5 Random Things to Love

Cannot wait for a long weekend over here! Little family, friends, beach & relaxation on the agenda. Today I’m trying something new and random… “5 Random Things to Love,” which is literally what it sounds like. To start off, I’m sharing my acupuncture mat, the only cleansing wipes I actually like, my favorite sandals and more.

Speaking of randomness, before I jump into the 5 things, I wanted to share some quick thoughts about the blog. You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet. I’ve had some things going on outside of work/blog life, but aside from that, there is a long list of blog posts I want to get up but for one reason or another have been to overwhelming to finish.

With that, I’m going back to why I started this blog – sharing things I love in no particular order. I’m OK with not having a specific niche and it’s easier to take posts to the finish line when they relate to what is actually going on with my life, whether it’s products I’m using, an occasion I’m shopping for or a trip I’ve gone on.

My blog and social posts won’t be perfect, but I think this blogging world is heading back in that direction and I’m here for it. Especially after reading this article – I follow so many influencers that travel all over the world and it actually saddens me thinking about the fact that many aren’t even enjoying their trips because they’re too focused on getting the perfect shot.

Anyway, back to the point of this post – my 5 random finds. Try them out!

5 Random Finds

1. Acupuncture mat: Full review on this coming soon, but I love this acupuncture mat set. I have carpal tunnel that comes from pressure in my upper back and when I can’t get to real acupuncture, I’ll lay on this while watching TV and really do notice a difference. Highly recommend as a good way to de-stress and relax as well! While I think $40 is very well spent on this mat and headrest set, it looks like there are even less expensive versions that look very similar here and here.

2. Gold Birkenstocks: It has not felt one bit like spring, let alone summer, here in New England. I was pretty happy about bringing out my gold Birks last weekend. They’re my go-to sandal for summer – they’re comfortable and go with everything. Also considering getting these black ones this year after getting so much wear out of the gold last year. Also available here.

3. Vineyard Vines for Target: This sale wasn’t quite as the Lilly Pulitzer sale several years ago, but it was still chaos in my store. I was able to snag a few cute things in-store and others online. Many things are sold out, but if you check back on the website as returns come in, you’ll find that some come back in stock for shipping. I love the baby blanket shown in the pic, these swaddles and this lobster/striped beach bag (it’s big and lightweight!). There are also lots of fun pillows still available.

4. Burt’s Bees Micellar Cleansing Towelettes: I’m into skincare, but there are some nights or days when I’m traveling that I just don’t feel like properly washing my face. I’ve tried so many cleansing and makeup remove wipes over the years and none work better than these. I have no idea what white cypress oil does, but I love the thick yet soft texture of these, which are made with repurposed cotton and are free of parabens, phthalates and fragrance. I just ordered this 3-pack when mine ran out (single option here).

5. Reusable Stasher bags: In that same Amazon order, I finally went ahead and grabbed us some Stasher bags. They’re plastic-free reusable storage bags you can put in the dishwasher, microwave, fridge, freezer, stovetop and oven. To be totally honest, I don’t really understand how this is possible with silicone, but I’m into it and would love to stop using so many plastic baggies and even plastic tupperware. Stasher bags come in all different colors and sizes (I bought the snack and sandwich sizes).

5 Target Finds – 4.15.19

I do most of my shopping online, but there is a pretty good Target right down the street that I like to pop into for random things or when I feel like I have nothing to wear but don’t want to spend money.

For example, last year, I discovered their Universal Thread line and got a few different pairs of shoes for spring. And since then, I’ve noticed the same line has great, affordable clothing basics as well.

With that, today’s 5 Target Finds include two picks from Universal Thread – slides and an $8 t-shirt that comes in lots of colors and in a t-shirt dress style – along with earrings from Target’s BaubleBar line and a few home decor pieces.

5 Target Finds

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T-Shirt / Dress (also striped here)

Tan Slides (also black)

Black Slides (also cognac) 

Earrings – Top, Middle, Bottom

Mirror / Vases – Left / Right

1. Soft t-shirts & t-shirt dresses: My standard spring outfit for both work and play includes jeans and a t-shirt, so I’m always on the hunt for comfortable, good-quality and affordable options. I recently picked up a few simple Madewell t-shirts and tanks from Nordstrom Rack, but then spotted these soft t-shirts on the latest Target run – for $8! The fabric differs slightly on some of the colors/prints – the dark gray and navy were the ones I bought and they are so soft. The t-shirts and dresses also come in plus size.

