Get To Work!

Control

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I know, I know. I’m a slave to capitalism. It’s unreasonable to spend $55 on a planner.

But I did it, and I’m not sorry. Because the Get to Work Book is my favorite planner, ever.

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I recently discovered that I’m a strong candidate for ADHD…which was not shocking for anyone who knows me. I wish someone had mentioned it to me before I was nearly thirty, but that’s neither here nor there. (LOL you thought this post wasn’t going to get crazy personal?) For someone with my, let’s say, executive functioning difficulties, organizing the mind is a top priority. I decided to start micro-managing my own brain by scheduling absolutely everything—work, class, gym, outings with friends—all of it goes in the calendar.

The Get To Work Book is an amazing resource. You can organize monthly, weekly, daily, and annual tasks, take ample notes, and set goals and priorities. There’s a power in seeing it all in writing. The page layout is even available online for those of us who might be a bit gunshy about the purchase.

I got a set of the Today Bookmark, the Book Band, and the 2018 Get To Work Book in black. I spent the big bucks on the full thing, but there are tons of other more economical options on the site, including the Project Breakdown Notepad and the Mini Grid Notepad.

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Moving forward, I’ll probably get the Perpetual Calendar Notepad annually, and I need these Rainbow To-Do List Stickies, for sure. What I love most about these products is that my purchases support a woman-owned small business!

Get To Work Books are available in some brick and mortar stores, but online is the easiest way to go.

Other Ways to Stay Focused

Oui Fresh Productivity Notepad Set— Another small business to support! The ladies of Oui Fresh just launched a small line of office products, including their Meal Planner Notepad. Being surrounded by beautiful things—from flowers to fonts—boosts my mood and helps me keep my cool. An organized physical space is as important as an organized brain space. The beautiful colors, graphics, and typography on Oui Fresh products makes work time feel like play time.

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did you think i was kidding?

Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, or iCal — Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s called iCal anymore. I’m 100. I never used these incredible tools before last October, and let me tell you, they’ve changed my life. I’ve got them all synced—I get notifications on my phone and FitBit every time I have an engagement. Sometimes it’s annoying, like when it buzzes to tell me to go to work as I’m arriving to work, but the security of knowing I’ll never forget an appointment is well worth it. This would have sounded horrifying to me when I was younger, but now, I can’t live without it.

Cute Pens — It sounds dumb, but creating pleasant visuals is a great way to trick your brain! Color-coding your planner with pens (my favorites are purple Pentels and multi-colored PaperMates), is a great way to keep tasks organized, especially for those of us still in school.

Lifesum, FitBit, or the tracker of your choice — Another completely obsessive-compulsive thing that I do is track my exercise and food intake. But mostly food, let’s be honest with ourselves. What I love best about this is that it reminds me to drink water! I drink more water than the average bear, but it’s still not enough. Also, most days, the apps can shame me into eating yogurt instead of an egg-and-cheese bagel, so it’s great for self-flagellation. Keeping track keeps me accountable! Also, tracking your meals creates a routine, which is so important for people, comme moi, that struggle with, well, accomplishing things. Le FitBit monitors my sleep, which, as you can see from the above photo, I’m definitely not getting enough of! Also, now y’all know my goal weight, so.

Whiteboards — I legit have 3 separate whiteboards on my refrigerator. One for daily tasks, one for shopping/groceries, and one for weekly tasks. This serves the dual purpose of keeping me accountable for my duties and chores and letting my husband know where the hell I am all day. I got all of mine in the Target dollar bins—bless whatever they call that bargain section at the front—but this one, this one, and this one are perfect!

A Pill Case — I’m not even kidding. I’ve never been so regular on my meds. I bought this pill case, and I religiously fill it weekly (of course it’s pink, so I actually pay attention to it). I keep it right on my kitchen counter, where I typically make my coffee, so I never forget to take my antidepressants vitamins! This one is so DANG cute. Another great resource for this is care/of, a monthly vitamin delivery service I just started using.

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This may seem horrifically excessive for “normals,” but taking these measures has improved my life significantly. Do you have trouble getting shit done? What measures have you taken?

