Going from a 700 sq ft apartment to a 2100 sq ft row home was a big difference. When we were moving in and transferring boxes from room to room, I literally could not find J anywhere in the house. I called down, no answer. I walked downstairs, no J in sight. We laughed that we passed each other without even noticing! Much different than what we were used to with our one bedroom, one living space apartment! But with the increase of space means more rooms to furnish, which can get a little bit overwhelming, and expensive!
I decided to focus on the furnishing the living room, dining room, back sun room on the main floor and our Master and Guest Bedroom upstairs. The basement, additional bedroom rooms (which is acting as my closet), and office are on the backburner for now.
All the interior doors in our house are painted black- which I love!!- and the majority of the walls are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray (SW 7029). We still loved our bedroom furniture so we brought that with to use, and moved in a floor length mirror that we previously had in our apartment hallway. We changed up the bedding, replaced the ceiling fan, bought two new matching nightstands, a rug that would still showcase the original hardwoods, and added some pictures from our Italian honeymoon above our headboard to give our Master a fresh new feel. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it here and there, re-styling the nightstands, etc. but I am super happy with the outcome! See the progress below!
Staged Master while on the market:
My Master Bedroom Design:
The finished Master Bedroom:
I bought three of these wall hooks/knobs from CB2. I have two next to my dresser to hang purses that are in my current rotation, and J has one next to his closet to hang up any shirts, belts, etc. It’s a great way to keep things off the floor, avoiding things from piling up! (These are the small size)
We’re attempting to keep things simple and not over crowd our night stands and dresser tops. A leather catchall is a great way to keep collar stays, pocket squares, and loose change tidy! I’ve also been much better at my night skincare routine now that I’ve been keeping my creams and oils on my night stand. I’ve been loving this Vitamin E oil. Already seeing a difference in my skin!
I have a love hate relationship with my hair. It’s wavy, on the thicker end of the spectrum, and sometimes hard to manage. I’ve always said that if I ever won the lottery I would use my winnings and hire someone to do my hair for me every day! Unfortunately I have not won the lottery, but luckily Living Proof Style Lab has put together a suite of hair products that are helping me achieve my best hair, and I’ve put together a quick review to help you get #yourbesthair!
Influenster sent me a test pack of 4 Style Lab products that I couldn’t wait to try! First up was Blowoutby Living Proof which has been a lifesaver for those long days in the office. A few spritz on washed, damp hair and I’ve noticed my blowout lasting me a whole lot longer before falling flat. Like I mentioned, I have thicker hair so it’s heavy, and inevitably it’s going to lose the volume by the end of the day, but ugh when I’m freshly done blowing out my hair it looks like I should live in Texas! My only complaint is that if you spritz too much, it acts like a hairspray and hairspray and damp hair do not mix! Speaking of hairspray, I have zero complaints about the Flex Shaping Hairspray by Living Proof. Smells great, really is flexible, and perfect for keeping my fly aways, away. I will 100% be purchasing the fullsize version of this as soon as I’m running low! My go to is usually just hairspray, and honestly it’ll probably stay like that, but for the times I’m feeling fancy, the T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styleris a great product that isn’t too heavy. I hate when styling products leave a greasy or sticky feeling to my hair which I didn’t experience, however, at the end of the night (after probably touching my hair too much) it started to clump and look a little piecey. I’m more likely to grab the Prime Style Extender than the T.B.D because like the Blowout spray, you apply when your hair is damp and given that I have wavy hair, it really helps my hair look wavy and not frizzy if I’m air-drying. If I’m styling with a curling wand or flat iron, it helped keep my curl or wave looking fresh for a lot longer than if no product is used! Have you tried any of the Living Proof Style Lab Products? I’m excited to continue exploring the collection and don’t worry, I’ll report back if there are any winners!
Shop The Living Proof Style Lab Products:
I received these products complimentary for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.
I totally should not be shopping for clothes right now after doing a major furniture purchasing spree, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to big seasonal changes like Fall. The rich colors, thicker fabrics, and opportunity to layer has me all sorts of excited. I’ve tried to buy strategic pieces 1. Because it’ll help keep my bank account at a whimper instead all out screaming at me and 2. I don’t have the closet space anymore so I need to purchase items that are classics and able to be mixed and matched.
