4.27.22 1

A Look at My Bedroom — And a Story About the Time I Returned a Mattress

Since I moved into my apartment in September 2020, I’ve spent most of time and money focusing on the most highly trafficked areas of my apartment—my desk area, my kitchen, my living room, and my balcony. Given I keep a busy travel schedule, which is demanding on my budget, I have to save up between purchases for my apartment—especially because I would rather invest in pieces I can keep a long time instead of just buying something to fill a space. So I’ve slowly, but surely, been making some changes to my bedroom.

When I first moved into this apartment, my bedroom looked much like it did in my old Arlington apartment. I had pretty much all the same furniture—a full size bed with the upholstered nail headboard, my vintage green dresser, and my nightstands. I loved the look of the room overall, but wanted to make some tweaks as my design has evolved some and my needs have changed. My room is still very much a work in progress as I’d like to get another dresser (I am in desperate need of more storage space!), swap out the lamps on my nightstands, and hang a gallery wall to complete the space—once it’s complete, I’ll share a full room tour. But in the interim, I wanted to give you a look at the changes I’ve made so far. Starting with…


During the first three years of my academic career at UVA, I always lived in housing that came furnished—the dorms, an on-grounds apartment, the sorority house. So when my friends and I signed a lease for an apartment on Wertland Street for our fourth year, I needed to get a mattress. The summer before school started, my mom and I went mattress shopping and after laying on nearly every option in the store, we found an amazing pillow-top option that I ordered in a full size. It was so comfortable that I held onto it longer than I probably should have, but it ended up working out perfectly given a queen size bed would have been really tight in my Dupont Circle studio.

When I moved back to Arlington, I knew I wanted to get a new mattress and upgrade to a queen size since I had more space. Because of said move, I received a really nice tax return last year and decided to use that money to buy a new mattress. While I know ordering a mattress online is the thing to do these days, I wanted to go test them out in the store. Because the mattress I loved was a Beautyrest, I looked up which mattress stores near me carried that brand. I found a Mattress Firm about a 10 minute drive away from my apartment that had several Beautyrest options on the showroom floor. My sister, Jennifer, agreed to go shopping with me as a second opinion, so we made a day of it.

When we arrived in the store, the sales guy showed us the Beautyrest options and I really liked both the 12.25″ Beautyrest Pressuresmart Plush Mattress and the 14.75″ Beautyrest Pressuresmart Plush Pillow Top Mattress. After he tried to upsell us on some more expensive options, Jennifer and I went back to those two Beautyrest options, which were conveniently located right next to each other. I like really soft mattresses, and both thought the 12.25″ Pressuresmart Plush Mattress was the winner. After negotiating, I placed the order and it was scheduled to be delivered to my apartment later that week.

That first night, when I went to bed, I knew I made a huge mistake—I should have gone with the pillow top mattress option. It was just far too firm for me to get comfortable, And, clearly, I didn’t take into account the fact that the store model was probably extra soft given how many people test it out.

I spent the next two days obsessively searching, “how long does it take to break a mattress in?” and reading Reddit threads, online reviews, and any article I could find comparing the two mattress options. On the third day, I decided I was absolutely miserable—and admittedly, a little dramatic, probably due to the lack of sleep—and knew I needed to just go back to Mattress Firm and beg for mercy. You see, they have a 30-day return policy—you can return a mattress, but only after sleeping on it for a month. But I figured it was worth asking if they could make an exception, and figured I’d have the best luck if I went over there in person.

So one day on my lunch break, I headed back over to Mattress Firm, and to my luck, the manager was the one that greeted me. I explained my situation and told him while I respected their policy, I could absolutely not make it another 27 nights on the aforementioned mattress and that I’d like to exchange it. To my delight, he said that would be no problem and that he’d grab someone to help me. Turns out, the person he asked to do my exchange was the original sales guy—who understandably was a little frustrated, probably because it hurt his commission. It was a slightly awkward transaction as a result, but I was just so relieved that it worked out that I didn’t mind a few uncomfortable minutes. And, to top off my luck that day, the pillow top mattress was on sale, so I was able to get it for the exact same price I had paid for the original mattress, without having to negotiate further. (Because let’s be real, I was not going to push my luck on this one!)

You could say there are two morals to this story. First, I am a pillow top mattress person. Second, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

I’ve had my 14.75″ Beautyrest Pressuresmart Plush Pillow Top Mattress for a little over a year now and I am so happy with it. It’s the newer model of the old mattress I had, and is just so, so, so comfortable—it certainly makes getting out of bed in the morning a challenge! If you’re like me and want to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, I can’t recommend this one enough.

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4.24.22 1

The Perfect Dress for a Destination Wedding

Last week, I spent four days and three nights down in Puerto Rico—and it was such a beautiful and fun vacation. Two of my former coworkers were getting married and so me and about 15 of our other former coworkers were in town for the wedding. Everyone stayed at the same resort, so it felt like an adult summer camp in the best way. We all spent the days at the pool, taking full advantage of the swim up bar, and the nights by the lobby bar, where the resort had the best live music going. Unlike some trips where your go, go, go from one activity to the next, this was a true vacation—we only left the resort to go to the wedding itself, but other than that, we were on no set schedule.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve in Río Grande, Puerto Rico—and I’ll be writing a full post about my trip soon. But in the interim, I wanted to share the Red Dress Boutique Yellow Tiered Maxi Dress I wore to the wedding.

This wedding has been on my calendar for over a year now, so I started dress shopping early. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but it was so hard to find a dress for this wedding as I was largely unimpressed with what’s on the market. I felt like everything was either too revealing or too matronly or looked better online than it did in person. I probably should have just gone old school and headed to the mall to try on a bunch of dresses, but instead, I opted to buy half the internet it felt like. (And, whew, someone needs to come up with a better system for tracking returns!)

Fast forward to less than a week before the wedding, and despite the aforementioned shopping spree, I still did not have a dress I was excited about wearing to this wedding. So I panic bought another round of options, and when I stumbled on this yellow number online, I crossed my fingers that I liked it as much in person as I did online. I paid to overnight ship it to myself so it would arrive before my flight to Puerto Rico, and as soon as it arrived, I ran down to my doorman to pick up the package. I was thrilled with how it fit and thought the bright yellow would be perfect for a destination wedding in Puerto Rico.

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My Morning & Evening Routines

Earlier this year, I asked my Instagram followers if there were any posts they wanted to see from me. Several asked for morning and evening routines, and today I am happy to oblige. Almost two years ago, I wrote a post about my daily routine in quarantine, and I re-read it before writing this post. Truthfully, since I am still working from home, my days look very similar to what is described in that post. So instead of re-hashing my whole day, essentially writing the same post, I thought I’d take a different approach this time by sharing my morning and evening routines, and highlighting the products I love using for both.

I am the type of person that really thrives on routine. One of my favorite things about coming home from vacation is getting back into the swing of daily life. And given my penchant for the predictability of routine, I think that’s one of the reasons why the start of the pandemic was so hard for me—my whole routine went away over night. I quickly went to work re-establishing a new routine that worked with the realities of working from home—and here I am still following it almost two years later.

Another thing you should know about me is that I’m a night owl. I love to stay up late and I do some of my best and most creative thinking at night. Our culture loves to glamorize the early bird, and if that works for you, great! But I am here to say, you can have just a productive of a day if you get started on the later side. Given this, as you’ll see below, my morning routine is pretty condensed as I love to sleep as late as possible versus having a leisurely morning.

PS—these pictures are just ones I wanted to share, and I needed some imagery for this post. If you want to read about my living room in this Arlington apartment, check out here, here, and here.

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