getting lucky in amsterdam

amsterdam has really got it all: fries, cheese, flower fields, weed, and a highly (pun very much intended) instagrammable hostel complete with caravan campers and a private lake.

lucky lake hostel is far from the average, and while it’s a few more dollar signs than an 8 bed, co-ed room full of strangers, the bikes, kayaks, free breakfast (on a breakfast bus), hammocks, full kitchen, tiny movie theater, smoking lounge and life size giraffe really make the price easy to justify. they even won “best hostel in the netherlands” on hostelworld this year 🏆

although it’s slightly outside of the city, after traveling solo through europe for over a week, lucky lake was a welcome break and change of pace. at first the commute seemed a bit overwhelming, but don’t let it scare you - they have a great shuttle bus system at Holendrecht station so you can get in and out of the city within 30 minutes.

when i arrived, the staff gave some helpful info about the netherlands, amsterdam, etc, including a list of “the most used dutch phrases at lucky lake” including: Kijk, een eend! (look, a duck!), Gezellig (it’s very cozy here), Mag ik een joint? (can i have a joint?) as well as Mag ik je kussen? (may i kiss you?) and Waar heb je mijn onderbroek gelaten? (where did you put my g-string?) - i cannot confirm which of these phrases came in handy for me personally ;)

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i was the only solo traveler there when i stayed, and it’s definitely a social place. it would be a great choice if you’re traveling as a couple or in a small group to split costs - the communal kitchen and the “lucky lounge” (the smoking room) are popular spots.

there are about 30 semi private/private trailers and cabins, and there are 4 ‘dorm style’ rooms with multiple beds which are still infinitely nicer than a typical hostel dorm room.

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ducks come up from the lake and walk around, i woke up to quacks outside my door every morning but can’t blame em for wanting to hang out. there’s also a hostel cat, and i’m down for any place that has a cat who i can chase to try to force to love me.

 cozy. as. hell. it was pretty cold in early april but the caravans have small space heaters.

cozy. as. hell. it was pretty cold in early april but the caravans have small space heaters.

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on my second night i was getting into the solo travel loneliness feels and i ended up smoking and playing cards with a bunch of girls who worked on staff. the staff is a group of 20-somethings who come from all over the world to work for the season (usually may - october), plus they get to live there in their own caravans. this night was one of the best memories from the month i spent traveling - to have this shared experience with a group of girls from spain, bermuda, ireland, iceland, namibia, and italy, just laughing and playing cards and eating weird dutch candy.

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 “the world’s smallest movie theater”

“the world’s smallest movie theater”

 communal kitchen

communal kitchen

there’s a full outdoor kitchen so you can cook your own meals - i didn’t end up using it, but i did go for the late night €1 cheese toasties (a grilled cheese but with a cuter name because everything is better and cuter in europe) which you can get with sweet chili sauce (i mean, wow)

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because it wasn’t quite warm enough to swim, paddleboard or kayak in the lake, i spent a lot of time out here reading on these beanbags with this giraffe. you can also rent a bike and explore the small villages around the hostel - a great chance to see the real dutch countryside if you’ve been tourist-ing around amsterdam.

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overall, this place is rad as hell and i can’t wait to come back. grab your friends, come during the summer, smoke all the weed, and eat all the cheese toasties.

lucky lake hostel website
book your stay on hostelworld
lucky lake instagram

airbnBe there: the greenwood villa

this past april, i was lucky enough to spend over two weeks in the most beautiful and hands down best state in the country, oregon. a full post about my favorite things in oregon is coming soon, but staying at the greenwood was a real highlight of the trip, and one of my most special memories from the time i spent out there.

the greenwood villa is a guesthouse on a farm right outside of ashland, oregon. the owners jonathan and rachael live in the farmhouse on the property, along with some farm friends: two dogs, two cats, goats, and chickens. in addition to airbnb, the space is also used for artist workshops, community classes, and even intimate weddings - so, hi future husband, take note.

there's so much detail and craftmanship put into every corner of this space, from the floor to ceiling windows to the sliding barn doors, photos really don't do it justice. 

i've stayed at my fair share of airbnbs, but this one was on another level of 'oh my god i want to live here'. the moment we arrived, the peaceful energy of this place made my heart feel so full, and no matter how many photos i took, that's what i'll always remember. if you're looking for an ethereal escape in southern oregon, this is it. (book the greenwood villa on airbnb here, and you can follow them on instagram too!)

