2018 Resolutions

Happy New Year!
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You can read my review of 2017 in numbers and my 2018 travel goals. As I wrap up 2017, I can’t help but make some “resolutions” for 2018. While I’m not a stickler about these, I find that making resolutions is a great way to make some much-needed goals and to start the year off on a healthy, productive note.
Pick a new hobby
For me, I’ve been super in barre lately. Now I know working out isn’t really a “hobby” but I’ve been enjoying the way it makes me feel and how it takes me back to my 10+ years of ballet growing up. It’s a fun “me” thing that I enjoy doing so I’m keepin on!
Make the Time
There’s nothing more annoying for me to hear than people say “I don’t have time.” Yes you do, everyone has time…it’s just a matter of prioritizing. Like those guitar lessons I was supposed to start last year but “didn’t have time” for (also a new hobby #twobirdsonestone). Or the old friend who I keep saying “I’ll call her next week”. Or that trip back home to see grandma that will come later when we “have more time”. Unfortunately, time is the one thing we aren’t guaranteed and there may not be more. So don’t wait. Now is the time.
Let it Go
Whether it’s the promotion you were promised but never received (possibly the most frustrating thing ever), the recurring family drama that somehow can’t be squashed or that one friend who can’t just ever seem to be happy for you….let it go. This is a VERY tough one to do as it’s hard to let go of hurt, resentment, pain…but it’s not doing anyone any good to harbor it. Either cut it out of your life or promise yourself to move onward without it! No bringing negativity into a new year!
Start Meditating
I downloaded the “headspace” app after heading rave reviews about it. This is going to have to be a conscious effort for me everyday to do this but I am going to try my hardest to meditate when I wake up for 5 minutes every day. I get super anxious and stressed out easily, especially after a bad nights sleep so Im hoping that this 5-minute habit will help ground me and start me off on a healthy mental note each day.
Save for a goal
This is a great resolution for a few reasons. First, having an end goal is always a great way to keep on track financially. Second, the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving that goal is motivating. Third, having this goal will have you second guessing any frivolous purchases & create healthy spending habits. It may be saving for a down payment on a home, a new handbag or a trip somewhere. For me, I’m saving for a trip back to Africa in 2019. So every time someone says “wanna grab lunch” or “let’s go to Starbucks”, I’ll have to rethink that. I may suggest a walk around the park & bring my own lunch instead, putting that $15 to my trip fund. Little changes add up quickly!
Call one friend a week
Now this is of course now counting those I talk to regularly. But when you move away, people get married & have babies, and life gets busy, you lose touch! All it takes is a 15 minute window to pick up the phone, grab a cup of tea & call an old friend. Is there any better feeling than a great conversation to reconnect old friends?
Quality over Quantity
This is something I put into place in 2017 that I’m keeping with me for 2018. Whether it’s clothing, furniture, dining out, events, etc. I want to invest in things that I love & that bring value to my life, not just excess junk. This can be done by purging items from closets (the BEST way to start a new year), from buying organic, healthier foods and cooking at home versus spending $10 on an overpriced, unhealthy lunch or kicking that habit of buying all of the crap you see at Target (easier said than done, I know). Less is more, always.
Those are my resolutions for a healthier & happier 2018…what’s your resolution?
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wishing you a happy & healthy 2018 from my family to yours 🙂

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Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!

I’ll be taking this Monday off to enjoy the holiday and spend time with friends & family. I hope you do the same! I’ll be back Wednesday with a look back at 2017!

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Happy Holidays from our family to yours! xo

An Easy Homemade Holiday Gift

Hi guys! We went to two holiday parties this past weekend and so I thought it would be nice to share an easy, inexpensive & cute holiday gift for any unexpected parties, invitations or more.

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All of the ingredients for a cute, homemade holiday gift!

I spent a few hours baking four different cookie recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. They all called for the majority of the same ingredients so it was pretty easy to knock out the recipes one by one. I made the coconut macaroons first because they were super quick so I threw them in the oven to get those out of the way. While those were baking, I prepped the dough for both the peppermint white chocolate chip and double chocolate crinkle cookies, since both of these require the dough to be refrigerated at least 3 hours (I left mine overnight and it was perfect). Last, I whipped up some Nutella chocolate chip cookies to bake in the oven while I cleaned up the rest. All in all, it was a pretty efficient way to bake a ton of cookies at once. The verdict? They’re all SO good but I think the Nutella are my favorite, with the macaroons a close second.

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A holiday dinner party gift

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A friend’s birthday / holiday party gift

I purchased these Santa cookie boxes (they hold about eight cookies) and these Beer Greetings 6-pack holder on Amazon. How adorable are both of these?! Grab some twine, a few ribbons & you’ve got your gifts ready. For party number one (holiday dinner party), I packed up a variety pack of cookies & a nice bottle of wine. For party number two (a holiday themed birthday party), I filled the six pack with a variety of beer & a mixed box of cookies again. How cute, right?! I hope you’re inspired to bake & gift! Happy Holidays.

 

10 Gorgeous Holiday Mantles

With Christmas only one week away, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite mantles. Whether you’re hosting Christmas day, throwing a holiday party, or simply enjoying the comfort of your own home, mantle decor is a fun way to switch things up. I’m constantly redecorating mine and adding new pieces. Hopefully this will inspire you:

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Which is your favorite?!

 

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:

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