2. Woven slides: I got these slides (available in cognac & black) last year and got so much wear out of them that this year, I ordered these tan woven slides that are a very light neutral color. I got my regular size, but also would have been fine a 1/2 size up. I also love that the version I have from last year comes in a 2.25 inch block heel.

3. Acrylic hoop earrings: BaubleBar is my go-to for jewelry, especially statement earrings, and I love that Target has the SugarFix by BaubleBar line for even more affordable options. The three acrylic hoops they have now come in a few different colors and are all under $13. This clear and rose-colored 2-pack is only $14 right now! For lots more acrylic earrings, visit this post.

4. Gold mirror: If you keep an eye out, you can find home decor that looks much more expensive than it really is at Target. This gold mirror is definitely one of those finds – it’s under $65 and would be perfect over a mantle or really on any wall.

5. Blue & white vases/jars: I bought a bunch of ginger jars for our mantle recently and now love the added touches of blue in our living room that complement the colorful rug. I’m very into these blue and white vases – would be perfect for flowers on the coffee table or on their own on a shelf.

Easter Decor

Easter always reminds me of a few things: egg scavenger hunts with my mom (she went all out when I was little!), Cadbury eggs (my mom eventually filled my Easter basket exclusively with these – they are my favorite) and dyed hard boiled eggs from my grandmother. Here in New England, it’s also a holiday that makes you think spring with all of the florals and pastels, even if the weather isn’t quite there yet.

Last year, my husband was away Easter weekend, so at last minute my mom, one of my brothers and a few other family members came over to our place for dinner. We live in a condo, so hosting family events hasn’t been in the cards yet, but I threw together a quick tablescape using our regular table settings and a few added touches: floral paper napkins I got at HomeGoods, egg-shaped candles my stepmom gave me years ago and a bunch of tulips. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with myself.

Easter-Decor

I actually have no idea what we’re doing for Easter this year and while I doubt we’ll be hosting a big group until we give in and move to the ‘burbs, I thought I’d share some fun Easter decor inspiration. Lots of this is great for spring in general!

And while these aren’t really Easter decor, I’m obsessed with these baskets and liners – you can pick out your own print and personalize with your little ones’ names. I will definitely be getting these when we have kids!

Scroll through and click on the products in the widgets below.*

Easter-Decor-Easter-Entertaining

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Easter-Decor-Easter-Entertaining

*This post contains affiliate links.

Where to Buy Fascinators for Kentucky Derby Day

A few years ago, one of my besties opted to have a co-ed Kentucky Derby Day party instead of a bridal shower – and it was so much fun to get dressed up for. I went on a hunt to find a cute outfit, but I had no idea where to buy fascinators that didn’t break the bank… and then the following year, I found myself in Saratoga, NY for a girls weekend away and once again, I was looking for the same thing.

As part of my hunt to find fascinators for myself, the past two years, I’ve posted my Derby Day outfit picks (here, here & here) – and recently I’ve noticed that you are all searching for exactly that! This post is a work in progress, as some of the retailers I’ve found fascinators at in the past don’t seem to have them out yet, but here are a bunch of options for you in the meantime.

Use the widget below the pic to scroll through the fascinators and dresses to pick out your outfit! So many of these dresses would also be perfect for spring/summer weddings or showers!

Where-To-Buy-Fascinators-for-Kentucky-Derby-Day

Friday Faves – 2.22.19

Keeping today’s Friday Faves short & sweet, scroll down to view my latest posts and miscellaneous things I’m loving! I’m a klutz and burned my finger making lunch – work from home problems.

Ready to get on the couch and continue my Game of Thrones binge. My husband read an article that said there was time to binge the whole series before the final season (he has always watched, I have been boycotting since 2011) and I gave in and started. We’re starting season 3 tonight!

Target-Plant-Friday-Faves

Shop this faux plant here!

Recent Daily Katy Posts:

2019 Valentine’s Day Gifts (but all still great purchases for yourself or year-round gifts!)

Green Juice Recipe

5 Leopard Print Staples

Target Bathroom Sets (still can’t decide which one to keep!)

Interesting Reads & Recent Finds:

A case for spending your money where you spend the most time.

And another interesting read on why you should stop scheduling your free time.

Finally getting AirPods for my birthday – heard good things about this Amazon find for keeping them on during workouts.

More Marie Kondo organization tips… video on how to fold miscellaneous items.

Want everything in the new Jungalow travel line from Justina Blakeney at Target! The suitcases in particular are so fun.

AWAY just came out with a rose gold version of their aluminum “Bigger Carry-On” and I really want it.