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staycation: brooklyn faves

new york is the most overwhelming place on earth because of the sheer number of options everywhere, anytime. akin to the lifestyle of T.I. , you can have whatever you like - and then some. after almost a year and a half here, i've only hit up a fraction of my yelp bookmarks. it's tough to keep up when there's a new wine store/matcha bar/vegan donut shop/acro yoga studio opening every other week, but i have managed to find some favorites around my neighborhood. some of these are insta-famous hotspots, others are more hidden gems - and most all are around the bedstuy/clinton hill/park slope/williamsburg areas but i'm sure i'll be adding approximately a trillion more places to this list soon enough.

bagels: bagel pub

crown heights

- a zillion types of cream cheese (which is very important to me)

- i always order an everything bagel with zaatar cream cheese, except for when i get the lox special with no lox (they make fun of me, rightfully so).


pizza: speedy romeos

clinton hill

- must order: 
the dick dale (béchamel, speck, pineapple, provel, grilled scallions)
the white album (béchamel, roasted garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, provel, pecorino, parm)
smores cake


tacos: swell dive

bedstuy

- small, chill bar with authentic filipino tacos

- the best queso in brooklyn and probably in the world

- really cool outdoor patio, surfing videos projected on the wall, overall excellent vibes

- breakfast tacos


bar: royal palms shuffleboard club

gowanus

- there's always a super long wait for a shuffleboard court on the weekends, but there's a ton of board games and other various fun stuff around so you can play and drink while you wait

- no need to be a pro, they'll give you a quick shuffleboard lesson


movies: nitehawk cinema

williamsburg

- you can order food/booze before or during movies (nitehawk actually changed the law in NY about drinking in movie theaters, HYFR!)

- classic films + film series events + midnight showings

- must order: nitehawk popcorn (truffle butter and citric salt), tater tots with queso, hibiscus lime soda and if you're feeling healthy, the kale salad


smoothies: juiceland

park slope

- bam bam smoothie

- tikal smoothie (has blue majik in it, very majikal)


ice cream: ample hills

prospect heights

- every flavor is insane and amazing ie: ooey gooey butter cake, salted crack caramel, the munchies, honeycomb  - they don't mess around

- pretzel cones


date night: olea

fort greene

- reeeealllllly good tapas & mediterranean entrees

- the best pita bread and dips
 
- love their plants + tile + lanterns inside, plus outdoor seating too
 


nature: brooklyn botanic garden

flatbush/prospect heights

- cherry blossoms are insanely beautiful, they have a tracker online so you can make sure to visit when the trees are in full boom

- rose garden + desert conservatory + japanese garden and pond


hangover brunch: jimmy's diner

williamsburg

- really good hot toddies

- girl scout cookie milkshakes

- must order: crispy corn flake french toast, all the breakfast bowls, grits, cornbread


gifts: annie's blue ribbon general store

park slope

- the best place to find a gift for absolutely anyone, even your boyfriend's aunt's neighbor

- home decor, kitchen stuff, stationary stuff, kids stuff, chocolate stuff


bakery: mia's

boerum hill

- the most beautiful bakery hands down 100% no doubt (i'm really obsessed with mia's)

- really cute patio out back

- horribly convienient location directly on my walk back from the gym


¡¡¡ puerto rico ¡¡¡

when i spontaneously booked a trip to puerto rico this spring, i was not prepared for the amount of design inspiration i would find (or the amount of tequila i would consume), but san juan won me over with architecture, street cats, and carnitas. we split the trip into three areas of puerto rico: ocean park beach, the city of old san juan, and fajardo, to spend our last few days in the el yunque rain forest.

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day 1: we stayed at the dreamcatcher in the ocean park area of san juan. to sum it up, this place is surreal. it is absolutely beautiful, down to every last detail. i felt so at peace here - from the communal kitchens, to the hammocks around every corner, i was ready to move in and stay forever. the dreamcatcher is a vegetarian guest house with nightly yoga classes, cute island dogs, and super cool outdoor showers. the owner and founder, sylvia, designed the space and made it a true oasis. each room has a unique style and i absolutely loved the design choices. it is a true bohemian paradise with a welcoming sense of home.

