Have a Happy Weekend

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Friday at long last!  What are you all up to this weekend?  I’m hoping to finish up my spring cleaning and organizing.  I’m itching to throw a spring-time cocktail party.  The sun is shining brighter and longer and I think there’s no better way to welcome the warmth than with food you can eat with your fingers, a couple great cocktails and a bunch of great friends.  While I day dream about the smell of spring and the sound of clinking coupes, why don’t you take a gander at some fun things I found around the web this week?

How great does this interesting salad sound?  I can’t wait to try it.

Speaking of tiny apartments, this article is super helpful too.

A couple years ago, my friend Kayla introduced me to the life-changing brand Erin Condren.  Her coveted customizable LifePlanners ™ will change your life.  Luck for you, the planners are 50% off!  Hurry because I have no idea how long that discount will last.

There are few things in life I love more than taking a bubble bath at the end of the day.  Here are 11 ways to create the perfect bath.

The ideal bar cart.

I’ll be a Parks and Rec fan until my dying breath and the fact that I got Ann Perkins on this quiz warms my heart.

Target and Marimekko did a thing together!

I’ve been thinking about getting a little radio.  What do you think about this one?

The perfect accessory for your weekend getaway.

Ohhhh so that’s how you do a crown braid.

This art exhibit  is equal parts genius and hilarious.  Want more?  Here’s another exhibit by the same people.

Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper and The Magnolia Market have finally come out with their own line of absolutely gorgeous paint.

Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.  See you Monday my lovely readers!

Five Things My Tiny Apartment has Taught Me

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I’ve been living the tiny life for about five months now and I’ve definitely learned a bit during that time.  I thought I’d share you a little wisdom about my little living space.

  1. You Only Need What You Need. Before I moved to Boston I had a large apartment with a giant granite island, in-unit laundry AND a dishwasher.  (Me and my manicures are still mourning the loss of the latter.)  I also had a lot of closet space and kitchen cabinets which made storage easy.  That being said, the more space you have, the easier it is to collect stuff over the years and that’s exactly what I did.  Right before I moved I purged everything.  There wasn’t everything from t-shirts to tea towels was reconsidered.  If I hadn’t worn it in the past six months, I donated it.  IF I had another saucepan just like it, I donated it.  If it was a reminder of something I wanted to forget, I tossed it.  If it was a document I hadn’t referred to in the past five years, I shredded it.  Everything I didn’t absolutely need to keep, I got rid of and it made a giant difference in my less-than-giant new abode.
  2. Screw Everything… into the walls that you can.  Anything that you can get up off the floor or another surface (i.e bathroom/ kitchen counter) is space saved for something.  I’m not suggesting you go wild and pin everything to the walls, I’m just saying if something is able to be equally functional while wall-mounted, go for it.  I’ve hung all my bathroom storage, mounted my TV to the wall and even hung some pans on the walls of my kitchen.  Doing this not only helps to open up storage opportunities but also has a decluttering effect.  Speaking of which…
  3. A Clean Apartment is a Happy Apartment.  Because my living space is so small, any clutter, dirt or dust is ten times more noticeable.  Staying on top of cleaning and organization will make the place feel bigger than it really is.  I also find that the more organized my space is, the more peaceful it feels and who doesn’t want that?
  4. Curating Your Space is Important.  When you live in a small space, it’s important to make it feel like a space customized for you and the way you live your life.  By virtue of your place being small, most of it will be viewable from any given angle so think about how that will affect the layout of your furniture and how someone would flow through your space.
  5. Compact is Key.  Whether it’s a pull-out couch, a bench that doubles as a storage option or a nifty folding table, furniture that’s small when you need it to be small and a bit bigger when you need it to be bigger is a god send.  Your space is precious so make sure that the things you fill it with are as functional as they are beautiful.  I bought this kitchen table and it’s pretty much changed my life.

