really like that are not bar carts:


I love the masculine, rustic look of this bar cabinet


This DIY Ikea hack via Brittany Makes is so modern & functional!


Obsessed with this gorgeous laquer cabinet that Bree has styled so perfectly!


This organized & stylish bar cabinet is practical yet mature


Another masculine bar cabinet via Frontgate – love how sleek it is

So when I was looking for a solution for where to put all of our wine / booze / bar items, I quickly ruled out the bar cart. I decided to go with a bar cabinet. It’s kind of the bridge between bar cart and dining hutch. Think of a classic buffet like your grandma has, but with modern design & trendy decor. I had my eye on this piece (this one too) but it was a bit too pricey so I opted for this one. The piece is scheduled to be delivered next week and I’m on the hunt for a new abstract art piece to go above it. I can’t wait to have it in our home so I can finally empty these last few boxes of booze and style this piece. Stay tuned for some updated pictures to come!

What’s your preference – bar cart of bar cabinet?!

Gift Guide for the Traveler in Your Life

We all know someone who loves to travel – maybe it’s your mom, your sister-in-law, your bestie, or you! Since we all know someone who falls into this category I wanted to share my top 10 gifts for the traveler in your life. Ranging from $10 to $500 there is a wide variety to choose from here. Happy Shopping!

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These Boll & Branch sheets are the perfect gift for anyone who loves to travel often. Is there anything better than coming home to your own bed? I think not. These are really a great gift for anyone – parents, new home owners, newlyweds. I mean, everyone wants to own nice sheets but they’re so annoying to spend your own money on.

An oversized scratch-off gold map is SUCH a fun gift! Any family, couple, solo traveler, or person that loves to travel would have a lot of fun scratching off the places they’ve been and finding inspiration for the next trip. Bonus: it would look great in a white frame on the wall or in a kids playroom (just keep the glass off so you can scratch it when need be).

This calendar is so cute for anyone stuck in an office with a serious case of wanderlust. A great gift for college girls, working moms or organization freaks (like me!) who love using a physical calendar. Heck, even if you don’t use it – the pictures will inspire you! (Design tip: cut out the pictures & frame them for some cute, quirky wall art)

Whoever invented this Raden carry on suitcase is a genius. Not only is it TSA size approved with a hard cover (meaning it will fit no matter how much you shove in there), but this sucker has a built-in charger and…wait for it (<–no pun intended)…weighs itself! Yup, it takes all of the stress of flying away. Did I mention that it also locates itself? Basically it takes away 90% of the flying stress – no need to pay overage weight feed, hoard a wall plug or worry about the airline losing your luggage. This bag does it all itself. Absolutely genius!

With over 9,000 5-star review, this is supposedly the end all be all of travel masks. If you’re like me and can sleep anywhere on the plane, this is for you! Although if you have trouble sleeping on planes, maybe this is for you too! I’m eager to give it a try as I currently have my favorite sleep mask that I use on the reg & travel with everywhere.

Everyone needs a “go to” travel outfit and this cashmere wrap really saves the day. Pair with a black shirt and black leggings and you will be traveling in comfort while looking chic AF. Wraps are the best because they can be used as scarves, blankets, pillows, jackets or eye masks. Well worth the investment!

I’m pretty sure these made my gift guide list last year, but you can see why. Everyone needs a solid pair of headphones when fling, especially if it’s an overnight or international flight. Bye bye crying babies and loud airplane noises…enjoy your flight as these drown out the background noise so you can watch a movie or snooze and enjoy your flight.

Who doesn’t love getting a monthly magazine in the mail? I get Travel & Leisure each month and always enjoy reading about fun new places and seeing pictures of beautiful places around the world to add to my bucket list. An easy gift for someone who is tough to shop for!

Another good “go to ” gift for anyone really is a passport cover + luggage tag set. They’re gender neutral, great for all ages and you can never have enough – I mean, I personally have about 6 suitcases so I need at least 6 luggage tags! They’re also fun to get personalized and would be a fun hostess gift or Secret Santa gift.

