Happy Friday

Washington DC tulips

Happy Friday and Happy Easter! Are you doing anything fun for the holiday? We are going to go to Mass at the giant Basilica in DC, the Church is so gorgeous and so stately - I’m excited to go and see everyone decked out in their Easter best. After that we are having an early dinner at a D.C. Italian spot called Filomena. They go all out with their decorations and when I peeked in the window I saw Easter decoration overload, which is right up my alley ; ) Plus, I got JD some Easter surprises so I’m sure we’ll have a good time being in a sugar coma when we get home, as is the case every Easter in my family!

Here are some other things I enjoyed online this week -

Kate Spade has one of it’s lovely Margaux bags on sale plus 30% off!

I made these hummus quesadillas and they are so good

The cult favorite Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask comes in a travel size now!

I love Carly gingham skirt so much!

The best coffee in every state

I love the colors in this mini NARS eyeshadow palette

How to paint anything

These Easter recipes look delicious

Where do you fall on the purse raincoat debate?

All of Charlotte TIlbury’s new highlighter line - I can’t wait to get my hands on it and review it for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Why I Love Basic Invite for Graduation Invitations

Basic Invite Graduation Invitations

Today I am so excited to share a card company called Basic Invite. Basic Invite is an online card company that allows you to create custom cards and invitations, including custom photos, fonts and colors! With graduation season right around the corner, it’s the perfect online destination for all of your graduation after party invitations and highschool graduation invitations. I love ordering invitations for major life events, like graduation, but in the past I’ve constantly gotten frustrated at how little I can customize my design. That’s not so worth Basic Invite! Instead, the company’s graduation invitations templates and all of their customization options make it easy and fun to create the perfect graduation card!

Here’s a screen shot of one of the graduation invitation templates - look at all the different color shades available!

Here’s a screen shot of one of the graduation invitation templates - look at all the different color shades available!

Basic Invite

I played around on the site for hours creating my own sample graduation cards and invitations, and had so much fun using all of the customization options Basic Invite offers. It is one of the few websites that allows you  almost unlimited color options - over 180 different colors, plus foil options in gold, silver and rose gold! I loved being able to choose from so many different shades for all the different aspects of my cards. On the sunflower card, for instance, I could choose the exact shade of yellow I wanted for the flowers! In addition, there were numerous fonts, and you can choose the font spacing and size. All of these options show up on your online template in real time, so you see exactly how your card will look.

Once you have your perfect custom design you can order custom samples of your design so that you can see exactly how they look in person. I made the samples pictured above of graduation announcements and high school graduation party invitations, and I am so thrilled with how they turned out! Aren’t they the perfect custom graduation invitations?

Basic Invite Graduation Invitations
Basic invite graduation invitations

Finally, I love that Basic Invite provides address capturing services and 40 different colors of envelopes. The address capturing services allows you to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses. These addresses are then stored in your online account so that any time you order cards you receive free recipient address printing! Such a time saver!

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

In short, I think Basic Invite is the perfect place to create all of the graduation after party invitations and highschool graduation invitations that you’ll need this graduation season! Their lovely graduation invitations templates make it so easy to create the perfect custom card!

Have you used Basic Invite before? Isn’t it the best?!

Thank you to Basic Invite for sponsoring this post!

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Happy Friday

Washington DC tulips

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you don’t mind all of the flower pictures these last few weeks, they just make me so happy and I figure I should spread the joy! This week I realized that while the cherry blossoms are just about finished, there are tulips blooming everywhere; they are in so many vibrant colors, and then every once in a while a different flower variety pops up in the middle, like in the picture above. All of these flowers have gotten me to pause for a second and take in the beauty around me, reminding me to find joy in every day moments. I hope my pictures inspire you too!

Here are some other things bringing me joy this week -

My favorite sneakers are on sale as part of the ShopBop sale! They are the Classic Cotu sneakers by Superga and I highly recommend them!

I really enjoyed this interview with the founder of Vitner’s Daughter

Lisi Lerch is 30% off for Easter! I’m in love with the Ginger Earrings (Cameron Eubanks wears them on Southern Charm all the time)

Martha Stewart’s egg dying tips

The trailer for Amy Poehler’s new movie is out!