In the immortal words of our Lord and savior, Beyoncé, “Always stay gracious / Best revenge is your paper.”

xoxo,

c

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Home Reno 911: Moodboards

I live in a warzone.

Let me back up.

I live in a construction zone—it just sounds like combat when the compressors are whirring. What are they “compressing” anyway?

Starting last summer, we’ve been getting an addition put onto our house courtesy of our Supreme Leaders, aka my in-laws. This is my first experience working with contractors, plumbers, and electricians, and let me tell you, it’s not fun! My father-in-law is doing a ton of the work himself, but as he is only a human man, needs occasional help.

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porch demolition, courtesy of joe & jp

The dig is that we lost our side porch (which was the main entrance we used to get into our house) and a few windows, but we’re gaining a bathroom, a large mudroom, a few extra feet of space in our living room, a pantry, and a built-in bookshelf. So, no complaints here! I’m so excited for all the changes to come!

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new house who dis

Where that giant rock pit is now, basically, is a brand-new house! The entire thing has been re-sided in a cream-colored vinyl (*insert apathy emoji*), but I have to admit it looks pretty snazzy. Pics to follow once Massachusetts is no longer covered in a thin layer of melted snow and filth.

I basically live on Pinterest now, planning our new digs. I get to build a bathroom, a mudroom, and a pantry from scratch! Below are some of the purchases I’ve already made, and a bunch of inspiration for my decorating moving forward!

Bathroom

These are a few of the items I’ve already purchased for our new bathroom. I’m going for an all black-and-white look, with occasional brass accents. The first picture is a Paris cafe print that I’m obsessed with—hopefully by the time the bathroom’s up and running, I’ll have actually been to Paris. I included two pictures of our vanity because a. it’s cute, and b. the other picture had a cactus in it, and that is the most me thing to ever happen. I love the matte black faucets we bought…I wanted to stay away from the traditional chrome (although our shower door handles will be chrome unless I can spray them to match).

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Bathroom Inspiration

I want the bathroom to be a super clean, modern space. I love the hexagonal tile above, but I’m also considering black and white penny tile. I am obsessed with the idea of a sliding barn door, since the bathroom is fairly small and the door would eliminate some wall space.

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Mudroom

I haven’t bought much for the mudroom yet, since we’ll have to make a few big storage purchases and the room isn’t even close to finished, but I did buy these prints, which are only mildly inaccurate, to be placed opposite the entrance, sharing a charcoal gray wall with the bathroom door. And the rainbow mat? C’mon. The cutest.

Mudroom Inspiration

I LOVE the idea of locker storage in the mudroom to help keep clutter off the floor. I want the entryway to be a bright, cheery space that welcomes us home every day. I plan to keep the area neutral and soothing. And I know I already have a mat, but that hedgehog one might be too cute to pass up!

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Pantry

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gwyneth freaking paltrow’s pantry

The pantry in question is still our current bathroom, and need to be gutted before it can be used. It probably won’t be functional for at least 6 months, but a girl can dream, right? My favorite chicas over at The Home Edit post THE best pantry inspiration. Now, if only I could afford to hire them to style my entire life…

Pantry Wishlist

I am already pretty psychotically organized, but anything to make my life MORE organized is welcome! I’m salivating over The Container Store‘s gear: I might actually invest in that gorgeous $350 pantry kit…it’s stunning. And finally having adequate storage for my beautiful kitchen appliances is a dream come true.

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Thanks for letting me dream and scheme! Follow along with my journey using the hashtag #homereno911 on Instagram!

xoxo,

c

Wishlist Wednesday

Alright, it’s Thursday. Get off my back! As that garbage Christina Perry song goes, “I’m Only Human”!

Now that I’m (officially) on track to be a broke grad student, I can’t shop with the reckless abandon that I have been lately. I’ve long been a practitioner of retail therapy, but it might be time to hang up my hat. I don’t think I’ll ever truly free myself from the shackles of capitalism, but it can’t hurt to window-shop…right?

With that in mind, here’s some of my current wishlist!

RINGLY

I heard about RINGLY a few years back, but stumbled upon the company again while I was whiling away the hours on Amazon recently (a dangerous pastime, I know).