Love this modern, gold/glass nightstand. It’s basically what I want for my living room coffee table, but for your bedside.

Wish we had room for this cute dog bed! Looks like actual furniture… but for pups.

Being a total fan girl and bought tickets to The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe live podcast tour. If that’s not for you but you’re a fan of The Bachelor, check out her latest episode with The Bachelor himself, Colton.

Got my first Everlane purchase in yesterday and love it so far! This sweater is going to be a go-to – great quality.

Heading to the Omni Mount Washington in New Hampshire next weekend and can’t wait!

Target Bathroom Sets

Target has become my go-to for home decor over the past few years, especially if I’m in need of a quick update. I love that they have a good selection both in-store and online, and that even if you’re online shopping, you can see it in-person by picking it up in-store (also a great way to take advantage of sales that are only online!). I’m loving Target bathroom sets in particular right now, but also wishing we had more space to get trendier pieces like this chair.

Last year, I gave my bathroom an update (also the bathroom connected to our spare bedroom… #condoliving) and found that even spending around $100 for a refresh made a huge difference (shop it all here). We bought our condo almost 7 years ago and while we spent money on a few big things like a couch, we weren’t very focused on decorating and our common areas ended up with a whole lot of neutral tones. I do think my style has also shifted, as have home decor trends, so I’m making small changes when I feel inspired – or in today’s case, when something just needs replacing.

Today’s post is brought to you by my early morning Presidents’ Day shopping as I hunted for a fun bathroom set because we noticed one of ours had seen better days. I bought both of below and am going to make a decision once I see how they look against the granite counter tops. Shop everything using the affiliate links below!

Target-Bathroom-Sets

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Top: Soap Dispenser / Soap Dish / Tray / Cup

Bottom: Soap Dispenser / Vase / Dish / Hand Towel

5 Leopard Print Staples

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started looking beyond black and nude as neutrals, oftentimes opting for rose or leopard print instead. This all started with a pair of leopard print booties that I found myself wearing over and over again (highly recommend them – here is this year’s version of them!).

There are so many ways you can incorporate leopard print into your wardrobe with staples like shoes, bags, cardigans and even hair accessories. Today I’m sharing a little bit of all of that – shop it all using the affiliate links below!

5-Leopard-Print-Staples

1. Flats, Heels, Booties & Sneakers: I don’t think I could possibly love my new leopard print Rothy’s loafers – I’m ready to buy them in every color (get yours for $20 off with my link)! They’re washable, made with recycled materials and also come in a pointed flat. For a fancier shoe, I’ve had my eye on these Loeffler Randall slides with block heels that come in both 2-inch and 3.5-inch heights (& also in black, gold & rose!). They’re more of an investment but think they’d get a lot of use. I have these booties and I love that I can dress them up or down. And for more casual days, these slide-on sneakers or Adidas Superstars with leopard stripes are perfect.

2. Bathing Suits: I stumbled upon the perfect high-waist leopard bikini at Target the other day (top here, bottoms here – I sized up). Other brands carry other fun leopard bikinis and one-pieces, including J.Crew, Mara Hoffman and many of the fast fashion brands. I find with the cheaper brands that just the top or bottom fits me well, but I’ve spent so little on the set that I don’t feel guilty donating the bottoms. But leopard is a classic print, so if you can swing it, grab one of the higher quality options!

3. Cardigans, Sweaters & Other Tops: This category started out as just cardigans because I’m very into this one that I got for a steal, but then I realized I had recently seen lots of other blazers, sweaters, sweatshirts and tops I wanted to share.

4. Bags: Much like shoes, I’ve always been a black, cognac and nude bag gal. But now I think a small leopard print is the perfect neutral bag when paired with the right outfits – in some cases I even like mixing prints with it! This clutch would go with anything (less $ option here) and I really like this weekender duffle as well.

5. Headbands, Bows & Hair Ties: I brought up this silk headband in a recent post and while I haven’t pulled the trigger on buying it yet, it’s still on my mind. There are lots of cute hair bows out right now too, like this one and this one. I also have a couple of these hair ties and found my go-to spiral hair ties in leopard, too.

Green Juice Recipe

I’ve never been into diets, but at the start of this year, I was definitely feeling like I needed to get back to eating healthier after a long holiday season. We’ve had a juicer (on sale here & also here) sitting on our counter since my bridal shower almost 6 years ago and had yet to use it, so I decided this would be the year we get into juicing. We started out with one green juice recipe and have been making a couple of different ones each week and I love it so far!