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we stayed in the 'glass cottage', which was basically like sleeping inside a kaleidoscope. the stained glass hut was cozy with a lofted bed and vintage details (there are awesome antiques everywhere, collected from sylvia's grandmother's home!)  the glass cottage is also listed on airbnb - you can see the listing here.

 glass cottage in the morning

glass cottage in the morning

 and somehow, even more magical at night

and somehow, even more magical at night

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day 2: we moved into an airbnb in the heart of old san juan

 view from our balcony, old san juan

view from our balcony, old san juan

 there a ton of abandoned buildings, i wanted to buy them all.

there a ton of abandoned buildings, i wanted to buy them all.

old san juan was very walkable and very charming. staying in this airbnb was perfect because we could walk everywhere and we knew our way around by the time we left, really making it feel like home. the two bedroom apartment was simple, with connecting balconies and large shuttered doors which we kept open at night. the streets really are as colorful as they look on google images, and i was so inspired by the homes lining the blue cobblestone. each unit is completely different than the one beside it - like you're walking through life size pantone swatches. old san juan exceeded my expectations, and from the balconies filled with plants to the interior courtyards and intricate tile everywhere, it is a really dreamy place.

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 my favorite san juan cat

my favorite san juan cat

 my favorite san juan street name

my favorite san juan street name

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 hanging out with the locals

hanging out with the locals

we filled our days in old san juan with a lot of sangria, gazpacho, popsicles, tapas and tacos.
check out a full list of our favorite grub and drank spots at the end of this post!

 explored alleys and fortresses

explored alleys and fortresses

 watched the sunset on our balcony

watched the sunset on our balcony

 cool doorways and windows everywhere!

cool doorways and windows everywhere!

 woke up to this view 

woke up to this view 

 this is the inside of an abandoned apartment complex on a side street in old san juan. the windows were small so there was no way to see this from the outside (we held our phones through the windows to get these shots and luckily didn't drop them)

this is the inside of an abandoned apartment complex on a side street in old san juan. the windows were small so there was no way to see this from the outside (we held our phones through the windows to get these shots and luckily didn't drop them)

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 this sunset, are you kidding me

this sunset, are you kidding me

 rooftop tapas on our last night

rooftop tapas on our last night

day 4: we moved to our final stop, another guest house in the middle of the rainforest.

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we rented a car and headed east for our last few days. we had swam in the ocean and stayed out all night in the city, and it was time to hike in the rainforest. we stayed in fajardo, only about an hour from san juan. this guest house was in an extremely remote spot, totally secluded from main roads. just to get there, we had to drive up a completely unpaved mountain road and i spent the ride gripping the door handle and calculating the total costs of wrecking the rental car (we had a sad little kia hatchback and should've most definitely had a jeep for this adventure). once we got to the top, the views were pretty unreal. we climbed out our windows to eat avocados and drank coconut juice on the roof and fell asleep to the sounds of the coqui frogs.

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el yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the national forest system, with over 200 species of trees and plants! it's easy to explore, as you can drive all the way through and stop at various trails to hike along the way. we stopped for crazy views from the yokahu tower and hiked la mina trail, which leads to the largest waterfall in the forest, la mina falls. we headed back to swim in some of the smaller falls higher up in the trail just because they were way less crowded (see below for super magical private waterfall scenario).

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puerto rico is such a special place full of kind people, good food, and a lot of lizards. check out these links for more info.

ocean park:
the dreamcatcher vegetarian b&b
acapulco tacos

old san juan:
la factoria bar
senor paleta popsicles
caficultura brunch
rosa de triana tapas

home sweet home (living room)

our living room has been a work in progress since we moved in about a year ago, but now that art has been framed and we finally found the perfect rug, it feels like we've kinda, somewhat got it together. 

like the bedroom, the living room has some awesome craigslist finds and gems from basements and flea markets, and i definitely kept things budget friendly (hello, target, tj maxx and ikea!) the color palette ranges from navy to maroon, but because i had mostly stuck to cool tones in the bedroom, i collected more warm hues in here and the connecting kitchen.  

the space is actually pretty large for new york standards, but we had to figure out some storage solutions to keep clutter to a minimum (as in, there's a lot going on under the couch). we also needed additional lighting without a ton of surface or floor area to spare, so the hanging pendant lamp was ideal. 

and as always, a certain orange cat made his way into this photo shoot:

 coffee table: CB2 from craigslist couch: ikea from craigslist bar cart: brimfield flea market high top table: ikea from craigslist

coffee table: CB2 from craigslist
couch: ikea from craigslist
bar cart: brimfield flea market
high top table: ikea from craigslist