Side note: I am NOT responsible enough to have discounted Student Amazon Prime. Last night I bought 11 nose rings, a magnet, and a retro kitchen timer. O brave new world, with such gadgets in it!

But anyway, despite the fact that I cannot justify spending $165 on a ring that does not a. contain diamonds or b. alert the world to my marital status, I still want one so badly! They’re so pretty, and I’m dying to find an excuse to disconnect from my phone for a while. First Date, Daydream, or Dive Bar would all be perfect complements to any outfit. The bracelets, which I believe are a newer addition, are just as adorable, and way more fashion-forward than the FitBit I’ve been rocking. And I do have a birthday coming up in August…

All of the Lights, All of the Lights!

I’ve recently been tasked with a joyous assignment—picking out a new light fixture for my husband’s office! After years of waiting for this to be “his idea” he finally asked me to upgrade his situation, and I am only too happy to comply. As you may or may not know, I have a mild obsession with light fixtures, but have never had the budget to swap out all the ceiling lights in my house (saving that for home ownership, bby!)

To get an idea of my true style, check these babies from Anthropologie: Brass-Capped Spinning Pendant, Villier Chandelier, Anchored Ord Chandelier. As indulgent as my husband often is in my flights of fancy, there is no way in Hell that he’ll let me spend a grand of his $$$ on a light, so here are some far more reasonable options I’m going to throw at him.

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Bell White Flush Mount Lamp, CB2
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Alchemist Pendant in Gold, Anthropologie
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Mid Century Sputnik in Modern Brass, Lucent Lightshop

S’cute!

Madewell Denim

I’ve only ever snagged Madewell denim on sale, but in my aspirational life where I have upwards of $120 to spend on a single pair of jeans, I will live in it. The few pieces I own are the most beautiful, buttery-soft, perfect jeans known to man. Fun fact: I actually like my Madewells over my Citizens of Humanity, so, do with that information what you will.

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this triptych of denim perfection is literally what I imagine Paris looks like

Gimme all the pairs! The fit of Madewell pants is actual perfection. The same can’t be said about sister brand, J.Crew, unfortunately, or at least not for me and my disproportionately massive butt. I don’t know if it’s vanity sizing or what, but stepping into a pair of Madewells is like the Sisterhood of the damn Traveling Pants. Booty for days.

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I’m also super-feeling the wide-leg trend. I guess all these years of reading Man Repeller has finally gotten to me. I resisted wide-legs for years because I assumed they’d make me look, well, wider. I was wrong, bbs! I have this amazing velvet pair of cropped flares and pair similar to this gorgeous J.Crew pair and they are serving me LIFE on a silver platter.

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These are just a few selections from the abandoned shopping carts that I have littered the internet with lately. What have you been salivating over lately?

—DellaBites

 

I Discovered A Thing!

We live in a terrifying age. Targeted ads online are getting way too omniscient and precise. I don’t know that I’ve ever Googled Mrs. Meyers or Method (my preferred cleaning product brands), but I guess my general online vibe is bougie-hippie, because today, on Facebook of all places, they got me!

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inspiring af product photography

I use Facebook for three things—to promote my side hustle gigs, to post my wedding pictures, and to use the “On This Day” feature to scrub my social media accounts of old posts (advanced Twitter search is also great for this). Not that anything I posted as a teen is particularly embarrassing, but I don’t need “proof” that I was really into Kate Nash in 2010. So many status updates of no-context song lyrics—it was a simpler time.

But today, as I was giving the ol’ Timeline a cursory scroll, I saw a promoted blog post offering a free Mrs. Meyers kit. I’m not one to usually fall for this stuff, but I had to at least check out if it were legit, right? I visited the (actually super cute) blog, and read the sponsored post. It was advertising a website called Grove Collaborative, a Blue Apron-esque monthly delivery service for green cleaning and beauty products. At the present moment, they’re offering a 60-day free trial of their VIP service, which includes free shipping and a bunch of free goodies with the purchase of $20 worth of products. I think the VIP service is typically $40/year—I might give it a go when mine renews in July.

Today I placed my first order and got $50 worth of products for only $20! Free Mrs. Meyers lotion, hand soap, and dish soap, and they tossed in free sponges and a glass spray bottle! I’m excited to try out the wood & steel cleaners—I’m the queen of using all-purpose sprays on everything, but I think it’s time to grow up and take better care of my things!