My Avo-racha Chicken Salad

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I don’t know about all of you, but when the weather starts to get warmer, I like to eat lighter food with super fresh flavors.  This week I whipped up a dish with some of the things I had left over in my fridge that needed to be used.  The result?  Avo-racha Chicken Salad.  Once I tasted it, I thought it was good enough to share.  It’s a super easy, quick, one dish meal that’s perfect to take to work or on a picnic.

(Makes enough for 1 hungry person or two moderately hungry people…)

What You Need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 of a red or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped, fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of Sriracha (this is a suggestion, do as you please)
  • 1 cold, grilled chicken breast, cubed. (I don’t have a grill so I bought my grilled chicken breast at Whole Foods.  A cold baked chicken breast would surely be fine too.)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper

What You Do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Eat the contents of the bowl.

 

If you feel so incline, this would be great on top of a piece of crust bread or even in a wrap.  Let me know what you think and happy eating!

Whatchya Readin’?

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It was a resolution of mine to read more books this year.  ( Much more doable goal than the illusive six pack.)  So far I’m off to a great start.  I’ve been a reading fiend the past few months and it’s been absolutely wonderful.  I’ll show you my reading list if you show me yours, deal?  Ok, perfect.  Here’s what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what’s next on my list.

5172b0s2busvl-_sx329_bo1204203200_    Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut  In college I had a bad Vonnegut experience so I was reluctant to humor the boyfriend and give his favorite author another go.  That being said, I’m so glad that I did.  Look at the Birdie is a collection of unpublished short stories from the late author.  It’s an incredibly easy and pleasant read that reminded me how much I love great storytelling.  While the products of both are completely enjoyable to read, I find that there’s a great difference between a great writer and a great story teller.  Fortunately for us, Vonnegut is both.

dont-worry-it-gets-worse-alida-nugent-cover-676x1024  I already wrote a post about this insanely hilarious and completely on-point book about navigating life as a twenty-something.  Here it is.

midnight-in-the-garden-of-good-and-evil  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt  About halfway through this book, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite books of all time.  The characters are so eccentric and illusive and the story is so fascinating and entertaining that it’s hard to believe it’s based off of entirely true events.  Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. It’s The Great Gatsby meets murder mystery with a seventies southern twist.  Best read with a julep in hand.  There’s also a film adaptation with a seriously killer cast, pun intended.  If you finish the book and just can’t get enough of Georgian history, check out my previous post about my impromptu road trip through Georgia.

 

513okn5tcjl-_sx320_bo1204203200_ Doctor Sleep by Stephen King  I’m a Stephen King nut.  My grandfather, a former publishing executive, introduced me to his first book, Carrie, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I’m in the middle of his novel Doctor Sleep which is the long-awaited sequel to his lauded book, The Shining.  (Another must-read.)  While it’s a hefty book, it’s a serious page turner with both familiar and new characters.  Fear not my fellow Shining fans, Danny Torrance is still at the center of it all.

41giajvpdkl-_sx332_bo1204203200_ Summer of Night by Dan Simmons  After hearing about my love for a good mystery, Dylan suggested this book.  Once I read the synopsis, it quickly moved to the top of my reading list.  It’s creepy and suspenseful and, after peaking at the first few pages, beautifully written.

517r8gmvvzl-_sx283_bo1204203200_ The Class by Erich Segal  A dear friend of mine gave me this book a long time ago for Christmas.  It sounds like it’s a book best read slowly, with lots of breaks to sit and think.  From what I gather, it echoes the moral magnitude of the Dead Poet’s Society.  It’s one of those books I know I’ll love, I’ve just been waiting for the right moment.

 

Any of these titles do it for you?  Have you read them before?  What should I add to the list?  Tell me everything.  Speaking of reading, here’s another post you might like.Happy reading!

