On My Nightstand: October 2020

I know I said this in yesterday’s post, too, but I just can’t believe it’s November! This past month was crazy busy for me at work, but despite that, I was able to finish six books. When times are really stressful, I am exceptionally grateful for the respite reading provides—it’s so nice at the end of a long day to escape to another world and not spend the minutes before bed scrolling mindlessly on my phone. There are definitely times when I’m stressed that it’s harder to focus on reading—which is how I felt at the start of the pandemic back in March—but I am glad that has not been my experience as of late. I would love to know what you’re reading and loving these days, as I am looking for some books to read over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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!

You can always follow along with what I am reading in real-time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there! Read more “On My Nightstand: October 2020”


DC Dinner Club: Fall 2020

Happy November! I can’t believe it’s November—part of me mentally is still back in March. Work has been really busy for me lately, but I’m feeling really invigorated by what I am working on and am now starting to get into the holiday spirit. Because it’s 2020 and there are no rules, I started watching Christmas movies a few weeks ago, and have absolutely no regrets. I think I need the mindless escape and predictability now more than ever.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know dining out and enjoying restaurants with my friends and family is one of my favorite pastimes. I woke up this morning—as much as I hate that it now gets dark so early, I did really appreciate the extra hour of sleep this weekend!—to an email from Wendy, the owner of Screwtop, my favorite restaurant, probably in the whole world, talking about how winter is going to be so hard on independently owned restaurants. While heaters work for now, when the temps really start to drop, they still won’t make it comfortable enough for people to want to sit outside. Not to mention, the propane needed to power the heaters is costly and eating into their already slim margins. (This article from Washingtonian does a good job highlighting these challenges!) That email made me really want to double down on supporting my favorite restaurants, whether that be through al fresco dining while it’s still tolerable or through takeout during the cold, dark days we have ahead of us.

Reading that email also reminded me it’s been a while since I wrote a dinner club post for the fall, so I wanted to round up a few of the places I’ve eaten and loved around the DC area lately. I always shared the restaurants I am going to in real-time over on Instagram and save them to my highlights, and if you’re looking for a specific recommendation, feel free to DM or email me (katie@atouchofteal.com), I am always happy to help! And, you can look through the archives of past dinner club posts here!

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My Favorite Decorating Hack: Framing Wallpaper

I’ve lived in my new Arlington apartment for almost a month now—time really flies! Since I am working from home, I unpacked really quickly; it’s hard to have boxes all over the place and also focus on a million conference calls. I am glad I put in the effort since I feel really settled, and now that I’ve been living here for a bit, am dreaming up what I can do with the unfinished spaces in my apartment. In addition to unpacking quickly, one thing I also did the first weekend I lived here was hang all my artwork on the walls. I still have a lot of blank spaces and am excited to collect art I really love over time to fill those, but hanging the pieces I already have and love on my wall really made this place feel like home.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know one of my pieces of art is a framed piece of the wallpaper that famously lines The Beverly Hills Hotel—you can see it in this post. Framing wallpaper is one of my favorite decorating hacks. Wallpaper samples are usually pretty cheap and if you want to save even further, you can cut them down to a standard size to avoid the custom framing route. (We used to frame wallpaper for art all the time when I used to work at a real estate developer for this exact reason!) And, if you live in an apartment like me, it’s a great way to bring in wallpaper you love without permanently defacing your walls.

I’m sharing this hack today because if you follow me on Instagram, you know this story already, but I wanted to share it here—I framed a new piece of wallpaper for my new apartment, and it’s one that means very much to me: it’s a piece of wallpaper from the powder room in my grandma’s old house, as seen in the photos in this post!

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