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Grove Collaborative comes to my life at the perfect time—I’ve been in the process of switching to all-natural products in every aspect of my house and home, from whole foods to makeup, so having a delivery service bringing me organic cotton tampons and essential oils, for example, is a great way to keep me from Target impulse buys! Because, as we all know, Target is a death trap for the wallet. I go in for toothpaste and leave with a new bedroom set. It’s insane! The items on Grove Collaborative’s site are all also a tad lower in price than they are at Target or your local grocery store, which is another great way to save money. As far as I can tell, you only need a minimum of $10 worth of products per monthly shipment, so only order what you need, when you need it.

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these are a few of my faaaavorite brands—shop mrs. meyers, method, and seventh generation!

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Oh, and before I forget to mention it, if you provide a phone number, Grove Co. sends you a text to remind you of your next shipments! This is a huge boon to me, since I can be spacey about subscriptions (for instance, we’ve only gotten Blue Apron boxes by accident because I forgot to cancel…oops). Oh brave new world, with such services in it!

Click here for my referral link to get $10 off your first order!

*note that I am not in any way affiliated with Grove Collaborative, but would obviously love to be!

**all photos via Grove Collaborative and linked in the text of the post

Faves Friday

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve had the past 2 days off, so today feels more like a Sunday, but for most everyone it’s the start of the weekend. I thought I’d share some of the items that are lingering in my dream shopping carts across the interwebs…

White Bags

I absolutely love the look of white leather. It’s just…so…impractical! I treat my leather very nicely what with the whole being-a-vegetarian thing, so I’ve been able to resist the temptation to get a bag that could so easily be destroyed.

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Rebecca Minkoff Moto Drawstring Crossbody
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Rebecca Minkoff Unlined Feed Bag

But look at all the pretty! I love Rebecca Minkoff—the bags are well made, adorably chic, and always available at a decent price point during a sale. Someone come to my house and stop me before I pull out the credit card.

Girly Dresses

Nothing like the end of summer to make you fantasize about…next summer. I spent most of my days off this summer doing home improvement projects in a tank and shorts sweating my butt off, so next summer, when I hopefully have a beautiful apartment worthy of Pinterest, I plan on lounging dramatically in floral dresses like a proper married lady. Or something.

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ASOS Cold Shoulder Ruffle Maxi Dress
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ASOS Coast Dress with Full Skirt
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ASOS Contemporary Floral Print High Neck Midi Dress

ASOS is (obviously) one of my favorite online shops. They are killing it in the adorable dress category right now! Wallet beware.

Chandeliers

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Vertex Chandelier by Lucent Lightshop

Cue the Sia song! I am obsessed with chandeliers. I’m on a quest to replace absolutely everything in my house with gold and brass, and Schoolhouse Electric and Lucent Lightshop are the stuff of dreams.

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Vega 5 Chandelier by Schoolhouse Electric
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Plaza Chandelier by Schoolhouse Electric
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Sputnik Chandelier No. 4 by Lucent Lightshop
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Brass City 7 Chandelier by Schoolhouse Electric

I think I need to build an addition to my house just to have enough rooms to install all of these chandeliers! They’re to die for.

What dream items have you been completely obsessed with lately?

—DellaBites

Progress Re-porch: Outdoor Spaces

As I mentioned in a recent post, our outdoor spaces are getting a facelift in preparation for spring & summer! My personal design aesthetic is more modern and neutral, but I wanted to brighten up this previously boring space by injecting it with color! Every time I walk towards my house I basically want it to radiate sunshine, even on a cloudy day, as the song goes. We had some super ugly & dirty plastic patio furniture, but to save money I decided to give it a makeover instead of ditching it for nicer new furniture. #reducereuserecycle!

Spray paint has been proclaimed by the Internet as the number one best hack to give old junk new life, so I obliged and bought some Rust-Oleum. I don’t have much experience with spray paint, but so far I’ve had the best results with Rust-Oleum. Plus, they come in every color and finish under the sun, so you can really flex your creative muscles! The best part about this is that I can retouch my work season-to-season to keep it looking so fresh and so clean for a long time! (Author’s note: Buy the comfort spray grip accessory. Trust me. Best $7 I ever spent.)