Kate at The Small Things Blog has a great primer on retinol

If you are looking to start a Podcast Grace has some great info on The Stripe

Thoughts on why book clubs are popular again

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Happy Friday

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

Happy Friday everyone! What a week! It was so unexpectedly busy, and JD was away on a business trip for a few days, so I’m looking forward to the weekend! We are finishing the birthday celebration with a great Italian dinner at Piccolo (a Georgetown restaurant) and some college basket . Or rather, JD will be watching the final four while I read ; )

Here are some things around the internet that I enjoyed this week -

Some home organization tips from the master

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are officially on Instagram

What jobs the Disney princesses would have now - so clever!

The “Italian Girl” beauty formula

I am so in love with these gingham Jack Rogers

Can’t wait to see what Gal Meets Glam cardigans are going to be like

Too Faced Chocolate bronzer is one of my all time favorites and today it’s 50% off at Ulta!

Rachel Parcell’s entry way is #housegoals

Tuckernuck’s classic Lantern earrings are in turquoise now! so pretty

This self-tanner sounds amazing

Chard and almond pasta for a delicious dinner

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

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March Reading List

sunday coffee reading

Happy April everyone! March went by a lot faster than usual this year, at least for me, and was full with so many good books. I continued with my New Year’s goal of reading more non-fiction, fit in a few rom-com’s, a mystery and some good novels. Here’s my book list and review -

The Banker’s Wife - 3/5 - This is a fast moving mystery, which was outside the box for me since I don’t usually read mysteries. The book was fun and fast paced, a great read for vacation or plane rides. It’s the story of a Swiss Banker’s wife and what happens after her husband dies in a plane crash, along with the story of the Swiss Bank’s shady clients. I can’t share the reason I gave it 3/5 instead of 5 without spoiling it, so let me just say that while parts of it are not the most realistic, it was a great fun read that I recommend!

Commonwealth - 5/5 - This is another book by Ann Patchett, who wrote Bel Canto (which I read earlier this year). I’ve really enjoyed going through her novels. Commonwealth tells the story of two families united and divided by marriage and divorce. Later on in the children’s life an author writes a novel about them which sets off a chain reaction of events that further unite and divide the characters. I think she’s an excellent writer - her characters are all perfectly flawed without feeling like cartoons, and you feel like you feel a deep connection with all of them.

99 Perent Mine - 2/5 - This is another romance novel by Sally Thorne (she wrote The Hating Game, which I thoroughly enjoyed). Unfortunately, this book just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like the main character that much, and found it quite predictable. It’s a fast read, however, so if you are in the mood for a sappy love story or a good beach book I say give it a go since you won’t kill much time if you don’t like it.

I Owe You One - 3/5 - This is another romance novel. I thought it was sweet, and had a great meet cute, but that otherwise it was fine. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t love it. I think part of the problem was that I just wasn’t super in the mood for a com rom, but since my library hold was going to expire I read it anyway. Again, if you are in the mood for a rom com or a good beach read it’s cute and quick to finish.

Educated: A Memoir - 5/5 - Oh my goodness, I loved this book. Memoir isn’t normally my genre of choice, but this book just blew me away. It is about the author’s childhood in a very, very, very strict Mormon household that doesn’t believe in modern medicine or schools. The author never attends school until she steps food on the BYU campus as a freshman, and manages to graduate with a doctorate from Cambridge University. Her story, and her views on what makes up an education, make this book a must read.

Where The Crawdads Sing - 3/5 - This is a novel about a young girl from the North Carolina marshes who is abandoned by her family and raises herself. She faces so much prejudice from the town, but still manages to grow up into a remarkable young woman who knows the Marsh better than anyone. When a local town hero is found dead, however, the town remembers everything strange about her instead of everything good about her and accuse her of murder. The story unfolds very smoothly, and I loved the description of the marsh wildlife. Despite all that, I just didn’t love it, though I do recommend it!

Have you read any good books lately? Please share! Also, I put all the books I’ve read over on the Book List tab : )

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Happy Friday

Washington DC spring flowers
Washington DC spring flowers
Washington DC spring flowers

I hope everyone had a great week! Mine was okay, full with a lot of every day work and chores; isn’t it nice to get back into the swing of things and have your home back in order after a busy spell? I’m officially decorated for Easter, the pantry is stocked, the floors are mopped and it feels good. On that note, this is the first weekend in a while that JD and I can hang out and relax together the whole time (his work has been SO busy) and I’m excited! I heard Cactus Cantina has the best margaritas, and we might fit in a showing of Dumbo. Has anyone seen it? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too!

