Black x Grey Duster

It's cooled down quite a bit in Northern Virginia, which has me wanting to pull out all of my Fall layers. While we're not quite out of the 80's for good, I'm taking advantage of any non-hot day to start easing into my all-black wardrobe ;)

I bought this duster a couple years ago thinking I would wear it all the time. It's super lightweight and I love the length on it. I struggled with styling it and feeling like it really added something to a look. Now here we are 2 years later and I can't seem to put together an outfit without thinking, "I wonder if I could wear that sweater with this". I'm usually pretty good about cleaning out my closet regularly of things I don't wear, but this is one of those times that I'm glad I held onto something I might wear again.

Topshop Leigh Jeans | Topshop Cami | Loft Duster | Vince Camuto Bag | Daniel Wellington Watch | Aldo Galinksy Flats | Elisabeth Ashlie Necklace - Disc and Bar | Sunglasses | Bite Lipstick in Meringue

Inside My Studio

Today I'm taking you inside my studio in our home. I went full-time with Elisabeth Ashlie back in 2013 and this is the first time I've had a designated studio space/office that is only for me. In the past, I've either set up my space in a corner of my bedroom or in a shared room with a roommate, so I love having my own space. I was able to think through both function and aesthetic, without having to consider housing anything else or making the room flow with the other things in it. It's been so fun to get it all organized and set up - I can't wait to officially go back to work on Friday! 
(I've sourced/linked as many of the things as I can, at the bottom of the post. If something is not sourced, it is either very old or was a gift, so I don't know where it is from.)

Elisabeth Ashlie "Goals" Print | Rifle Paper Co. Planner (similar) | Russell + Hazel Binder | Casetify Phone Case (similar, similar) | Voluspa Candle in Panjore Lychee | Hobby Lobby Pinboard (similar, similar, similar, similar) | Target Gold + Marble Task Lamp | IKEA Liatorp Desk | Fujifilm Instax Mini | Target Marble Note Holder | Girl Pencil Cup (similar) | Target Mousepad | Wayfair Desk Chair | Anthropologie Cat Pull | Allmodern Dorothea Area Rug | PBTeen Cat Mirror | H&M Home "The Green Market" Wooden Box (similar, similar) | Sugar Paper Letter Sorter | IKEA Linnmon Table Top + Olov Legs | IKEA Fjalkinge Shelving Unit | IKEA Kvarnvik Storage Boxes | Target "Oh Happy Day" Art | IKEA Rattan Lamp Shade (similar) | The Container Store Storage Bins | The Container Store Bisley Cabinets (blue, white) | IKEA Billy Bookcase | Amazon Carpet Mat | Target Wire Shelving


Coffee Conversations

sources for products here
HEY! Happy Friday! 

It's my last Friday of my adult "Summer Break", so I'm soaking it all in. It's supposed to be in the 70's in Virginia this weekend, so I'm hoping to get out and do something fun with Mike! There are so many wineries in our area, as well as a lot of great places to go hiking/walking on trails. 

My sister comes this weekend, too! I can't wait to show her around and finally catch up with her. We basically haven't had a real conversation since my wedding, so it will be nice to tell her all about our trip to Europe and hear about what they've been up to. 

If you're an entrepreneur, aspiring entrepreneur, shop basically anywhere, or just like a new podcast, you should give "How I Built This" a try. We didn't have WIFI for our first 10 days or so in VA, so I basically only had this podcast to get me through unpacking and building furniture. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I listened to nearly every episode. My favorite may be the one with Kendra Scott, but they're all so interesting. 

I've been updating some things here, including a page where you can shop all things #thebownabode, my picks for fall, and my current favorite beauty products

I'm seriously considering doing a capsule wardrobe for the fall. I would need to think through it a little more, but I've always been intrigued by the concept. This is giving me major inspiration. 

I gave myself a fresh mani yesterday with this color because I'm so ready for fall! 

Have a great weekend! 

Honeymoon Review: Paris

Our view from the hotel balcony! 
When we first started talking about where we wanted to go on our honeymoon, Europe was the first choice for both of us. When I was about 12, my parents to me and my siblings to Paris, London and Spain. Being that I was 12, I don't remember much of it and I'm sure I didn't appreciate it. So, while I've technically been to Europe before, its a whole different ball game when you're at an age when you can fully appreciate experiencing a different culture and country. Mike had never been anywhere in Europe, so it was pretty much decided from the start.  We both loved the idea of going to Italy and since we were going to go through the effort (and expense) of getting all the way over there, we figured we should add another country as a "stopover" on our way. We landed on Paris, after going through a few other options with our best ever travel planner, Heather, and we're so glad we did!

Knowing that Paris would be our first stop, we didn't want to have too strict of an itinerary while we were there. We were looking forward to having some free time to explore on our own. Heather booked us a hotel that was within walking distance of most everything - restaurants, shopping, the Eiffel Tower, the River Seine, the Louvre, etc. We ate at cafes and strolled the streets and said to each other, "can you believe we're in PARIS?!" probably about 100 times. What I loved so much about our time there was that I felt like we really got a feel for French (specifically, Paris) culture and lifestyle. Oftentimes, we'd find ourselves being some of the only people who were speaking English at a cafe, which was very different from our experience in Italy (more on that coming!). Everyone we met and interacted with was kind and gracious with us - we knew how to say "hello" and "thank you" and that's about it.  We both enjoyed our time there so much. While I feel like I don't need to go back to Italy again, I would love to return to Paris someday!

Where we stayed:

How long we stayed: 
3 nights

Our favorite thing we did:
Lauren: Take a really long lunch at a café, sharing a bottle of wine and soaking it all in
Mike: Visiting The Louvre Museum

Best thing we ate:
L: Croissants and onion soup
M: Nutella crêpe from a street cart

What we did:
Walked to the Eiffel Tower, visited the Musée de l'Armée (army museum), walked through the Louvre, spent time at Montmartre, ate way too many carbs, walked through Le Jardin du Luxembourg

What I would do differently next time:
This goes for any country I visit, I'd take a couple days or a week to learn some basics of the language! While we were never in a situation where we couldn't communicate at all (nearly everyone we interacted with knew some English), I would have enjoyed being able to speak that native tongue. I would've also done a bit of research on cultural things, like tipping at restaurants. We had no clue that it's not like we do in the states, so I wish we had done our homework from the start!

She's even more beautiful lit up! 

Parisian architecture is so beautiful. Every building looks straight out of a dream. 

Crossing over the River Seine on our walk to the Louvre 

Pre-dinner baguette on the street in the middle of a downpour

The view of Paris from Montmartre 

The Basilica of Sacré Cœur 

Nutella crépes should be a separate food group. SO GOOD. 

Our first day walking all around the city

My favorite cafe's were the ones that served popcorn with your drinks! 
Other posts about our Honeymoon:
Honeymoon Review: What I Packed For Our Long Flights