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The IKEA couch we found on Craigslist for under $150 (after the couch we moved to Brooklyn with didn't fit up the stairs, oops) came with replacement legs, which was an added bonus. The seller had swapped the standard IKEA couch legs with these wood/gold mid-century legs, which she got from a site called Pretty Pegs. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a quick easy IKEA upgrade.

 shelf items: thrifted and/or from my grandma's basement

shelf items: thrifted and/or from my grandma's basement

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 plant bag: h&m home petrified wood bookend: grandma's basement

plant bag: h&m home
petrified wood bookend: grandma's basement

We made this long shelf with a piece of plywood and some brackets - literally just a scroll through pinterest and a quick trip to home depot. After we hung the pendant lamp, I realized the space above the windows looked weird and empty, so a 9 foot shelf was the answer.

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 his and hers coffee table books. (find momo is an iSpy book featuring a very cute dog hiding all around the country, highly recommend)

his and hers coffee table books. (find momo is an iSpy book featuring a very cute dog hiding all around the country, highly recommend)

 remote bowl: homegoods coasters: gift shop in austin, texas carpet: rugsUSA

remote bowl: homegoods
coasters: gift shop in austin, texas
carpet: rugsUSA

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 print: society 6 stool cushion covers: etsy

print: society 6
stool cushion covers: etsy

 mirror: tj maxx disco ball: amazon

mirror: tj maxx
disco ball: amazon

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 a gem from brimfield flea

a gem from brimfield flea

 oil diffuser: amazon

oil diffuser: amazon

 tv stand: vintage crates from craigslist

tv stand: vintage crates from craigslist

home sweet home (floating shelves)

why yes, redecorating my floating shelves was the highlight of my wednesday.

because sometimes you impulsively buy yourself flowers while in the checkout line at trader joes, then decide you should find out if hydrangeas are poisonous to cats, which, indeed they are, and so in the process of finding a spot high enough to keep them away from your cat, you get too excited about rearranging your knick knacks.

thus, here is a quick tour of this "shelfie", and the tips i keep in mind when styling shelves:

 floating shelves: target

floating shelves: target

top shelf:

  • stack books to create variety and height (in my opinion, it is OK to choose "display books". do i really need siddartha on hand to grab at any moment? no. do i own it? yes. as you can see.) in addition to choosing books that make you appear smart/cultured/mindful, i like to choose bindings that fit in with the overall color theme. in this case, i was testing out mixing warm and cool tones, especially oranges and yellows mixed with blues and greens, so i chose books accordingly. i also wanted to play up some darker shades here as it's a good way to work in subtle contrast.
     
  • old driftwood from my grandma's house - grandparents love to collect things you can steal for your shelves.
     
  • vintage salt and pepper shakers from the brimfield antique fair - got these for $2 and the colors fit the theme almost too well.
     
  • 3 drawer stack - these are filled with jewelry that i want to hang onto, but don't wear often. i'm all about knick knacks, but make them functional! i can still easily access this, but i don't need it right on my desk with my everyday jewelry, so it makes a great shelf piece. 
     
  • open heart neon sign card - this is an anniversary card that my dad wrote to my mom years ago. i found it in a box in a basement and i love it.
     
  • gold vase - a basic $4 purchase from primark (one of the best places to find affordable shelf decor) to bring in the gold theme from the rest of the bedroom.
     
  • trader joes flowers because buying yourself flowers is important.

bottom shelf:

  • ikea plant - hands down, ikea is my favorite place to buy house plants and pots.
     
  • mini southwestern vase from brimfield antique fair. in the past few years, i have gotten rid of most smaller decor items from places like the $1 section at target, but finding special pieces that speak to me at flea markets makes me so much happier, and more willing to put them on display.
     
  • california license plate - found on the side of the road! this was the color theme inspiration. the rest of the bedroom is very cool toned, but i needed to include this on these shelves, so i broke the rules and made it work.
     
  • tiny cute log cabin - this is actually an incense burner (functional. knick knacks.)
     
  • bees knees card - i bought this for probably way too much money at some stationary store, but it has corny significance with my boyfriend, and it brings in the gold accents from the rest of the room. [see my bedroom tour here!] i really love decorating with cards and finding new places for them besides the front of the fridge.
     