A nice water bottle like the Bobble is a fail proof gift idea. Good for gym goers, travelers, hikers, or anyone on the go – this one is lightweight, super cute (7 color options) and has a built-in filter. It’s affordable too so you could pick it up for a few people on your list.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably recently saw in my pre-honeymoon Insta stories that I recently tried these packing cubes for a big trip and I absolutely loved them! First off, they hold a ton and I swear I could fit more in my bag. Secondly, they allow you to group your items and stay more organized while traveling. Lastly, and my favorite, they really help you know where everything is so you can find your items so quickly. It really made packing, getting dressed and re-packing so much easier.

What else should we add to this travel gift guide?!

Gift Guide for the Home Design Lover in Your Life

So last year I did quite a few gift guides; however, I find that every blogger out there does gift guide after gift guide and we tend to see the same items over and over. That being said, I’ll only be sharing two gift guides this year: design and travel. As you know, interior design and travel are my two passions and they are the very topics that this blog was founded on. Luckily the items are translatable to many other gift recipients – parent, sibling, friend, hostess, coworker, etc. Today is home design and tomorrow is travel!


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Every home can use a faux fur throw, even if they already have one! In winter, these are the best to take a nap with or cuddle up for a morning cup of coffee. I also like this gift for your in-laws, new home owners or a hostess gift. I’ve actually got this exact one and it’s the best!

This marble & copper monogrammed board is one of the most versatile gifts on this guide – it’s literally able to be used for the home lover (as a decorative piece, on a shelf, as a cheese board, etc), for any hostess, for a secret santa, or really any female in your world. Or hey, just buy one for yourself!

Y’all know that my favorite candle had to make the list. When they go on sale I usually stock up because they seriously smell so great! I have them in my living room, bathrooms and bedrooms. I even gave these as thank you gifts to my wedding shower hosts. Everyone loves a good candle but nobody wants to spend the money on them – hence the perfect gift idea!

This is one of my favorite gifts for anyone who enjoys decorating their home. Picking out frames can be expensive and a Framebridge gift card really saves the day. Let their experienced staff help your gift recipient get the best frames for their space.

These brass cheese utensils are SO cute, I just love them! Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good cheese board? Help your friend/hostess/mom step up their cheese plate game with some chic, stylish utensils. This is a gift sure to please.

Many people forget about magazines, but I think that a subscription to Elle Decor is a great, realistic gift for the design lover you know. If they already have Elle Decor, try Better Homes & Gardens, Domino Magazine, or Architectural Digest. Every time this person receives a new mag in the mail that month, you’ll be top of mind!

While I’m not one for faux plants, every home could use a good boxwood or two. They’re great to put atop a stack of books, to use as a pair framing the mantle, to decorate on shelves, etc. You can even gather a grouping as a centerpiece of a dining table.

A good set of tea towels is always a good “go to” gift for anyone who enjoys being at home or decorating their home. These get stained easily and need to be replaced often. Try their initials, monogram or state outline. I like to shop ETSY for reasonably priced, personalized gift towels.

These Anthropologie patterned bowls are such a great gift – they can be used to store jewelry, as a catchall bedside, to serve nuts, and more. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and can easily be mixed and matched. Also, they’re pretty affordable so you can give a set of 4 or 6 – I even registered for some for our registry.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my gift guide for the travel lover! What’s your “go to” gift for the interior design lover in your life?!

Thanksgiving Tablescape Inspiration

Can y’all even believe that Thanksgiving is next week? Insane! Given all that we have going on right now (moving, new job for T, etc) we are pleased to be attending a Thanksgiving feast at our dear friends’ home in Newport, Rhode Island. Hopefully we will have a large dining room of our own in upcoming years and be able to host our own Thanksgiving day celebration for family & friends. So for my future reference, and for all of you wonderful host expecting a crowd, I’ve put together some tablescape inspiration for you:






So many pretty options to be inspired from! I’ve put together a mock table setting myself and hopefully it will inspire you even more! If I were hosting this year, here’s what my table would look a little something like:

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{napkins / chargers / plates / greenery / glasses / vase / napkin holders / place cards / runner / candle holders + candles}

Who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year? Is your table ready?!