happy fourth!

In honor of the long weekend, I’m sharing Week/End links a day early, along with links to some great sales happening right now. What’s everyone up to this weekend? I’m flying solo, with Joe off visiting his family in Ohio. I’ve got an alone time mega-weekend planned, filled with a little shopping, cooking, movie watching, rosé drinking, and (just added to my list today) maybe even a little gardening. Our patio has been in dire need of some greenery, and this might be the weekend I tackle it. Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a fabulous summer weekend. Cheers, and enjoy!


WE’RE NUMBER 2!: Have you ever used Lyft instead of Uber? I really enjoyed reading this article about the competition between the two, how they’re differentiating, and what the future may hold for each.

IF YOU’RE GOING THROUGH GAME OF THRONES WITHDRAWAL…: I mean, am I alone on this one? Sunday nights just aren’t the same! Joe found this fun quiz a couple weeks ago, and sent it over to me. It was fun to take if you’re into the series (and currently missing it).

21 IN 35: Tiffany shared these wise life lessons she’s learned at the age of 35, which are spot on.

KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY: I loved this “as told to” interview Vera Wang gave about her career and how she became a designer. Really inspiring!

SINGLE? THERE’S ALWAYS T.G.I.FRIDAYS: At least, that’s how it was back in the late 60s in New York City! Did you know T.G.I.Fridays started as a co-ed bar, specifically to get single gals to come to a watering hole? This article about the original Fridays was super interesting! Had you ever heard the term ‘fern bar’ before?

TINY TATTOOS: Do you have a tattoo, or would you ever get one? Like Lexi, I don’t even have my ears pierced, so a tattoo hasn’t ever been on my radar. But (also like her), I love this series of photographs of tiny tattoos she found. They’re pretty dainty!

A WEDDING GETAWAY…: If you’re the type of person who likes to creep other people’s wedding pics (I admit, I sometimes still do!), you might enjoy this beautiful Caribbean wedding Vogue featured earlier this week. Combined with a serious case of beach wanderlust I have right now, it was a perfect five minute getaway.

…AND THEN, BACK TO REALITY: I have been known to poll married girlfriends about two things: whether they changed their last name when they got married, and how they handle finances with their husbands. I just think it’s interesting to see how differently couples approach these things! The Times published an article this week about how keeping maiden names is on the rise again, and based on my (super informal, not at all scientific) research, I can’t say I’m surprised.

IN OTHER COUPLES ADVICE NEWS: I loved this post Mackenzie put together with women offering their advice, experiences, and insights about choosing to move in with their significant others. 

DO STUFF. FAIL WELL. LEARN MORE. REPEAT: In this week’s inspiring posts to apply to your own life, one designer shares a fool-proof method (if you ask me!) on how to grow, learn, and get better at most any skill you’re trying to learn or goal you set for yourself.


Holiday sales

Nordstrom: Lots of summer styles are being put on sale, probably in preparation for the Anniversary Sale, which starts July 17. Anyway, of particular note is that the sandals I bought for Paris last year are on sale, which I’ve found is rare. Snap ’em up if you have a trip coming up — honestly, they’re so comfortable! My review for them is here.

Rebecca Atwood: Select styles have been marked down, and all pillows are an additional 20% off with code HappyIndependenceDay.

High Street Market: It’s no secret, this is pretty much my favorite vintage/found home accessories shop. Until the end of today, you can take 20% off your purchase of $100+.

Banana Republic: Take an extra 50% off all sale styles (wow). I like this easy, casual pocket tank and this adorable textured white dress (with the sale, it’s only $45!).

Madewell: Take an extra 20% off all sale styles! My picks: these rose gold lace up sandals and this summery version of the classic transport tote.

J.Crew: Take an extra 40% off final sale styles (a great deal if you do know what size you are in specific items, like tees or sweaters).

Hudson+Bleecker: Take 30% off everything with code FIREWORKS! I had to share this sale, as I have been working with H+B for the last couple of months on a re-design of their site, which will launch in the early fall. I own a shoe bag from them (which I sometimes use as a packing cube) and trust me when I say, their travel accessories are amazing. Also recommended: these cosmetic cases!

M. Gemi: Okay, no sales here, but did you see these cute ‘knot’ sandals they released this past Monday? The obsession continues.


Happy weekend, everyone!


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Image: by Kelley Bozarth, via Unsplash, with graphics added by Victoria McGinley

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion

Wallpaper for Renters

Oh yes you can.

chasing paper - peonies pattern - removable wallpaper

chasing paper - removable wallpaper - stripes

chasing paper - removable wallpaper - speckle pattern

chasing paper - removable wallpaper - dot and line pattern

Have you ever wallpapered anything in your home? If you’re like most people I know, the answer is probably a resounding never. It’s not that we’re unadventurous, right? But if you’re a fellow renter, you know what I mean when I say that wallpaper is typically not an option on the design table. Slash, wallpapers I’ve fallen in love with over the years always end up being the ones that are a liiiiiitle pricey (I’m looking at you, Schumacher. #lust).