Here are some things that caught my eye online this week -

Kate Spade is 30% off this weekend! My new straw bag is included in the sale, along with this round canteen bag that looks a lot like the designer ones for so much less.

 I love the tropical theme of Julia guest bedroom and bathroom!

Kate Middleton wore my favorite sweater!! (in a different color) 

I’m obsessed with this crosbody capsule bag. Do you like the tan or the navy?

Delicious looking salads that will make getting your greens a whole lot more appealing  

 Some great entry level gardening tips from GMG

 I’m so excited for this new television show with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston

 A classic mint julep for Derby Day

Some of the most unique hotels in the world

A basic primer on Vitamin C serum

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes’s thoughts in Mari Kondo are great for a laugh 

Some “grown up” Easter gift ideas 

 A primer on the DC cherry blossoms

Have a great weekend! 

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Happy Friday

pink and green for St. Patrick's Day

I can’t believe it’s already Friday! March is just zipping by - normally it drags, but not this year! Above is a picture from St. Patrick’s day. We went to Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown and got to sit at the Proposal Booth, where JFK proposed to Jackie! I was pretty excited about it! Also, I wore this Lilly dress since it had green in it and I love it so much! It’s such classic prep with the pink and green and the cut is so flattering. Plus, it’s great to have a dress with a sleeve.

This upcoming weekend we don’t have much going on so I’m looking forward to taking long strolls outside to take in more of the pretty spring flowers and trying out some new recipes. Since we don’t eat meat on Friday during Lent I’m going to make a fisherman’s stew, and I’m pretty excited about it! That, and probably a new dessert because you know I can’t resist sweets ; )

Glossier is now valued at over $1 billion after a successful series D funding

The purple sequin Fendi baguette is back and it is a whole lot of purse

These wine roasted strawberries sound amazing

Glossier released a new mango lip balm

Cupcakes and Cashmere just launched shoes and I’m pleasantly surprised by how cute the kitten heels look

Lilly Pulitzer has gifts with purchase this weekend! They are so cute, I love the pattern they picked, and I love, love how soft this velvet robe is (which qualifies for presents : )

Kate and the Queen make a very cute duo

 I’m very intrigued by ice rollers now!

I always love the Into The Gloss beauty March Madness

 

Have a great weekend! 

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My Favorite Podcasts Right Now

my favorite podcasts

Over the past few months I have incorporated a number of different podcasts into my daily routine and I’m really enjoying it! Listening to an episode is such a great way to pass the time during a long walk or train ride, or on those occasions where I have to drive somewhere (which is admittedly far less than it used to be now that we live in a city). Here are my current favorites -

  1. Fat Mascara - This is a beauty podcast. Jessica Matlin (beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar) and Jennifer Goldstein (beauty director at Marie Claire) share their thoughts on current trends, new beauty tips, and interview guests like Charlotte Tilbury and Miranda Kerr.

  2. The Glossy Beauty Podcast - This is another beauty based podcast where the host Priya Rao interviews “change makers” in the beauty industry such as the Revlon Chief Content Officer and Flesh Beauty founder Linda Wells or the head of beauty acquisitions at L’Oreal, Carol Hamilton. I love how the show gives you a peak behind the curtain at how these beauty companies are run, it’s so fascinating!

  3. How I Built This - I particularly love the Emily Weiss episode! Guy Rao interviews the founders behind some of the world’s most known businesses and asks them how they built their company and also the movement connected to the company.

  4. Bad On Paper - This podcast is by Grace Atwood (of The Stripe) and Becca Freeman. The duo discusses books they are reading, banter about their week, and interview guests like Blair Eadie of Atlantic x Pacific.

  5. Weekly Dose of BS - Ok, so this podcast definitely isn’t informative, but it adds some humor to mundane chores like getting to the grocery store! Friends and stars of the Real Housewives of Dallas Stephanie Hollman and Brandi Redmond banter about everything from lunch to the Housewives and everything in between.

I’m always interested in what podcasts other people are listening to so that I can find more favorites! So, what podcasts are you listening to?

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Happy Friday

Spring has sprung in D.C.!

Spring has sprung in D.C.!

Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about all of you, but this was an exhausting week for me. I feel so tired and run down (hence the lack of post yesterday), I’m really looking forward to taking it easy this weekend. I hope to sleep in, order takeout, and do lots of crafts. Nothing re-energizes me like a pair of knitting needles or a few hours in front of my Circuit. Hopefully after a weekend full of crafts and good books I feel bright eyed and bushy tailed come Monday to take on a new exciting week! What are you favorites ways to re-charge after a long and stressful week?

