Coffee Conversations


Good Morning and Happy Friday! It's a particularly good morning around here because we don't have painters coming into the house this morning! They finished up the job a day early, which means we have the whole house to ourselves today! I'm so, so happy with what they did. It feels like it's even more our house now that we've personalized it a bit. I cannot wait to start getting some furniture in that I've ordered and decorating! I do feel like I want to take a little more time deciding where things will be hung on the walls - now that they look so great, I don't want to go around punching holes everywhere. I'm thinking we'll get most everything else in place - furniture, rugs, decorative pieces - and then have hanging things be the last step in each room.

Today's goal is to get my dressing room/closet as organized as it can be. I still need to decide on a closet organization system like this, but until that's figured out, I need to get my clothes out of suitcases! I can't remember where I packed things, so it's been an interesting feat getting dressed every morning.

In case you missed it, Sephora is running their Beauty Insider Sale right now! If you're not an Insider already, you can sign up very easily here. It's a great time to buy any designer/higher end makeup at a discount! I picked up a couple of these lip glides because I love them - great color options and long-lasting throughout the day.

A perfect outerwear option for cooler weather!

40% off at Abercrombie is still happening. See what I ordered!

This. I want it.

How do we feel about the multi-color manicure thing that's happening? I like it on other people, but I'm not sure that I can pull it off! Maybe I just don't have the right complementary colors.

Have a great weekend!

We Bought a Home!

In case you missed the news last weekend, we bought our first home! We closed on Friday afternoon, which was a much anticipated day for us. As a long-time renter, it still doesn't quite feel like this place is actually ours yet. The painter starts today, though, which may change that feeling! I've never been able to or asked to paint any of my rental apartments, so choosing colors and customizing to our style is so fun! Once the painting is done, I'll be able to really unpack and start decorating. It's been nice to have a few days to just live in this place before making any decisions on where to place things, but I'm also anxious to not look around and see moving boxes everywhere!

I thought I would share a little bit about our process now that we're on the other side. I didn't share anywhere on my blog or Instagram that we were house hunting, so I got a few messages of people being very surprised when we shared the news!

So, let's start at the beginning:

We moved to Northern Virginia last August for my husband to begin his Master's of Occupational Therapy Program. We were both excited that this university was one of the first that he was accepted into - VA was higher on our list than some of the other places he applied. My brother-in-law and family live in the area and my sister and her family are about 4.5 hours, so we knew that we would be close-ish to family coming here.

We happened to pick the suburb of D.C. that we rented in only because we found a good rental at the right price that was pretty close to campus. We didn't know much of anything else about the area beyond what we drove around and saw while visiting. Within the first few months of being here, we both agreed that we really enjoyed the area. We love the options here - mountains, city, country, ocean, easy to travel along the East Coast, and a ton of wineries for fun weekend activities. We didn't talk much in those first few months about future plans, but we always had an open mind about where we would eventually put down roots.

In January of this year, we got involved in the church we'd been attending for a couple months by joining a small group. I hadn't met many people (one of the downsides of working from home!) and Mike only knew his classmates, so we wanted to try to meet some friends together. The Lord blessed us immensely with the group that we happened to randomly join - we instantly clicked with the other couples. We were building relationships and getting more connected in this unknown place and falling more in love with it! We began talking about next steps - what were we going to do when our one-year lease on our rental expired at the end of July? Do we see ourselves staying in VA for longer than just the duration of his program? If not, where do we see ourselves? Many of these conversations, prayer, and talking with our friends and family later, we decided to dip our toes in the house-hunting water. We had an idea of what we were looking for and where we wanted to look, but without knowing what we could really find, we were tentative. If we found something, great! If not, that would be okay, too - we'd keep renting another year and try again (or not). We got connected with a realtor through one of our friends and started shopping around in May. At first, there were a ton of options - we weeded through the ones that wouldn't work and had a few that looked promising.

Let me take a moment for a little sidebar to say that needing a hefty workspace to work from home makes things a little difficult when it comes to finding the right place! From the beginning, I had hoped that we could find a home with ample living space AND a basement/loft/den that was large enough for me to grow into. I tried having an open mind as we would go to showings, but was also the only one who knew my specific needs/wants for an office. There were a lot of places that had a lower level bedroom or a small recreation room that I could make work, if necessary, but nothing that I was really excited about.

Back to the hunt: we were looking through new listings nearly everyday, scheduling showings, feeling disappointed when we walked through and it was not quite what we were looking for, and going back to the drawing board. House hunting is a tiring process, especially if you have specific preferences or needs. It can be frustrating and a bit of a roller coaster. We are very grateful that we weren't on any strict timeline. In the worst case scenario (not finding a place we actually wanted to buy), we would just renew our lease for another year and re-assess. We had a ton of flexibility, but we also had a desire to buy!