  • pendleton notebooks - i bought these in a pack but i've only used one so far because i love them too much.... so, potential functional knick knacks.
     
  • succulent and crystal - okay, these are not so functional.

i typically keep my larger surfaces mostly clear, but i do love filling up shelves with little odd treasures, especially ones that have a story. a well decorated shelf can make your space feel more put together because it is reminiscent of creating a nice storefront display. sounds silly, but you should always want to window shop in your own home. if you tend to collect knick knacks, keep one box of your favorite vases, trays, art, and antiques, and switch up your shelves every few months. balancing height and dimension, and mixing up textures and colors can make your gadgets and gizmos look intentional and organized. (you want thing-a-ma-bobs? i've got 20.)

#MCM DIY: IKEA dresser upgrade

while I can fully admit my love for ikea and its swedish meatballs and particle board projects, inevitably, there came a time when I had furniture dreams beyond BILLY bookcases and LACK tables. but when i moved in with my boyfriend, we needed to find a dresser large enough to share, and the MALM 6 drawer won me back when we found it on craigslist for under $100.

to transform it into a not-so-ikea dresser, i started hunting for some mid century modern inspiration. i loved the clean white look of the dresser itself, but knew it needed some wood accents to bring that #MCM feel. i also wanted to incorporate gold, to fit into the color scheme of the bedroom. i loved the look of this west elm dresser, as well as this beaut from era interiors.  

a simple change can make a huge difference, and switching out or adding knobs or handles is a super simple way to upgrade any dresser, desk, or chest. after a thorough ebay search, i found a set of 6 vintage wood drawer pulls for $15. they had a real wood, worn look which was perfect to balance out the shiny new-ness of the dresser.

as it turns out, drilling into particle board is a breeze (especially when you have professional help in the form of a small orange cat). the biggest takeaway from this DIY adventure: make sure you empty the drawers completely, and don't just push the clothes to the back because you will drill holes through your favorite shirt. overall, this basic project took our dresser from your average craigslist ikea find to something a little more special, and I consider it an #MCM DIY win. 

to read the first #MCM DIY post (hairpin leg console table) click here!

 before, 100% IKEA MALM 

before, 100% IKEA MALM 

 after, 100% one of a kind

after, 100% one of a kind

airbnBe there: bungalow in austin

last month i spent a few days in Austin during SXSW.  the trip was pretty last minute but luckily i was able to score the cutest airbnb - a sunny room in an old bungalow in East Austin. the host had awesome eclectic style and a super nice cat roommate. this place was hip as hell y'all. 

aside from the home inspiration, i fell in love with the city of austin. scroll down to check out my favorite spots from this trip, after the tour:

 that chair! <3

that chair! <3

 my new friend giovanni&nbsp;

my new friend giovanni 

 did not steal this to bring home, but wanted to.

did not steal this to bring home, but wanted to.

 never met a fiddle leaf fig i didn't like

never met a fiddle leaf fig i didn't like

there's so much to do, see and EAT in austin, and i only had a few days, but until i get back there (asap)! here's some gems:

Cenote - breakfast burritos, tons of outdoor seating, good vibes all around.
Gordoughs - the most insane donuts i've ever seen and attempted to eat all by myself.
Uncommon Objects - basically a maze of cool vintage stuff and antiques.
Burro Cheese Kitchen - fancy. grilled. cheeses. 
Hotel San Jose Lounge - pretty outdoor courtyard bar (they serve frosé).
The Gypsy Wagon - the best store on south congress! super cute home stuff.

home sweet home (bedroom tour)

i'm a big fan of finding hidden gems on craigslist, and the majority of the rest of my furniture comes from flea markets, ikea and target. i'm also a big fan of plants, disco ball light magic, and keeping things simple but personal. too much minimalism can feel cold and i think it's important to have some fun, weirdo stuff laying around.

 joshua tree print: society 6 // tufted bed frame: jet.com // wall hanging: target // cedar trunk: thrifted

joshua tree print: society 6 // tufted bed frame: jet.com // wall hanging: target // cedar trunk: thrifted

 bedside tables: crates thrifted from craigslist // dresser: ikea, vintage drawer pulls from ebay&nbsp;

bedside tables: crates thrifted from craigslist // dresser: ikea, vintage drawer pulls from ebay 

 gold lamp: target // gold mirror: thrifted from craigslist full post on how i upgraded this ikea dresser coming soon!

