Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Valentine’s Day can be a tough holiday to celebrate. It’s become over-commercialized, making you feel like you have to spend a certain amount of money.

But really, Valentine’s Day is just a reminder to show the person you love, that you love them. Obviously this should be a year-round thing, but having a day dedicated to it isn’t so bad. Showing someone you love them can be as simple as spending time with them (and giving them your full attention), planning a fun activity together or writing them a nice note/telling them how important they are to you.

Of course, you may also want to give your valentine a gift. Here’s a list of some gift ideas I put together, ranging in price from $6 to $225.

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peony candle, $21

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harding lane hat, $35Screen shot 2016-02-02 at 6.16.28 PM

enamel mug, $6

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kate spade watch, $225

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tassel key chain, $26

Paris-Geller

scalloped oxford, $98

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framed heartstagram, $39 – order by 2/7!

Tybee Island Beach House Tour

This weekend, DC was hit with over two feet of snow. Burrowing in for several days has left me dreaming of warmer days at the beach. This Tybee Island beach house is full of character (especially for a new construction!) and would be the perfect spot to vacation. On top of a beautiful house and a nice beach, Tybee is only half an hour to Savannah, a city on my must visit list!

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(like the mix of vintage and new furniture)

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(note the curtain “walls.” also #gallerywallgoals)

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(west elm night stand here.)

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Design: Rethink Design Studio

Location: Tybee Island, Georgia

see past dream beach house here.

Does everyone dream of opening their own business?

I’ve been out of college for almost four years now, and a lot has changed. I moved back home, then to DC, where I have bounced around apartments (at least four). L and I went from living together in college to now living an hour away from each other and visiting on weekends. I initially struggled to find a job and now have been working at the same place for three years.

One constant has always been a small voice in my head (and heart) telling me I should open up my own small business. The idea for the business has changed over time, (clothing brand, small cafe to a furniture/home/gifts store) but the idea to take a risk and chase this dream has always been there.

Of course, quitting a safe and boring job for a risky and scary adventure is difficult to actually do. Pushing myself to do something which has a very real possibility of failure and judgement from others, is absolutely a reason I haven’t acted on this dream. At the same time, sometimes I wonder if in ten years, I regret not taking this leap…

Throughout the years, I’ve found myself reading about many young twenty-somethings who have followed their passion and started their own business. Some of my favorite stores, that serve as inspiration for my dream business, include:

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Duke & Winston – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How he started here.

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The Grove Street Press – New Orleans, Louisiana.

How these cousins started here.

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The Fort Orange General Store – Albany New York.

How these friends started here.

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Wooden Slippers – Brooklyn, New York.

How he started here.

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Red Barn Mercantile – Alexandria, Virginia.

How she started here.

New Years Resolutions: 36 Things in 365 Days

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It’s back to reality after an amazing week at home with family for Christmas and a long weekend at the beach with L for New Years. It went by fast and I didn’t want it to end, but I’m also excited for what 2016 has in store.

Every January, lots of people (including myself) make resolutions only to break them a few weeks later. This year, I wanted to do something different.

Back in October I made a list of 36 things I wanted to do in the next 365 days, which I am tracking here. The list includes things like traveling, trying new things and saving money. When I first thought of the idea, I was going to wait and start in January, but decided there was no reason not to get started then. I’m excited to try and accomplish as many things on the list as I can, which I will occasionally blog about here.

So far, I’ve completed 3 things and made progress on some others.

Donate blood: Donating blood was not bad at all (though there was a moment I thought I was going to faint). I had never done it before, and will definitely do it again. It’s pretty cool that a simple thing like this can make a big difference.

Travel to a new city: Back in November, L and I traveled to the suburbs of Chicago to celebrate L’s nephew’s first birthday. We also spent a day in Milwaukee, which I had never visited. Even though it was bitterly cold, we had a fun time walking around the city and seeing some interesting things. Also ate some great Pakistani food!

Leave a 100% tip for great service: L and I ate at the restaurant she used to work at in high school and tipped our waitress, who has worked there for a long time and is always really friendly, 100%. It felt good to recognize her hard work in a small way.

 

Do you have any new years resolutions? Consider making a 36 in 365 days list, and let me know if you do!

 

Easy Trader Joe’s Holiday Punch

The past few years, my family has made a festive punch on Christmas eve. It’s usually a last minute decision, so it’s always pretty simple. Red and green is a given. This easy punch recipe hits the mark and looks great too!

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Ingredients:

  1. 64 oz. Trader Joe’s winter wassail
  2. 2 liters club soda
  3. sparkling wine
  4. Pomegranate seeds
  5. Ice
  6. Lime slices or orange slices

Instructions:

  1. To make ice ring, put pomegranate seeds in bundt pan and cover with ice cubes. Then add water and freeze around 3 – 4 hours.
  2. In a large punch bowl, combine winter wassail, club soda and sparkling wine.
  3. Add ice ring and lime/orange slices.

Notes:

I wouldn’t worry too much about measuring here, as long as it tastes good to you. Throughout the night, we ended up using a little less than two bottles of winter wassail (it has a strong taste), two bottles of club soda and three bottles of sparkling wine (oops!). You could also use vodka instead of sparkling wine.

 

If you make this, let me know how it goes. Enjoy!

Friday Antics

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  1. 16 breathtaking restaurants to add to your bucket list.
  2. A dark look into Mast chocolate: great taste or great marketing?
  3. This puts life into perspective, and the takeaways are brutal, but important.
  4. Recommendations for Wilmington, NC restaurants from a local! Me and L are heading to Sunset Beach for New Year’s (so over the typical crazy bar scene for New Year’s) and will probably spend a day exploring Wilmington and Southport.
  5. Shipping deadlines are upon us – check out all my gift guides, quick!