I did find some time to browse the internet, and here’s some things I really enjoyed -

New books to read in March

This mango lassi smoothie sounds so delicious

I’m excited about this new haircare line Grace talks about on her blog!

I’m in love with pink sunglasses right now and these pink Ray Bans are fabulous

Queen Elizabeth posted her first Instagram post - who says you can’t teach an old queen new tricks?

The decisive ranking of fast food fries

Glossier launched a new sister brand, Glossier Play! It’s a collection of brightly colored makeup and I’m in love with the gold highlighter. And you get 10% off your first order with my rep link!

Did you know that you can try out two sample sized products (and these samples are generously sized) for free on the Biossance website?

Congratulations Julia and Thomas!

How cute are these gingham flats?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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February Reading List

In February I read a good mix of historical fiction, non-fiction, modern literary classics and fantasy. My goal this year is to read more literature and non-fiction, so I’m glad I’m sticking to that. And, I’m even more glad that it’s been extremely enjoyable and not at all like a chore. Here is what I read, including my rating and a brief synopsis-

best books of February

Bel Canto 5/5 - This book by Ann Patchett is so beautifully written. It is the story of guests to a dinner party where a famous soprano is singing. The party is taken hostage, and the hostages and the captors live together in the Vice Presidential mansion for many weeks. Over this time the characters get to know people from all over the globe and all different walks of life, and realize that love and art can tie us all together no matter how different our backgrounds are.

A Well Behaved Woman 3/5 - This is the story of Ava Vanderbilt, who married into the Vanderbilt family before the turn of the century. The book takes us from the beginning of her marriage to the marriage of her daughter. I really enjoyed learning more about the history of New York City, as well as reading about balls and events in the Victorian age. I had a hard time connecting with the main character, however, and found the beginning rather slow. It picks up at the end however, and was worth the read.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry 4/5 - This novel is by the author of A Man Called Ove, which I loved. I liked this book almost as much, and highly recommend it! It is the story of a little girl named Elsa who is a bit of a social outcast - she loves superheroes and fantasy novels and is tied at the hip with her grandmother. When her grandmother passes away, she leaves Elsa a quest to tell a number of people that she’s sorry. As Elsa completes the tasks her grandmother left her we meet a vibrant cast of characters and discover that there was so much more than meets the eye to the grandmother.

The Little Book of Hygge 5/5 - I loved this book! As I talked about in my post about Hygge, the book talks about the Danish philosophy of Hygge (which loosely translates into a sense of coziness and warmth) and how to incorporate it into your daily life. I loved reading about how other cultures find happiness in their daily lives. I also found the book to be very readable, unlike a lot of guides, and I can’t wait to make the recipes in it!

Tower of Dawn 3/5 - This is the sixth book in the Throne of Glass series. It’s a young adult fantasy novel (thought parts of it are quite grown-up) that I love. It’s not exactly literature, but it’s full of action and magic and adventure. If you love fantasy books, I highly recommend this series! This installment takes you on a side quest with some of the supporting characters, and I loved meeting the new heroes.

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Happy Friday

Georgetown Park

Happy Friday everyone! What a busy week! And can you believe it’s already March? I feel like January took a while, and February ended before I blinked! We have a busy weekend ahead too - family is coming in to town which means lots of sightseeing, good food and late nights. I’m really excited to see everyone, but I know i’m going to need a nap, ha! When it’s over I think I’m going to make lots of cookies and pasta and delight in the last of the winter weather. Because once mid-March hits, it’s spring in my head, no matter what the forecast says! What about you? Any fun plans?

Here are some things around the web I enjoyed this week -

Lilly Pulitzer launched their spring collection and I am obsessed with the Sweet Pea print. It is the prettiest light pink and blue!

I love Carly’s snow day outfit

Tips for making your bathroom into a spa

The most popular Trader Joe’s items by state

I always find so much inspiration from Julia’s daily looks

A round-up of the most gorgeous floral handbags

Jelly shoes are back! I used to love these, and I’m so tempted to pick up these pink or clear ones

An interview with an expert on what beauty products are actually “clean”

The best drawer organizers on Amazon, perfect for your Marie Kondo cleanup

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

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