gold lamp: target // gold mirror: thrifted from craigslist
full post on how i upgraded this ikea dresser coming soon!

 bird tray: thrifted from savers // gold tray: vintage from grandma (!!!) // coaster: anthropologie (the penguin and giraffe are little reminders of my mom and best friend)

bird tray: thrifted from savers // gold tray: vintage from grandma (!!!) // coaster: anthropologie
(the penguin and giraffe are little reminders of my mom and best friend)

 cutest orange cat: adopted &lt;3 &lt;3 &lt;3

cutest orange cat: adopted <3 <3 <3

 DIY dry erase board: ikea frame + scrapbook paper

DIY dry erase board: ikea frame + scrapbook paper

 globe lights: target // papasan chair: thrifted from craigslist // banana leaf pillow: target

globe lights: target // papasan chair: thrifted from craigslist // banana leaf pillow: target

 postcard collection, framed by random discarded piece of wood we found on the street

postcard collection, framed by random discarded piece of wood we found on the street

 tv stand: DIY  (post here!) &nbsp;// furry rug: ikea

tv stand: DIY (post here!) // furry rug: ikea

 desk chair: thrifted from craigslist // desk: thrifted from craigslist

desk chair: thrifted from craigslist // desk: thrifted from craigslist

forever 24

turning 22 was cool because taylor swift psyched me up for a happy free magical year full of dancing with my girl squad and eating breakfast at midnight, and 23 was even decent because at least blink 182 understood that nobody liked me, but so far, 24 has no anthems and no answers.

turns out, adulting is the worst, so here are 24 things that get me through the day.

  1. waking up to sunshine.  every morning i look out the window, first thing, no matter what - just to remind myself that everyone else is getting up and walking to their trains that maybe they'll miss, and going to their jobs that maybe they hate, and i can too.
     
  2. my old man neighbor who lives two doors down and stands out at his front gate every day to say good morning as i walk by.
     
  3. dogs on the train. in nyc, dogs have to be in a bag to ride the train, and it's even better when i don't notice right away that there's a little pupper poking out of a tote bag.
     
  4. seeing people smile at their phones and wondering what cute text they got or what funny meme they saw.
     
  5. spending $10 on a smoothie and reminding myself that new york is an alternate universe where smoothies cost $10 and it's okay because think of all the benefits of the chia seeds!
     
  6. the berry crunch smoothie from liquidteria with spinach and chia seeds. health!!!!
     
  7. street art, sidewalk art, subway art.
     
  8. wearing sneakers and a backpack. am i going to my tech job or a middle school assembly? tough to say, but a comfy life is a good life.
     
  9. seeing tourists in soho, as a reality check to be grateful that this place i drag myself out of bed to get to every day is a dream vacation for so many people. 
     
  10. discover weekly & release radar on spotify. new tunes, new me.
     
  11. the app 'calm' for those days that are just TMTH (too much to handle)
     
  12.  soundbath classes at MNDFL 
     
  13. audiobooks, especially this one because listening to amy schumer read her old high school diary entries is the best.
     
  14. surrounding myself with plants. never too many cacti friends.
     
  15. using iCal and planning visually, looking at the week ahead as only what i can accomplish in the next 6 square boxes on my screen.
     
  16. half planning vacations i may never take. searching for flights just to see what deals i can get, finding dreamy airbnbs, and remembering how much is out there to explore.
     
  17. trying small new things, like getting a ton of free perfume samples from sephora and testing one every day.
     
  18. the show LOVE on Netflix. it is hilarious and perfect and i'd very much like gillian jacobs to be my best friend.
     
  19. also the show Casual on Hulu. i only watch tv series with one word titles.
     
  20. meeting new people, in the "i made a friend on a dating app" kind of way. using bumble BFF is legit and has been somewhat of a lifesaver for introverted post grads like myself. plus, friend first dates are way less awkward than romantic first dates and usually involve bottomless brunch and exchanging cute pictures of your pets.
     
  21. seeing people with bouquets of flowers on the train. the other day i saw a guy with flowers that were as tall as he was and it really made my day thinking of whose day was about to be made.
     
  22. sheet face masks
     
  23. laura miller's series talking in circles. great stuff if you have struggled with anxiety, or just want to hear some people talking about some real shit.
     
  24. and if none of these nice self reminders and healthy smoothies and calming habits aren't working and it's still feeling tough to get through the day, just giving this a listen seems to do this trick. 

home moments

brooklyn
october -> february

 the first snowday of the year is always the best day.

the first snowday of the year is always the best day.