Just before the fourth of July, we walked through the first home that I had a really good feeling about. As soon as we stepped inside, I had this feeling that it could be the one. We loved it! It was the first one that checked every single box - both requirements and hopeful wishes. We believed we were in a great spot and put in a solid offer. I made the mistake of getting my hopes up a bit because we found out the next day that someone else outbid us. At that point, I was weary of the process. It felt like we weren't finding anything and the one place that we liked enough to put an offer in on didn't work out. It was disheartening at the time, but now I can see that the Lord had bigger and better plans (as He usually does 😉). Just after this, we had a very busy month - vacation with our friends and separate trips to NC and CA. Just after these trips, we found a few more listings that looked promising, so we scheduled some showings with our realtors. We happened upon two places that we really liked - the one we bought and another one. They were pretty different but we could imagine ourselves in both of them. The one we bought was in the city we wanted, had a great-sized basement for me to work and plenty of room to grow into, but we knew we would want to update some things while living there (bathrooms and kitchen). The other one had all the updates we liked and an amazing outdoor space, but my workspace would've been a bit small and it was a little farther away than we wanted to be.

We talked it through and decided to put an offer in on the first one. We couldn't deny that it was a hidden gem -- it checked all the boxes (and some!) and was close to everything we wanted in the city we wanted and at a price we were comfortable with. We put in an offer the same day and were under contract within about 24 hours! It was c r a z y how quickly it all happened. We closed about 35 days later and moved in the day after we closed!

Since we've been living here, I've fallen more in love with it. The layout, the space, the character, all of it. It feels like home already and we've been here for just a few days! We aren't prepared to make the decision on whether or not Virginia is our forever home yet, but we know that we want to be here for some time. We found a home that we can grow into over the next several years, which we're very grateful for.

I can't wait to share more as the home comes together and we settle into it. Thanks for being part of this journey and sharing in our excitement!


Coffee Conversations


Popping out from beneath the pile of moving boxes and packing materials that has been my reality the last few days to say, "hello"! I popped over to Starbucks this morning since we've already packed up our coffee maker. I'm sure I ordered a tall, but when they handed me the grande, I didn't even think twice. It's like the barista knew I needed a little extra boost today ;)

It's been delightfully pleasant in Northern VA the last couple days, so much so that I've had the windows open to let in some fresh air! There seems to be only a few times throughout the year that I can actually do that, so I take advantage as often as the opportunity presents itself.

Anthropologie has 20% off everything right now, so I'll definitely be browsing!

I've started listening to Crime Junkie, a new-to-me podcast about, you guessed it, true crime! I'm enjoying it! It's a bit different than the other podcasts I've talked about on here, but it's nice to change it up every once in awhile.

The drugstore mascara I've been using and loving the last few months is BOGO 50% off today! It's a dupe for the Tarteist Lash Paint that I used to use, but less than half the price.

Have you shopped the Madewell Insider Sale yet?

I've been craving a hair change lately, but don't know exactly what I want! This is so pretty. I haven't don't anything to my color in awhile, maybe that'll be next!

We've got a busy and exciting weekend ahead! Have a great weekend!

Madewell Sale

Madewell has their Insider Sale happening right now, which is a great time to pull the trigger on a pair of fantastic jeans or a beautiful leather bag. If you're not already signed up, you can easily sign up here to use the 15% off discount! Not only do you get the discount, but you get free shipping and returns, which is reason enough to create an account!

Here's a look at my favorite items and some things on my wishlist:

Recent Additions to My Closet

We're getting to that strange part in the season where it feels a little wasteful to shop for summer clothes, but I feel like I've cycled through my closet so many times already that I'm running out of options! It's too soon to dress in things for cooler weather, too. If I find anything that I want to add to my closet now, it goes through a little bit of an analytical process before I click, "buy". It has to fit into two seasons - summer and fall. If I can wear it in the summer without sweating and also find a way to layer it in the fall without freezing, it passes the test! I've found a few of those gems recently, so I though I would share! 

Short-Sleeve Button Dress in Light Blue
Sizing: Runs true to size, wearing a small 
I wasn't sure about this dress when I ordered it because it seemed a little too good to be true. I love the coverage it provides while also creating a shape with the cinched waist. The button detail is so cute and the pockets...oh, the pockets. I love pockets! I love this color for warmer weather, too. For $20, this dress is an easy, "yes!"
*the color is really more of a dusty blue-grey than a true light blue

Short-Sleeve Button Dress in Black
Sizing: Runs true to size
In true fashion, I ordered the same dress in two colors. I love the black for transitioning into Fall -- it looks great with a pair of booties and a lightweight cardigan or field jacket!