Woman in the Workforce

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Wow, it’s been two weeks, maybe three, is that right?  I’ve been the least punctual blogger in the entire blogger world.  But I promise I have something to show for it.  This week my search ended and I was finally able to hop off the job hunting train.  I’ve got a real job!  I’d say adult even but let’s not get carried away.  I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Netflix for helping me fill all my free time by allowing me to binge watch Gilmore Girls and various true crime shows.  I’d also like to thank Whole Foods for providing snacks during said mindless TV marathons.  I’m looking forward to having an actual schedule and doing a significantly better job of maintaining The Cashmere Turtleneck.

And before I forget, thanks to all of you readers for helping me to feel like I was doing something worth while amidst all of my floundering.You’re the best.

Have a Phenomenal Weekend

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This weekend I’m planning on continuing the employment hunt, cleaning out my closet, reorganizing my bathroom and getting drinks with a few girlfriends. I spent last weekend getting a start on my spring cleaning and it felt incredible and I’ve been on a serious cleaner’s high all week.  What are your plans?  Here are some links I found around the web this week that I wanted to share.  Happy clicking and I’ll see you all Monday!

I really want to give this book a read.

As an avid Netflixer, I found this article to be super interesting.

In my opinion, this is the perfect candle for spring.

I just love these placemats.  Wouldn’t these napkins look great with them?

This is a book I wish I hadn’t read simply so I could have the experience of reading it for the first time all over again.  This one too.

This video speaks to the transformative powers of a little color and a little you time.

West Elm is having a sale!  What better time than spring to give your home a 30% off pick-me-up?

Kind of dying over these shoes.

Great news for winos everywhere!

This cocktail sounds seriously divine.

 

 

A Bonus Post: Mind Your Manors

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Manners are tricky, aren’t they?  Whether it’s nailing down the protocol for thank you notes, figuring out exactly how to set a place setting or tending to all the tiny details and formalities of a dinner party they’re just tough.  It’s difficult to enjoy a meal or a party, regardless of who’s hosting, when you’re worried about whether or not Emily Post would approve.

This month’s issue of Real Simple Magazine has a terrific article on “old fashioned niceties” that totally deserve to be revived. My mother always taught me to mind my P’s and Q’s but there are some practices that seem to have fallen to the wayside.  Here are some wonderful tips for refreshing your repertoire of manners and other far from antiquated habits to pick up.

Send a Note not to say thank you, not to say sorry but just because.  Not only will it strengthen your relationship with the receiver and warm their heart, it will also warm yours.  Studies have shown the correlation between the movement and reward centers of the brain.  A hand-written letter is a great way to brighten your day and someone else’s.  Bonus: It’s an opportunity to improve your penmanship.

Thank Often and Then Thank Some More.  Real Simple had this really great suggestion to not only send thank you notes after receiving a gift or being hosted at someone’s home, but to also send them to thank someone for their friendship, hospitality or even to re-thank people just because you thought of how wonderful their previous acts of kindness were.

Sit Still while talking on the phone.  In their article, Real Simple talks about nostalgia for the landline.  I had one of those I’m-so-glad-you-said-that-because-I’ve-been-feeling-the-same-way-too moments.  I miss being excited to come home and check my messages on my answering machine and talking on a phone that doesn’t have a giant screen on it, only big rubbery buttons.  The mag suggested that when you get a phonecall or plan to give a friend a ring, sit down in one place and really focus on the conversation.

Read Aloud to Your Partner.  How lovely does this sound?  Dylan and I live just far enough from each other that when he comes to visit normal schedules are usually out the window.  We’re both avid readers, but when we finally get into bed it’s usually after a late dinner and we’d rathe spend the time talking (or just plain passing out) than reading.  This being said, after reading the suggestion, I’m kind of dying to try it.  I think there’s something really intimate about the simplicity of sharing a story with each other.

 

Are there any old fashioned niceties that you practice?  Want more on modern manners?  Check out Lizzie Post’s podcast, Awesome Etiquette.  She’s the great-grand-daughter of Emily Post so she definitely knows a few things.   Here’s some stationery for writing, a thank you note for thankingan attachment to make phone calls feel a little more like they used to and a book I’d love to re-read with the boyfriend.