 + in the middle of winter, it's always nice to remember warmer days.

+ in the middle of winter, it's always nice to remember warmer days.

 every morning.

every morning.

 discovered the magic of a disco ball in the sun, thanks to some of my favorite home designers on instagram

discovered the magic of a disco ball in the sun, thanks to some of my favorite home designers on instagram

 missing christmas decor&nbsp;

missing christmas decor 

airbnBe there: high-rise in montreal

Canada has a lot of things I can get down with: poutine, universal healthcare, baby bears, etc. Plus, it's a great option for a romantic winter weekend trip, and growing up in the heart of New England means I am not phased by a blizzard, and totally willing to wear a minimum of 5 layers before leaving the house.

That being said, traveling to Montreal for Valentine's Day this year was not totally hot and steamy, only because it was -40 below with windchill. This trip was really unforgettable, and not just because I thought for sure all my extremities would freeze and fall off on multiple occasions throughout the weekend.  

IMG_7045.jpg

First thing first: poutine. We ventured out into the snow to Poutineville, where you can customize your gravy cheese fries to your heart's desire.  As in, you can get hot dogs. On your gravy cheese fries. To sum it up, if Poutineville was its own Canadian province, I would book a one way trip. 

For croissants, Mamie Clafoutis. 

If you're into brunch, go to Prohibition

We also had a v romantic valentine's day dinner at Le Robin Square - a hidden gem, pretty sure the nicest Canadians in all of Canada work there.

 40 below zero, eh? &nbsp;il est putain de froid.

40 below zero, eh? il est putain de froid.

 This is fine. We're fine.&nbsp;

This is fine. We're fine. 

After we were full of poutine, croissants, and bloody caesars, we bundled the fuck up and explored the city. Some of our favorite stops throughout the weekend:

Montreal Biodome

Café Chat L'Heureux
Visiting a cat cafe was a real cat lady dream of mine ok? 

 dame folle de chat

dame folle de chat

 3 years of french class and the only word i remember is poisson.

3 years of french class and the only word i remember is poisson.

Airbnb came through again, and we stayed in a swanky high-rise apartment in downtown Montreal. You can see the listing here, and the views are even better than the photos. Montreal has a TON of amazing Airbnb rentals. To check out some other great options for a weekend trip, you can scroll through my potential choices for this adventure here.

 airbnb bedroom morning view

airbnb bedroom morning view

#MCM DIY: vintage console table

Sure, some people post pictures of their boyfriends and/or Ryan Gosling's abs for man crush monday, but personally, I've got a crush on every teak wood credenza on Instagram. My #mcm is Mid-Century Modern furniture, and it's time to make it hashtag official.

Here's the thing about buying mid-century modern pieces, as a 20-something who can barely afford IKEA's famous KÖTTBULLAR: it costs a lot to make your space reminiscent of Don Draper's apartment.

Luckily, I am a Craigslist fiend (and sometimes even dabble in eBay browsing when I'm feeling wild), and thus, on a mission to get that #MCM style without breaking the bank. 

Step 1: find inspiration.
I stumbled across a listicle about the life changing magic of furniture legs and decided I could attempt to make a tv stand/console table (similar to #13) if I could just find the perfect flea market file cabinet.

Step 2: find the perfect flea market file cabinet.
We flea'd, and we found. We decided to check out Reuse America Vintage Warehouse in Bushwick, and after climbing through piles of beautiful, weird junk (and skimming through some vintage 1970's porn mags), I spotted our future table. It was even better than my original flea market file cabinet dreams.

 My actual #mancrushmonday with our legless table.

My actual #mancrushmonday with our legless table.

Step 3: throw some legs on it.
Etsy is basically my two favorite things combined: it is a flea market on the internet - and it always comes through when I'm looking for unique gifts, art or home decor. It's also a great place to look for mid-century modern furniture, or just to browse for inspiration. We bought four 22 inch 3-rod 3/8" hairpin legs to turn this cabinet into a table, and if you're in the market for some hairpin legs, go straight to Jim at Modarch Supply. These sellers are such talented artists and craftsmen, and getting to know the people behind the work is a huge part of what makes Etsy so awesome. 

Step 4: assemble that shit.
(1. measure and drill holes 2. insert screws from inside 3. place legs 4. add washers & bolts 5. tighten!!!)