Striped Tie Back Dress
Sizing: Runs slightly small to true to size // I'm wearing a small and could fit into a medium in the bottom, but the top would be too large! 
I saw this dress on my sister and instantly loved it. It's casual enough that it can replace a jeans-and-a-tee outfit, but could also be dressed up with a pair of booties and some fun statement earrings. I'm excited to get good use out of it for the rest of the warm weather, and to also style it with booties and cardigans this Fall!
(styled with these espadrilles)

Grey 7/8 Tight
Sizing: Runs true to size
I love these tights for two reasons: pockets and high-waisted cut. I almost exclusively wear workout tights from this brand because they're so durable and the side pockets are perfect! I love the grey shade and the perforated details on the side.

Sneakers
Sizing:  Run slightly small; I go between an 8 and 8.5 - the 8.5 fit more comfortably, so I would consider going up a half size!
I saw these sneakers while browsing online and they instantly caught my eye. I happened to be nearby a store that they were in stock, so I thought I'd pop in to try them on and see if they were as good as I thought they could be. Spoiler alert: they're better. They're the most lightweight sneaker I've ever worn! I love the white detailing and the fabric. They will become my go-to for any athleisure outfit, I'm sure! 

(styled with this bra and sweatshirt)

Sizing: Run true to size, options for petite, tall and taller!
I pretty much wear two denim brands - AG and Madewell. I've tried branching out and giving other brands a go, but I can't seem to find anything else that fits my body quite as well as those two. Not to mention, their lifespan is across years and I wear my denim a lot, so that matters!
(styled with these nude flats)

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Coffee Conversations


TGIF! The first half of this week moved at a snail's pace and then I blinked and it's Friday!

I started a new book this week, I Found You. I'm barely into it, but I find myself looking forward to being able to read it when I get into bed at a night, which is always a good sign!

LOFT is having another great sale this weekend! I rounded up some of my favorites here, but I'm particularly loving these adorable shoes, this staple closet item, and this pretty top.

Speaking of things on sale, all of EA's mugs and non-Fall candles are discounted right now! This is the first time in the history of these candles that they're marked down, so if you've had your eye on one, now is the time to take advantage!

How cute is this thermal top? I'm finding myself anxious to dig into my Fall wardrobe but it's just too dang hot to even consider it. I love that this is a happy meeting ground -- has the look and feel of cool weather but I could actually wear it now.

I was doing some light Internet-browsing yesterday and these sneakers instantly caught my eye. I need another pair of sneakers like I need a hole in my head, but that's completely beside the point 😉

I asked Mike to cover food and cooking this week for us (I usually do that) and he crushed it! I enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen, but very much do not like meal planning and coming up with what to eat for dinner throughout the week. I tend to go back to the same recipes that I always use, so I get bored! I had him take over everything this week - planning, shopping, cooking - and it was a really nice break.

When we were in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago, I did a cooking class with my mom and sister where we used a grill pan to cook chicken breasts. I'd never had success with it before that class, but it inspired me to try doing it at home! Since then, we've been using our grill pan a ton -- chicken, fish, turkey burgers. In the class, we grilled the chicken breasts on the pan to get the grill marks and char, and then finished in the oven to ensure the meat was cooked through. I'd never considered doing it that way, but it's changed the way I use our pan! Anyway, in case you're like us and don't have an outdoor grill (we cannot wait to get one after we move!), an indoor grill pan is a great alternative!

Have a great weekend!

Living Room Concept


Ever since we made the decision to move a few months ago, I've been formulating our design and decor concept in my head. My "home style" has been pretty fluid over the past 8 years. It's been in the last year or so that I feel like I've become more aware of what I like and how I'd like our home to look. I'm looking forward to being able to put it into practice in our new home!

I love the look and feel of modern furniture and decor, but feel that style can sometimes feel cold or lacking in character. While the overall vibe will be modern, I want to add in some warmth with different textures and rich fabrics. This is the first place I'll live in that I'll actually get to paint the walls (!!!), so we're going with a perfectly neutral white. I love the blank canvas that it will allow us and how bright and open the space will feel.

We spend a lot of time in our living room, so I'm hoping to create a space that is aesthetically pleasing but also 100% functional for how we will use the room. Since we will have more square footage this time around, I'm looking forward to being able to invite our friends over and know that we'll have plenty of space to hang out and be comfortable.

