2.5.24

Another Faux Bamboo Vintage Dresser – This Time in Navy!

Last year, one of my goals was to “finish” my apartment. I put the word finish in quotes as I think my home will never truly be done as I am always re-organizing and re-styling, but what I essentially was getting at by that goal was ensuring that I had all major pieces of furniture and that there were no empty walls. As such, over the 2022 into 2023 holidays, I spent some time shopping for another dresser for my bedroom. I was already using the vintage faux bamboo dresser I had lacquered in green, but was craving more store space for off-season clothing and accessories. There was also a perfect spot for a dresser underneath a painting of Greece I had hanging in my room.

Originally, I was leaning towards something like this. But after thinking about my space more, I realized that loved having vintage furniture around — not only because it’s great quality, but because it adds so much character to my space. As such, I decided I wanted to add another faux bamboo vintage dresser to my collection. I ordered my first vintage dresser through Resplendent Crow, and my second one through DEG Furniture Designs via Chairish. While I was ultimately pleased with both purchases, I really wanted to give my business to Hibiscus House this go-around — I’d followed them on Instagram for years, and my friend had an awesome shopping experience with them, so I had a personal recommendation to vouch for their quality and customer service.

After having purchased three vintage dressers from three different vendors, I can say that hands down, the best experience I had — by far — was with Hibiscus House, and I would not hesitate to buy vintage furniture again from them in the future. Not only was the quality of the work the best — I could tell they used high-end lacquer and my piece arrived with no chips or scratches — they were also the most communicative throughout the process, letting me know via text when my piece was being lacquered, curing, and, eventually, en route to me. When you’re making a huge investment, having that extra level of customer service just gives you peace of mind that your money is being well spent. As such, if you’re in the market for vintage furniture, I can’t recommend Hibiscus House — a small, woman-owned business — enough!
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1.11.24 1

The Best Things I Bought in 2023 + My Oura Ring Review

Though I recently shared about how I want to be more thoughtful about using what I have already, I always love reading about what other people have found to be their best buys from the past year. As such, I wanted to share my best buys from 2023 and overview why I love each item so much.

If you’re curious, you can read past year’s posts on this topic, too: 2022 (for what it’s worth, I still constantly reach for everything I shared on this list!), 2021, 2020, 20182017, 2016, and, if I had written a similar post in 2015, it’d be about this. I accidentally let this series lag in 2019!

MY OURA RING REVIEW —

Before I dive into my other best buys of the year, I wanted to spend some time overviewing why I love my Oura ring and why it’s hands down the best thing I bought in 2023. (You can use my Oura ring referral link here to get $40 off! I highly recommend doing the size kit, more on that below.)

For some context, I purchased an Apple Watch in summer 2021 as walking had become one of my favorite pastimes in the pandemic and I wanted a better way to track my steps and log my accompanying exercise at Soul Cycle and OrangeTheory. I wore my watch during the day — usually until I had closed all my rings — and then charged it overnight. I really liked my Apple Watch, but can have obsessive tendencies when it comes to meeting health goals. On the days I didn’t close my rings, I would beat myself up and almost viewed it as a moral failing. While I also liked having the ability to get notifications on the watch — it came in handy, for instance, if you were waiting on a text to let you know your table at a restaurant was ready — it started to become a little intrusive, even though I really only had text notifications set up. And, lastly, while I found some Apple Watch bands I loved, overall, the look was a little bit “spy kid.”

So, all that to say, overall, I liked my Apple Watch, but I was open to exploring other wearable tech that met my personal needs more. I also was very interested in getting sleep data — and while you can wear your Apple Watch at night to do this, I personally just couldn’t imagine sleeping in mine on a regular basis. So in late May, after researching and being convinced by a few friends that showed me their Oura app and the resulting data, I decided to order myself one.

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1.6.24 4

Life Lately + Some Thoughts On Blogging

Hello, 2024! I am coming to the close of two weeks off work, and it has been glorious — I feel like I was able to spend quality time with friends and family, while still working on a ton of things from my personal to-do list. I love using my vacation for travel, but there’s also something to be said for taking the time off to enjoy your own home and daily life. I definitely wouldn’t complain if someone handed me another two weeks off work ;), but I am excited to get back into a routine.

SOME THOUGHTS ON BLOGGING —

One of the main things on my personal to-do list over my “adult winter break” was to work through a backlog of blogposts I have had on my to-do list for months. For instance, I wanted to write a recap post of my 4th of July trip to Charleston pretty much since I landed back at DCA after my trip — but week after week, month after month, I rolled it over on my to do list. I finally sat down to write it earlier this week (I backdated the publish date), and it truly felt like a weight had been lifted crossing that post off my to-do list. But then I got to thinking — do I even enjoy writing travel posts anymore? Or does it feel more like I have to write a book report after a trip? Am I just writing travel recap posts because I have for pretty much every vacation I’ve taken for the better part of the last decade?

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I’ll still keep posting recaps on my travels in 2024 here on the blog — I have no doubt I’ll continue to share my travels on Instagram, but this year, I really want to be better at prioritizing my creative projects and doing things because I really want to do them, not because I feel like I have to do them or have always done them.

And that’s exactly why I also came to the decision to sunset my quarterly book reviews here on the blog. I used to do these posts on a monthly basis, and had actually wanted to stop doing them in any way a while ago. But several readers asked me to keep posting them because it’s easier to read my reviews on the blog vs. on Instagram Stories where the text can be very small. So I kept doing them, and just changed the cadence from monthly to quarterly. But, I realized, I don’t like putting those posts together — and the time it takes for me to put those posts together is actually taking away my time from other things I am excited about doing as it relates to my creative projects. I have no plans to stop sharing my book reviews over on Instagram Stories and Goodreads, and want to continue sharing my top 10 books of the year every January.

I talked a little bit about my thoughts on blogging back in May, and some of these prioritization changes I am wanting to make at the top of the year stem from the thinking I’ve been doing since then about my creative projects. Over the years, I’ve realized that I really love sharing about my home decor — and this is something I’ve really leaned into and found resonates extremely well on TikTok. In 2024, I am hoping to have more time to dedicate to this vertical — continuing to share my apartment on TikTok and supplement that with long-form posts here on the blog as I continue to decorate, while also continuing to share my day-to-day life, travels, reads, and restaurant recommendations on Instagram.

I started my blog nearly ten years ago (!) in April 2014, and my life has changed so much since then, as has blogging and the influencer space around it. When I started my blog, I was barely a year into my career — and needless to say, the work or responsibility at my day job wasn’t as demanding. As such, I had more brain space — and the energy of a 23-year-old — after work to dedicate to my blog. And frankly, people just read blogs more back then, so it was very motivating to post often because you had a community of fellow bloggers and dedicated readers to cheer you on. (I love the popularity of Substack for that reason — it reminds me of the golden era of long-form blogging in the early 2010s!) Plus, it just wasn’t possible to share as much on your accompanying social channels — Instagram Stories literally didn’t exist when I started this blog — so your attention wasn’t pulled in all these disparate directions. Pretty much all of my content lived here on the blog, and was simply promoted via my Instagram or Twitter feeds. (Ah, simpler times.)

All this to say, I am not going anywhere — here, on Instagram, on TikTok — but I am re-prioritizing and re-strategizing for 2024, and I am really excited that I was able to free myself of some of the shoulds so I can focus on all the couds. And now that I’ve gotten through this preamble, I’m excited to share what’s been going on in my life lately. Read more “Life Lately + Some Thoughts On Blogging”