I’ve been in a self-improvement mood lately. I think it spawned from getting the apartment settled (finally) and feeling like I’m more grounded. I’ve been working out a lot, which is so great for my mental health. If I get frustrated, I hit the gym… perhaps a little too hard. I pulled a muscle in my back, so I’ve been taking the workouts a little bit easier. I’ve also been surrounding myself with more and more of what I love, including these ferns. It’s so amazing what greenery can add to your home. I’ve definitely learned that lesson lately.
My dear friend Chloe Grigri opened her restaurant last week, The Good King Tavern, and I was lucky enough to sample a variety of dishes and drinks. Think of it as a casual French spot where you can get some seriously amazing dishes. Some must tries: the mushroom coquettes (the pickled mushrooms were the star of this dish), morteau sausage (they make their own in-house sausage), and the duck confit. I have to say, the duck really hit it out of the park for me. It was perfectly tender, but with that incredibly crispy skin that you just love about duck. Lastly, let’s just talk about the cocktails… so many good options. I highly recommend the Aviation.
Meet my new favorite shoes! These Elizabeth & James beauties have all the details I love: chunky stacked heel, exaggerated laces, and a raw, exposed zipper. Plus, the color goes with everything.
In my mind, Terrain is the ultimate place to shop for the holidays. If you’re lucky to live close to either the Glen Mills or Westport shops, the store is pure magic at Christmas time. Every nook and cranny is brimming with fragrant and lush greenery and mountains of perfect gifts. It is truly a sight to behold. To make your holiday shopping a tad bit easier, today I’ve curated a few gift ideas for the special people in your life!
First up, let’s talk about what to get mom. Mine is really into gardening, making Terrain the perfect place to shop for her. This monogram hook is a great way for her to stay organized and inspired. I love the idea of spelling something out on the wall of her shed. Then, to keep her green thumb happy during the colder months, a terrarium kit is in order!
I make it a habit to always bring a hostess gift when I enter someone’s home. A scented candle makes a great gift, especially when it’s housed in a rugged, bark-covered vessel. I love that this one is made of hand-poured natural soy wax. Want to really say thanks? Pair the candle with this silver slate cheese board — your hostess with the mostest will be so thrilled!
What about the man in your life? This handsome copper mug is the perfect oversized vessel for some spiked beverages this winter. Pair it with these delicious mulling spices for a scrumptious gift… maybe he’ll want to cozy up and share!
Plus, I am really excited to share with you an amazing giveaway from Terrain, The Gifts & Greens giveaway! Head over to Facebook to enter to win a gift of your choice and $500 gift card. Also, check out their Gifts & Greens pinboard for even more gift giving inspiration!
Fall is in FULL EFFECT here in Philly, let me tell you. I’ve been keeping so busy lately — from going to my first ever estate sale to nesting even more into my cozy, tiny apartment to digging into a mountain of new (and old) books. This time of year really feels like a good time to hunker down and surround myself with restful, relaxing things.
How gorgeous is this farm house? It was down the road from an estate sale I shopped yesterday in New Hope, PA. Have you ever ever been to an estate sale? Because I love thrifting so much, this was an all new experience… one that was incredible. So many treasures!
If you haven’t read Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny, Beautiful Things, drop everything and immediately get it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it, but no matter where I am in my life, I always find something meaningful and new in this book. I’m serious — you must read it!
I’ve been journaling a ton lately. Last week was pretty tough for me because I had to make some important and scary business decisions, but through my writing I learned a lot about what else I could be doing to make this blog even better. It’s such a learning experience!
Recently, Clementine Daily took a peek into my tiny apartment, all 350 square feet of it! Things are still under a bit of ‘renovation’ here, but I wanted to share my philosophy of living with less. I tend to move every couple of years; there’s just always a new adventure calling. For that reason, I really only keep what is most important to me (and what can fit in my hatchback). With my most recent move into this historical studio apartment in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, I was craving a home. I really needed a space where I could relax and feel like myself.
My space space is pretty tiny, so a large sofa was out of the cards. Instead, I opted for this neutral loveseat and mixed bold textiles with quirky artwork. It’s the perfect backdrop for this handmade coffee table I built in college. Art by Ben Barry, frames from IKEA, loveseat c/o Hayneedle, pillows from Anthropologie, throw from Blissliving Home.
Always on the move, I keep a vintage atlas open to scout out my next adventure. Vintage atlas, vintage small plate, eye pot c/o Baba Souk, mini bowl from Suite One Studio.
