Katie’s Favorite Things: My 2021 Gift Guide

I hope everyone is gearing up for a great Thanksgiving and kickoff to the holiday season! I really, really, really need a break, so to that end, I took all next week off work and am so excited for a week of relaxing, eating, drinking, reading, and family time.

Because of all the forecasted shipping delays and supply chain backups this year, I’ve started my holiday shopping earlier than ever before. While I still haven’t decorated for Christmas, I’ve gotten into the holiday spirit in a few ways already over here—Christmas movies started playing the day after Halloween, and I may or may not have been listening to Christmas music since mid-October. (We all need some extra joy in our life this year!)

Back when my job wasn’t as demanding, I used to do multiple holiday gift guides every year—they are all still on the blog in the archives if you’re interested in browsing them for additional gift ideas! But the past couple of years, I’ve gone with what I like to call the ‘Oprah model’ and released one big holiday gift guide with all my favorite things. And today, I am really excited to press publish my 2021 Gift Guide—everything on this guide is something I personally own, love, and recommend.

I know a lot of people have found themselves in stressful economic situations this year, especially with the rising inflation, and my intention with these gift guides is never to make you feel like you have to buy something. None of the items on this list are life changing and I’ve learned over time that buying stuff rarely makes me happier or fills any sort of void in my life. I am just sharing my recommendations in case they’re helpful—no pressure to buy at all.

Lastly, if you’re looking for ideas for how to throw the perfect NYE party, check out pages 24-25 of this year’s Sonder/Sway gift edit for all of my recommendations. (As an aside, I can’t believe it’s going to be 2022!) Read more “Katie’s Favorite Things: My 2021 Gift Guide”


On My Nightstand: October 2021

Happy November! I think I was more busy at my day job in October than I’ve ever been at work in my entire life, so my reading definitely fell a bit behind my average eight books or so a month. I read three really great books—including several I stayed up late reading, which is always a simple joy of mine—and three pretty meh books, so the month really averaged out.

As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me.

Happy reading! x Read more “On My Nightstand: October 2021”

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Botanical Print Gallery Wall

Last month, I celebrated my one year anniversary at my apartment here in Arlington! I love my apartment—and that’s probably a great thing, given I am still working from home, so I spend a lot of time here. Over the last year, I’ve slowly added new furniture and art and the place has really started to come together. (You can see all my home decor posts here!) I’m not sure if your home is ever finished, but I have a few more big pieces I want to invest in—like a new bed frame—and then I think it will feel pretty darn close.

A few months ago, I stumbled across some beautiful framed botanical prints on One Kings Lane that I thought would be beautiful as a gallery wall behind my television. I ordered them, and when they arrived the following week, they showed up in these horrendous silver frames. (The ones I had seen online were in beautiful antique gold frames.) Turns out, the vendor One Kings Lane was drop shipping from changed their frames and One Kings Lane hadn’t updated their website yet. It was definitely a bit of a bummer at the time, but it ended up working out for the best, I think. For one, the One Kings Lane framed botanical prints included a light green mat, so scale-wise, I think they would have been too big to hang around my television in the gallery wall I had envisioned. For another, I ended up saving about $265 as I was able to order the prints directly and frame them myself.

You see, when I have a vision, I don’t give up on executing it—and it took me just a few minutes to find the four Nathaniel Wallich botanical prints I wanted online here, here, here, and here for $23 each. I then was able to find these 12×16″ gold frames on Amazon that I think are beautiful, so I was able to save on custom framing. This particular frame is also sold in a one-pack and a two-pack and are great quality for the price—they do have a cardboard backing, but the visible part of the frame feels very lux.
Read more “Botanical Print Gallery Wall”

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