After many seasons of watching this J.Crew camel blazer, I finally pulled the trigger. I’m excited to style throughout the different seasons but especially for this Fall. I’m thinking jeans and white tee for the weekends and paired with these forest green pants & a blouse for work! I’ve been loving the newsboy cap trend right now. There are some super cute & affordable ones out there right now (like this ASOS one!) and if you’re unsure of the look, you can always give your baseball cap an upgrade with this cool one!
P.S. This scarf is under $10 & comes in three different patterns!
It is officially Fall which has me thinking it’s time to bring on all the pumpkin flavored everything and bourbon cocktails! I can’t add in “layering, scarves, boots, etc.” yet because it’s still in the 80 90’s here and although we never never treat bourbon cocktails as a seasonal thing, this one definitely packs in that It’s Autumn punch! So who cares that it’s still summer temps! If you want a bourbon cocktail that tastes like fall (or you’re a fan of Hard Apple Ciders) this one is for you… and for all those who DM’d me when I posted this instagram of us trying it out the other night! That’s the fun part about blogging these recipes- there’s always a taste test and then a real deal. This one is the real deal and then some!
The ‘Rye’pe Apple | Makes One Cocktail
1 shot rye whiskey (or you can use bourbon)
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
3 dashes aromatic bitters
Hard Apple Cider
Add the whiskey, cinnamon, cloves and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over a collins or highball glass with ice cubes (I love this ice tray for cocktails) and top with your favorite hard apple cider. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a strip of orange zest or a cinnamon stick- Cheers!
While our almost 100 year old row home is in great condition, and it’s evident the previous owners really took care of it, there was one major thing that they did that completely bugs the heck out of me. (Even more so than the dated kitchen appliances!) They bought fans and light fixtures that are completely the wrong size – either entirely too big for the rooms, hanging down too low, or just plain ugly. I don’t know if it was what was on sale or if their taste is really that different than what mine is, but I knew switching out light fixtures and fans were a top priority!
Since we just recently settled on and purchased a dining table, my search for a chandelier and wall sconces are in full force! (I can’t wait to get rid of the fan they put over the dining table. Talk about cold food!) Here’s the first “Save vs Splurge” post rounding up some really pretty chandeliers & pendants to hang over your dining table! It’s amazing that if you want a certain look for a certain price, it’s out there! Or if you want to splurge because you know it’ll just make the room – go for it! Either way, pick the one that you love because lighting really makes or breaks a room!
With each house that we considered I started dreaming about how I was going to decorate the interior. I would scroll through and find chandeliers, sofas, tables, and more that would fit the “vibe” for that particular row house and DC neighborhood. J and I have similar but different tastes when it comes to decor. I am a little more adventurous where as J tends to lean toward more of the traditional with a little modern spin on it… as long as it’s comfortable, but he lets me take the decorating reigns.
I love the idea of adding more modern pieces in a hundred year old home so when we found out that our offer on our place was accepted, I immediately began searching for items that I wanted to fill the house with. I probably know every coffee table, sofa, and dining table out there- I give the sales associates a run for their money knowing what’s in stock right now! A way that I keep track of which items I like, and what would look good together is by plopping it into my test design.
For example, I’m on the hunt for the perfect coffee table for our formal living space. Our sofa and chairs arrived this past weekend but without a coffee table, there’s a major missing piece! I’ve narrowed it down to a few that I keep going back to but just can’t seem to put my finger on which one I think would work best! What do you think; Option A, B, or C?!
Option A: Rectangular marble slab and brass table
Option B: Round marble and brass pedestal table
Option C: Round black and brass pedestal table
I’ll be sharing my ideas of each room with a “before and after” so you can see my ideas on paper in real life! If there’s something specific that you’re looking for, let me know!
If you’ve watched my instagram stories recently you might have noticed I’ve driven by a certain house a couple of times. Although it’s been a quick 30 days, some days it has felt like years waiting to finally announce that… J & I bought a house!
It was a looong journey. Starting in February, we toured over 60 houses, spent many weekends popping into Open Houses, and made FOUR offers. (Almost 5 but we pulled out the last second.) The D.C. Market is CRAZY! We got really good knowing which days and times to check for new listings, got to explore different areas of the city, and figured out just how much of a “project” we were looking to take on. Some of the houses were eye sores but in a great location, others we wouldn’t have to lift a finger, but we’d be far away from the action. After losing out on some of the homes, I was sad. And angry. But looking back now, I’m so happy we lost those other offers. They were great homes, and I hope that good people are making them into a home, but man am I glad that we were available for this one. This was meant to be our house and I knew it the minute I found it on Redfin. (No joke.)
