Rattan Chippendale Bookshelf

Last summer, I got so tired of looking at an empty wall in my living room that I decided it was finally time to figure out how to fill the awkward space. After thinking about what I wanted to do for a while, I realized that a bookshelf would add some much-needed height to the space — and also be a beautiful way to show off some of my favorite books and things.

When I started looking around for bookshelves, I ruled out anything white — I already have a lot of white in the space given my desk and buffet under my television are white. Yet, I knew I wanted a neutral piece so I could fill it with colorful books and they would really pop. While I contemplated a gold shelf with glass shelves, once I saw this rattan chippendale bookshelf from Kouboo, I knew it was the perfect piece. It added a ton of visual interest with the chippendale pattern, was a beautiful neutral rattan, and, frankly, was unlike anything I’d ever seen before!

While it was certainly an investment piece, it is so well made and is something I know I can have for years to come in many different homes. There was no assembly required, and it shipped (for free!) in an extremely well-packaged box. I’ve been a huge fan of it since the day I unboxed it! And then, the fun began — styling!
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Are You Easily Influenced to Shop on Instagram?

If you had to categorize people into “savers” and “spenders,” I would definitely be in the latter category. I love to shop, and while I am responsible with my money, let’s just say that my building concierge and I are on a first name basis. There’s rarely a day when I don’t have a package with my name on it waiting for me. When it comes to shopping, I tend to spend the most on home decor, clothing, and makeup + skincare — and I do 99% of it online, hence all the packages.

Over the last several years, I’ve made a very conscious effort to be ruthless in my returns. I’ve always been good at returning things on-time, but I wasn’t always been the best about being honest with myself when it came to whether or not I loved an item that showed up at my door. For instance, I’d love a dress online, know in my gut it didn’t work in person, but decide to keep it anyway hoping that somehow it could work — only to wear it once or twice before donating it or selling it on Poshmark. Now, I have to really, really love something for it to stick around.

To complement my ruthless approach to returning, lately, I’ve been making of a more concerted effort to consciously shop. So around the start of the month, I think about where I want to spend some of my discretionary income — whether that’s a new dress for a wedding I’m attending or a pair of beautiful candlesticks from anthropologie (I bought them, by the way) to style my new sideboard. Instead of impulse shopping, I want to make sure I am actually spending my money on things that I really want and have thought about.

Through this particular self-betterment endeavor, I’ve realized, it’s all too easy for me to be influenced by social media — namely, watching other’s Instagram Stories.

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5.17.23 2

Life Lately

I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying – it’s already May and my summer is quickly filling up! It’s been almost two months since I’ve shared a look into my life lately, so I have a lot to catch you up on!

One thing that has been on my mind a lot this year is how to best spend my free time on my creative projects. I’ve been posting on TikTok more and having a lot of fun doing so — but taking video content is still a new skill for me, so it is time consuming to both shoot and edit, and I tend to be a perfectionist, especially when I am picking up a new skill. But one cool thing is that my journey on TikTok as a novice reminds me of my early blogging days — I used to put in so much time to both taking and editing my photos, and now it’s second nature to me, so I am hoping the same can be said for my video content one day.

But then, any time I spend making video content takes away from this sort of written long-form blog content. While the latter can be hard to motivate myself to do after a long day, it is something I want to continue to put effort into — unlike TikTok, which could go away at anytime, or Instagram, which offers up an algorithm that is on my daily shit list, my blog is something I own and control 100%. I do feel like the nature of long-form blogging has changed so much since I writing A Touch of Teal back in 2014, though. I used to spend so much time reading my favorite bloggers — who posted long-form content daily! — and now, I rarely find myself reading a blogpost unless someone links to something compelling on Instagram Stories. So then, part of me, wonders if writing long-form blogposts is worth the effort when sharing on more visual, less-text heavy mediums is often less time intensive and more engaging — both to me and, seemingly, to you.

Concurrently, the older I’ve gotten, the less vulnerable I’ve wanted to be on the internet — and my philosophy has always been to write the blog I would want to read, which often means sharing my heart in some regard. Given my reservations in this arena, I feel like my blog has become more of a resource for travel, book, dining, and home decor recommendations, which is great, but is often the type of content you seek out when you’re in the need for it — not the type of content you read while you’re enjoying your morning cup of coffee, you know?

And then other times, I just want to live my life, and not worry so much about capturing it to share it. (I have always loved taking pictures, even as a kid! But to me there’s a big difference in capturing a photo just for your own memory versus one you capture to share with others.) I am continually impressed by some of the creators on TikTok who are able to share their daily lives or cleaning routines — but I have to think that it must be exhausting at a certain point to always be filming, especially when doing quotidian things. Yet, sometimes, I put pressure on myself and can’t help but wonder as I’m unloading the dishwasher or the afternoon light is hitting just right in my apartment — should I be capturing this?

All that to say, I’m not going anywhere, on any platform — but I am thinking about my overall strategy so I can focus on the places that are most fun for me (this is my hobby, not my job!), while rightsizing the amount of effort I am spending on things that maybe aren’t driving a ton of value — whether monetarily or in my personal joy.

If you have any thoughts on influencers/creators/bloggers — whatever we are calling them these days! — let me know; this is something I think about often and am definitely interested in having a dialogue around the ever-changing landscape.
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