(Author’s note: Buy the comfort spray grip accessory. Trust me. Best $7 I ever spent.)

I bought a can of ocean mist and candy pink and  went to town!

Summer DIY gear, of course.

I laid out my gear on our lawn (and promptly got scolded by my fiancé for “ruining” the grass with the paint). Grass gets mowed and grows back, dude. Luckily the weather last week was stunning, so everything dried to perfection in record time.

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The almost-finished product, sleek AF! Barely any drips, which is amazing because I am the least patient person on planet earth!

In addition to the newly sprayed patio set, I added an Adirondack chair & cushion in similar colors, and a giant hanging fern! I feel like I’ve only just begun, and that there’s still so much work to be done, but so far it’s been great to have a chill spot to drink coffee and write (weather-permitting).

Pre-paradise. Now to fix the paint and wood stain!

Being relatively new to DIYs that involve more strenuous effort than cooking or knitting, I made some mistakes along the way. First big word of caution: read the instructions and shake the damn spray paint for the full minute. That massive splotch of dark pink on the table? Not a trick of the light. It was me sucking at following directions. Secondly, exercise patience! You can do it, I promise. The more slowly and carefully you spray, the more amazing and perfect your items will look. No drips or splotches.

Any tips on transforming your outdoor spaces?

—DellaBites

Follow the hashtag #DBoutdoorspaces on Instagram to see our progress!

*all makeover materials purchased at my local Home Depot for under $100

*all photos taken with an iPhone 6 and edited with A Color Story

Wallet Woes: Home Décor Edition

Like any American 20-something with a pulse, I love Target in a big, big way. I don’t buy my clothes, accessories, and food there, but basically everything else I need to live comes from Target. I have one on the way home from work AND 5 minutes down the road from my house, so I’m pretty much doomed. I’m boxed in!

 

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This cutie is now making my bathroom.

 

As a young (read: broke) person living on her own, I have to weigh a lot of options before I make big décor purchases. Décor necessarily falls into the “wants” not “needs” category, so decorating my home has taken me over 2 years and it’s still not nearly where I want it to be. Target has been an invaluable resource for buying things that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive, like lighting fixtures and rugs. There’s always some sort of deal going on!

 

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This bath mat. I mean, bitches love geometric patterns, amirite?

 

Piece by piece, our little home is coming together. Nate Berkus for Target has really helped with that. Affordable pieces with a high-end feel are my jam right now.

I chose to redo the bathroom, as it’s been the most neglected room in the house. Seriously…even with cleaning. It’s messed up. I decided it was time to pretty-fy. It is amazing how much making a space pretty will affect my desire to clean.

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I committed to this hue because, hello, pink towels. My bathroom is all black & white (and gold, thanks soap dispenser!), so I thought that a dark blush color story would be the perfect pop!

The bedroom also got a bit of a makeover. I bought this amazing rug in its 6′ round style and damn, is it plushy and perf. Della obviously approves.

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My office is still the ultimate work-in-progress, but little details like this letter sorter and my kick-ass lamp from Urban Outfitters really make it feel like an actual room worthy of an actual adult.

 

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I mean, does this letter sorter not give you LIFE?

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Also, who doesn’t need a banner of copper triangles above their office? I mean, come on.

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Piece by piece, the house is coming together. On Friday, my grandmother surprised me with my bridal shower and wedding presents: a new refrigerator and a new living room set! This week will bring a lot of changes, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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My new sectional is modern AF. It’s a leather-alternative with tons of storage and adjustable headrests. We got the matching storage ottoman as well. So excited to chuck our cat-hair infested hand-me-down couch!

 

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So. Much. Storage. DUDE. No more coffee table for the Figs!

So, it appears that my house is black, white, and gold with occasional pops of mustard, blush, and turquoise. I can’t say I saw that coming, but it happened organically, so it’s from the heart. Decorating our house has been the most time-consuming, eternal endeavor, but I’m having the best time.

What are your favorite décor shops?

–DellaBites