I cannot wait to share my decorating ideas, before & after pictures, and homeowner adventures with you all through C’s Collection. I’m excited to embrace the original details and charm this house, learn how to be a little handier, and maybe even try out my green thumb. I have a feeling it’s going to be a really fun journey ahead!
Happy Anniversary!.. As in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! Gotta love stocking up on sweaters for great prices while it’s a record degree outside! Here’s a few of the items that I picked up from the Anniversary sale and some others that I might add before the sale ends on August 6th!
If you have a Nordstrom Card your sale starts now! And everyone can take a peek at what’s available!
I forget exactly how I came across ALL SOULS but as soon as I did it was on my places to go list! And probably bumped a couple other places down a notch or two! We don’t venture over into Shaw too often but we’ve been exploring more and more places. (Like here when we dined at Espita Mezcaleria!) All Souls is absolutely true to it’s word- it’s a Corner Bar located at 8th & T NW, serving only cocktails, beer, and wine… that happen to be quite delicious! We opted to try drinks off the cocktail list which includes 22 simple yet tasty drinks made with some fun ingredients and definite attention to detail. And speaking of simple, All Souls decided instead of naming each cocktail they’d just number them so pick a number any number- it’s going to be good!
First Round: I went with No. 22: Bayou Rum, Cynar, Fresh Orange Juice and Regan’s Bitters. The Cynar definitely shines through making this cocktail a refreshing, bittersweet drink. Sounds a little like an oxymoron but I would definitely recommend! J ordered No. 6: Maker’s Mark, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Fresh Grapefruit and St. Germain. I actually preferred his over mine, it had a smoother less bittersweet taste.
Second Round: I wanted to order something that would be a good transition from my first cocktail so I decided on No. 1: The Barcelona. It was Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, Fresh Sour Mix & topped with Cava. I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles and this one intrigued me since I love a whiskey sour. It was good, very good, and the sour left you wanting more! J let me order his second round so I picked a cocktail that I was excited to try as well! I ordered the No. 4: Juan’s Chilean Afro. Kappa Pisco, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Regan’s bitters. Once again, his drink won.
Final Round: Ok, let me remind you- All Souls is a corner bar, not a restaurant. So at this point we had two very delicious, but strong drinks and a small bowl of olives. We could have very easily stopped there but I am a sucker for namesakes and the last cocktail on the menu is named “The All Souls.” How could I resist?! It’s a sparkling Rose with a Maker’s Mark neat. Very pretty and aromatic Rose and it was amazing how the flavors exploded with the combination. But to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last drink… 😉
C’s Tip: All Souls is the perfect spot to grab some pre-dinner cocktails at a simple but fun bar with a cool vibe. Since they don’t have food menu, you are able to order food to be delivered to the bar OR you can pop around the corner to Haikan for some of the best Ramen in DC. Add a vegetable spicy bomb if you like your Ramen spicy!
I always thought that Daiquiris were the frozen syrupy drinks that make your head feel like it’s going to pop off when you wake up the next morning. Quickly I would skip over the Daiquiri on the menu while out sipping at cocktail bars deeming the Daiquiri ‘not worthy’ of being served at cocktail bars… until a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if it was because cold weather was lingering just a little too long & I had found myself wishing for a tropical drink or what, but J and I went to Church & State, a cocktail bar in the H Street Corridor that serves “All American” cocktails with homemade syrups and mixes.Thanks to their Daiquiri, I’m now singing a different tune.
Also, the Daiquiri also might be the simplest cocktail out there to mix up so all you “I’m not a mixologist” drinkers out there, you too can whip this up and impress your friends. Serve it with some tacos or if you’re feeling really sassy, swap out the traditional base, Aged Rum, with the smoky cousin of tequila- mezcal! I can’t wait to play around more with this recipe now that warm weather has made it’s arrival!
Here’s the recipe I came up with for the birth of the Mezquiri…
The Mezquiri | makes one cocktail
2 ounces Mezcal (I prefer Vida)
1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 lime wheel, for garnish
1) In a cocktail shaker, combine the mezcal, lime juice and simple syrup.
2) Fill the shaker with ice; cap and shake for 15 seconds.
3) Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wheel. Serve immediately.
C’s Note: If you’re taking my recommendation and serving with tacos, try this recipe for Green Chile & Tomatillo Chicken tacos! You can garnish with cotija cheese & some thin jalapeno slices. Cheers!