Here's a better look at the final product in all its super hip #MCM console table/tv stand glory:

(non) dairy queen

As someone who genuinely loves gimmicks and finds it hard to resist pretty much anything that says "new" on the label, and someone who can't really eat dairy (but is very much in denial and still eats cheese because... cheese), hearing of new dairy free ben and jerry's flavors was almost too much for me to handle.

One night, as i sat in my car at 11pm, listening to hold music as the stop and shop employee was "checking to see if they have it but she's pretty sure they don't", i simultaneously realized that 1. i should probably stop calling every stop and shop store in the greater boston area and 2. there was nothing left to do except take this into my own hands. and by that i mean i used my hands to type desperate tweets to @benandjerrys.
 

and then, something beautiful happened.                                 there were puns. i was in the SQUAD.

Gone were the days of stop and shop hold music.
Ben and Jerry's followed me on Twitter. I had made it. I was living my best (lactose free) life.

I went where no girl on a mission for vegan ice cream has gone before. I went pretty far into this freezer at target.

So for those of you who are also in denial about giving up dairy, my suggestion is to start off slowly. It's a big lifestyle change. Just take it one pint at a time.

All of the dairy free flavors are "someone take this spoon away from me" good, and not just "good, for vegan ice cream" good. but if you're really in the mood to lose all self control, go for dairy free pb & cookies. There's no weird texture or weird taste or weird anything. Ben and Jerry really know what they're doing. 

 

airbnBe there: loft cabin in maine

I love Airbnb. I'm not sure where the line is between "fan" and "fangirl", but I'm pretty sure I've crossed it. The hours I used to spend browsing Reddit are now spent lusting over lava caves in Santorini and treehouses in Australia. (...alright, sometimes I still check Reddit.)

My first Airbnb experience was in China. 
That's right. China, Maine.

Population: 4,328. 

This incredible custom built cabin, hidden down a dirt road in a tiny town, had a huge back deck overlooking a secluded pond, kayaks and a firepit, and was generally just the most magical place ever to exist.


A lot of cribbage games went down on this deck.


The main bedroom, with wood beams and vaulted ceilings was, (and I hate to use this term but I feel like it applies here), #loftgoals.

This photo got some social media love on Instagram (@cabinchronicles) and tumblr, and every now and then, when I'm climbing through Boston's snowbanks, I mentally transport myself back to this bed in the trees.

Also, the ensuite bathroom had an awesome, super deep claw foot tub. I have FOMO just writing this, and I already went there.


One of the best parts about this kind of travel experience is the community of Airbnb hosts. 

Even without meeting face to face, when a stranger makes you feel at home in their home, the connection goes beyond hospitality.

Our host in Maine, Michael, had built the cabin from the ground up (we loved checking out an album full of construction progress pictures). He had set out wildflowers in every room and even prepared a huge pot of homemade fish chowder that was ready on the stove when we arrived. We didn't get a chance to meet him in person, but I'm sure we will in the future, since we've decided to make this trip a summer tradition.

what's my age again?

23 things i've learned in 23 years:
including some very basic kitchen knowledge

1.  we are all faking it and only some of us are making it.
2. margarine is not the same as butter. your cookies will turn out less delicious.
3. sometimes laying in bed all day really is the cure to your problems.
4. it's important to write shit down. on actual paper.
5. it's important to call your parents. regularly.
6. take note of the people that you don't have to think so hard around. those are the best people.
7. be your own friend. like your own instagrams.
8. always put something on your to-do list that you've already done. then cross it off.
9. there is always someone more important than the most important person.
10. never, ever lose your humility. egos are toxic.
11. you will find a parking spot.
12. get rid of the things you never wear. a closet cleanse beats a juice cleanse anyday.
13. your guilty pleasures don't have to make you feel guilty.
14. listen to podcasts. and then tell everyone all the fun facts you learn.
15. save your money for experiences. road trips > tank tops.
16. stop honking so much.
17. get comfortable with makeup-less you. let her out of the house sometimes.
18. whiskey ginger. drink those.
19. lemon water. drink that the morning after you drink the whiskey.
20. wax paper and parchment paper. not the same thing.
21. get a good umbrella, not one from cvs.
22. eat the whole cupcake. even if everyone else around you is only taking half while saying "omg i really shouldn't!"
23. drake was right about yolo.