However, a few months ago I discovered Chasing Paper. Have you heard of this company yet? It’s been around for a few years, and I’m glad it’s on my radar now. Launched by Elizabeth Rees in 2012 (whose family has been in the printing business for three generations), Chasing Paper features so many beautiful wallpapers, from more subtle patterns to classics, to really fun, whimsical ones like this. Each pattern comes in a 2′ x 4′ piece, and can be applied pretty much anywhere. I love some of their styling ideas, like on trays, drawers, backsplashes, even on a fridge! The back of the papers have a low-tack adhesive on them, so they can peel right off the wall with no damage to the surface underneath. Cool, no?

Even if you’re not a renter, I like the flexibility a removable wallpaper provides. I think it makes you more willing to try something bold, even if it’s just in a small area and only for a little while. If you get sick of it, take it down — no biggie. I have also thought about how convenient this would be down the line if/when we have a nursery for a little one. If you wanted to wallpaper an accent wall, it’s nice to know you could get a nursery appropriate option that you can remove after a year or two (maybe even replace it with a really fun pattern like this!).

Anyway, I’ve been sitting on this source for a while, and have been meaning to share it with everyone! I think it’s an awesome resource if you’re looking to try something new at home in the decor department, but without the risk. And now the bigger question: which pattern would you choose, and where would you put it in your home? I’m a big fan of the Speckle pattern, the new Peonies pattern in gold, the Dot+Line, and even this Rosette feels like a risk I could take.


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Images via Chasing Paper

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Real Life: On Alone Time

essay on alone time

Twice in the last two weeks, there’ve been rogue mosquitos that have made their way into our bedroom through an open window during the night. They’ve been aggressive little things, usually waking me after my shoulders, chest, and arms have been roundly bitten, and they’ve completed a few requisite dive bombs at the face (if the itching doesn’t wake me, it’s the buzzing right in my ear). Mosquitos in cool-weather San Francisco: whoda thunk?

But I bring it up because this very morning, on the heels of another attack — and two lights-on attempts to kill the f*!$er were unsuccessful — I got up from bed and wandered into my office. It was just after 4 in the morning. Not being able to sleep, I had no real agenda, but thought I might write, or put a post together. Nothing really came.

So I sat some more, and after a while, it struck me how peaceful it was. My little desk lamp, the only one glowing from the many apartment windows I could see. How quiet it was outside. It was nice to sit with no distractions, no real urgency, no where to be, nothing to do. Just me and my thoughts, casually bouncing from one to the next. Alone.

This past weekend, Joe spent most all of Saturday out and about playing golf and hanging with his buddies. It had been a while since he’d been out for the entire day doing his own thing, and on the flip side, a while since I’d had the house to myself during non-work hours, with no other plans on the books. I watched three movies, made myself something delicious for lunch, and didn’t even change out of my pajamas until dinner time. It was amazing. Don’t you love days like that?

All this to illustrate, I think I often forget how valuable and necessary alone time is. Even if solitude is spent doing something mindless — like watching three movies you’ve already seen a bagillion times, just because they make you feel good — it’s still such a gift. Somewhere between all the work commitments, relationship commitments, and friend commitments, it’s pretty easy to leave out the you commitment. That part where you take time to do nothing and/or something that makes you feel great, just because you need it and you want to. Do you forget to do this too? It’s one of those things that’s often on the back burner in my mind (like, “Oh, I really want to just take a bath and read a book and do nothing”), but rarely gets moved to the front burner.

What’s your favorite way to unwind when you have true alone time? I have two, and well, one is the version that actually happens and the other is the one that I always say I want to do and it never seems to happen. The first was basically this last Saturday. I have a not-so-secret love of watching the same movies over and over again, but can really only indulge in this on my own (Joe draws the line after annual holiday movie watchings). I also use the time to make carb-heavy delights that result in leftovers. Pasta. Casseroles. It’s amazing, y’all.

The second is the daydream in which I eat lunch by myself in some cute little restaurant I’ve never been to, then spend the afternoon browsing boutiques and shops that I’ve walked by but never actually gone into. You know that daydream. It’s a good one, isn’t it?

You will notice that the Alone Time principle is a close relative to the Secret Single Behavior. But they’re not quite the same. Because with Alone Time, I think to do it regularly you kinda have to plan for it and give into the self-indulgence, if that makes any sense. It’s something that should be intentionally carbed carved out (I really did accidentally type that) of your schedule for your own sanity and well-being.

Joe is taking a last minute trip to see family this coming weekend. We didn’t have any major plans for the Fourth anyway, but when he told me about the trip, I was sad about not spending the long weekend together for about a minute, then realized it was a great opportunity to indulge in some much needed alone time. Work’s been busy and since coming back to SF, we’ve kept a full social calendar as we “make up for lost time” with friends we’d missed. So yes, alone time: I see you on the horizon, and I’m coming for ya. I’m already scheming about the casserole I’m going to make. And I just might actually do that solo lunch and shopping excursion, finally. Now I have you guys to help keep me accountable.

Do you get in enough time for yourself to just do nothing, or things that revitalize you? And I’m not talking about your regular/habitual tasks that you happen to be alone for (like going for a run/working out, or running errands or something). How do you know when you need one of those days off from everyone and everything, and what do you then like to do?

Further reading: should-less days.

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Image: via my Instagram