No matter where I go, my books come with me. An avid reader, I set up this reading nook which gets the most perfect afternoon light. Array bookcase from CB2, sheepskin rug from IKEA, rug and pillow from Anthropologie, Eames chair from DWR.
This vintage gold plant stand is the quintessential plant oasis. It holds garden pots I designed for Anthropologie (plus a few from IKEA). Plants are just the thing to turn an apartment into a home, don’t you think?
I absolutely love to entertain, so I knew it was of utmost important to set up a bar area on my bookcase. I also use this super-functional piece to house my art supplies and I tuck away athletic clothing and underpinnings in these fabric bins! Shh… don’t tell… 6-cube bookcase c/o Hayneedle, Navy Dashes Canvas Storage Bins c/o Artsy Modern, woven basket from West Elm, and lots of vintage.
Always the designer, I’m often inspired by my surroundings and always make an effort to display my favorite objects – a mix of vintage and found, store-bought and new.
I also set up this ‘entryway’ area so I have a corral my hats and handbag when I get home. Coat rack from Urban Outfitters, mirror from Craigslist.
The apartment is still very much under construction, so I’ll be updating as I add more touches like a gallery wall and some dramatic lighting. Stay tuned! Also, head over to Clementine Daily to see even more photos of my space!
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Here’s a little story about a rooster and a pig… or namely my newest tattoos. I consider tattoos to be incredibly personal: When I decide to get one, I don’t tell anyone what I’m getting until they are finished because I don’t want other’s opinions to affect my decision. I go alone because this is a gift to me, this is my thing. Also, I want to feel brave and bad ass; it’s such an ego-boost. And I get my tattoos at very pivotal turning points in my life. This past year has been incredibly monumental for me in all of the storms I weathered. From an excruciating break up to re-evaluating what makes me creatively happy, I have actually reexamined pretty much every facet of my life in one way or another over the past 2 years. Recently it’s come to calm(er) point. I feel more secure in who I am and what I’m doing than I have in years. The point is that I survived. I needed a marker, almost like a badge of honor for this achievement. Hence, the rooster and the pig.
I’ve always been a huge fan of traditional sailor tattoos, so I knew the style I wanted. Did you know that many sailors had badges of honor, such as an anchor means hope or a swallow means a sailor had sailed 5000 miles. I found this absolutely fascinating and dug deeper, eventually finding the rooster and the pig, which symbolize them often being the only survivors of shipwrecks. Because these are signs of survival, these animals are often tattooed on the tops of feet. I knew what I had to do.
I went to Mike Ski of True Hand Society here in Philadelphia. The experience was absolutely AMAZING. First, Mike is a genius and totally understood exactly what I wanted. The day of my appointment was when I saw the designs for the first time and I absolutely fell in love. I actually didn’t find the tattooing process to be that painful (Mike is now the second artist to tell me I have a high pain tolerance), but the healing has been a bit interesting. It’s a little cold in October to wear sandals! Either way, I am beyond thrilled with this entire experience and cannot stop staring at my gorgeous new tattoos.
When it comes to keeping plants alive, I’m right on the cusp. I kill about 25% of what I bring into my home. I’ve been focusing more and more on filling my new apartment with plants though, so I’m hoping to improve those odds! Can you believe that I don’t have a single succulent though? I’ve heard they are pretty easy. Same with air plants. Plus, how perfect would a grouping of air plants be in this geometric terrarium from ABJ Glassworks? The details are so fab: silver or copper finish metal and stained glass panels. I love how the panels of glass come together to form complex geometrics and mini worlds within. I can picture a grouping of these hand-made beauties atop my new bookshelf.
Made right here in Philly, artist Ashley Bram-Johnson seeks to “create whimsical and modern pieces for the home using traditional stained glass techniques, and inspired by the nuances of light throughout the day and the changing of the seasons.” What excites me the most are all the various forms she uses to convey this message. Simpler shapes like what you see above are perfect for a singular, contained plant, but a wall hanging like below would be awesome with a droopy vine.
Fall food is my absolute favorite — butternut squash, pumpkin, apples… I can’t get enough. Right now it’s honeycrisp season, so you better believe I headed out to Solebury Orchards to pick some last weekend. This orchard is about 30-45 minutes outside of Philly and totally worth the drive. If you are local, be sure to swing by the antique shops in New Hope. I got a letterpress drawer for my new apartment, something that has been on my wish list forever.
And don’t forget… apple donuts are the BEST part of a visit to the orchard. I mayyy have purchased 6 of them all for myself!
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