I can't wait to see it come together!

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Kitten White by Glidden, Article Sven Sofa, Target Gold End Table, World Market Arc Floor Lamp, West Elm Antwerp Sofa, Rugs USA Marrakesh Shag, Wayfair Storage Ottoman, H&M Textured Box, Wayfair Floor Mirror, IKEA plant, H&M Leather Tray, Nordstrom Plush Throw


Coffee Conversations


Hello! I'm back this week for Coffee Conversations -- these are my favorite posts and I didn't get one up last week. It's been a busy week packing and prepping for our move and gearing up for the Fall collection for Elisabeth Ashlie

Speaking of Elisabeth Ashlie, there's a pile of jewelry and some goods that are on sale right now. After a busy summer not being able to fully get into the work swing, I'm feeling super inspired and motivated to do some things I've wanted to for awhile for the biz! First up, refining our jewelry selection, which means a ton of pieces are on sale. 

Am I the only one who is sort of ready for Fall to arrive? I've always been a cooler weather kinda person, so the prospect of being able to wear jeans and a cardigan outside and not suffer a heat stroke sounds amazing. Also, apple cider donuts. 

I popped into Target earlier this week and walked it with way more than I went in for, which is pretty standard! One of the things I'm happy to have found is this super soft pullover. I've worn it around the house a couple days this week and love it!

Do yourself a favor and pick up this dress while it's on sale. And shop the rest of the sale because 60-75% off!!

One of the things I've always done before moving is try to burn down all of my partially-burned candles. I don't really know why because they're perfectly easy to wrap up and travel, but I'm finding myself lighting candles as often as possible. I'm starting to wonder if it's my subconscious way of making it so that I need to buy new candles after a move. Anthropologie has the best selection, in my opinion, and they're 20% off right now! I just might have to pick up a couple...

As of now, we have zero plans this weekend, which I'm thrilled about! I'm hoping to make some major progress on packing. 

Have a great weekend! 

Life Update


In keeping with the theme of our Summer thus far, the last couple weeks and the next few will be quite busy. Why, you ask? We're moving! Yes, again! We've been in our current rental for just over one year already, which is hard to believe. I've moved seven times in as many years, only staying in one apartment in Chicago for more than a year, so this is sort of par for the course. We are staying in the same city that we're in now in Northern Virginia, just picking up and moving across town.

When we first moved to VA for my husband to begin his master's program, we didn't know the area at all. We chose the rental that we're in because it was enough space for the two of us and seemed like it was in a good neighborhood. It was always a temporary home for us - something to live in for a year while we got to know the area and figure out what kind of space we need. Our one-year lease quickly came to an end, so we're out of here! I'll be sharing a bit more about the place we're moving into in the next few weeks, but for now, I'm in full-on packing mode.

Part of me feels like we just got settled into this space and I'm a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of having to do it all over again. The other side of me, you know the one that has moved nearly every year for the past 8 years, is so anxious to get into a new space and figure it out. I love the challenge that comes with decorating a new space and figuring out different ways to use the pieces we already have. We're moving into a bit more square footage than we have now, so I know there will be some major furniture and decor shopping over the next several months. I'm looking forward to being able to refine our home decor style and finding pieces that we love!

I've been a pinning machine over on Pinterest, absorbing so much inspiration. Historically, I've gotten my apartments nearly completely unpacked and decorated within a week of moving in. I don't like the stress of having that hanging over my head and I've had a pretty good collection of decor and furniture to work with. It was mostly about finding the spot for it in the new apartment and recreating the decor I had in the last one. I'm anxious for a little bit of a change this time around, but not sure what that will be yet!

All this to say, things may be a bit quiet around here the next few weeks. On top of packing and moving, I'm also planning and buying for fall/winter jewelry and goods for Elisabeth Ashlie. My creativity is going to be pretty tapped by September, I think 😉

As always, I'm most active on Instagram, so head over there for updates and maybe an outfit or two!

Photo Details:
Pouf, Coffee Table,  Joggers, Tee, Throw Blanket (the softest!), Be Still, My Soul Prints 

Saturday Style

A busy summer has meant we've missed a lot of Saturday mornings at home. I miss the simple joy of sleeping in after a long week of work, slowly sipping coffee and going into full-relaxation mode with a good book - it's my favorite way to start the weekend! 

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Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Travel Shawl, BP. Tee, H&M Joggers, EA Weekend Mug, Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader, Grey Slippers, Barefoot Dreams 'In The Wild' Throw