Juicing requires lots of fruits and veggies, but I think it’s worth it, as I really do love the taste of them. I don’t love spinach, but it’s great in juices, and I like that other flavors mask this nutrient-rich veggie. I started out using a lot of kale, but it’s more expensive and I found it doesn’t actually make as much juice as spinach, so lately I’ve been scaling that back.

Today I’m sharing one of my go-to juices, made with apples, oranges, parsley and spinach. I think this one is so refreshing. The recipe below makes a little more than 32 ounces for me usually, depending on how big the apples and oranges are. I make that much so my husband and I can have 2 days’ worth, but you can easily scale it back.

Have other juice recipe recommendations? Leave them in the comments below – I’m always looking for new recipes to try out!

Healthy-Green-Juice-Recipe

Green Juice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 sprigs parsley 
  • 6 apples
  • 3 oranges
  • 8 oz (about 6 big handfuls) spinach

Directions

  1. Turn juicer onto highest speed (on my juicer it’s level 5)
  2. Remove stems from parsley and put in juicer
  3. Remove core from apples, cut into large pieces and put in juicer
  4. Peel orange, cut in half or quarters and put in juicer
  5. Put about 6 big handfuls of spinach in juicer
  6. Pour into glasses and enjoy

2019 Valentine’s Day Gifts

My husband and I don’t usually do Valentine’s Day gifts – my birthday is four days beforehand and over the years we’ve opted for travel rather than things for gifts (although he does send beautiful flowers!). But that’s not to say you shouldn’t do regular gifts, as it’s always nice to receive one from someone special in your life, especially if it’s something you’ll use and love.

Whether you’re asking your significant other for something you’ve had your eye on or giving your bestie a treat, here’s a list of my favorite Valentine’s Day gifts of the year. These all make great gifts for any occasion!

Valentine's Day Gifts

1. Flowers that last a year. I had no idea these existed until a coworker got them a few years ago. They’re not cheap, but I do like the concept behind them – these real roses are pretty, come in several sizes and will last up to a year. They also come in smaller & bigger options.

2. A cozy cashmere wrap scarfA couple of my coworkers also have these and swear by them. This is definitely an investment piece, but is such high quality that you can go ahead and get rid of other blanket scarves once you get your hands on one of these. They also come in lots of different colors, so ask for one you’ll wear often. Select colors are on sale here and here.

3. A nice neutral, leather bag or wallet. I have this carryall bag and love it because it isn’t too big but still fits a ton and has a cross-body strap. This brand is one you can count on lasting – the leather is good quality and they keep costs down by selling direct-to-consumer. Their zip-up wallets are also great picks. Everything comes in several colors of leather, but I’m partial to the stone or blush colors because they go with everything.

4. A fresh pair of (rose) sneaks or slides. My husband and I are sneaker lovers, so they make for good gifts in our household. I personally think that rose pink is becoming a neutral – it goes with everything – and I love when that extends into my footwear. I love these sneakers and these slides.

5. Dainty gold jewelry. I’ve been into layering simple gold jewelry and these are pretty easy to pick out for someone else without much guidance. My favorite places to shop for these pieces are Missoma, Mejuri and Gorjana (linked some of my favorites, which more as you scroll the images below!).

6. Book a weekend getaway and accessorize with a suitcase or other travel supplies. You can’t go wrong with a nice suitcase (love this rose gold option) – Delsey sent me their hard shell suitcases last year and they were so great we ordered another set for my husband soon after. Other ideas: a leather passport wallet (less expensive version here) or a travel set with a silk pillow and eye mask. The cashmere travel wrap mentioned above also fits into this category.

7. Nice candles & spa-like skincare products. I’ll never be disappointed if someone gets me a good quality candle. This brand is one of my favorites and they have pretty rose gold sets right now (another here). But I’m also into soy candles like these, which are also rose gold. This set is filled with clean skincare products like a hydrating rose mist, lip conditioner and body polish.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Friday Faves – 2.1.19

It’s frigid out, so of course that means it’s the start of February. All we’re missing is the gigantic snowstorm that typically hits around my birthday mid-month. But good news: the Pats are in the Super Bowl, so that should make for a nice Sunday Funday.

January was off to a great start over here on the blog, but then got a bit derailed toward the end of the month. My new baby nephew came a few weeks early (all good, yay!) and I traveled to Colorado for a friend’s wedding (beautiful!), followed by a last-minute work trip. I’m ready for some February hibernation and getting back to a routine. Plus the continuation of my KonMari clean-out.

Anyway, here are my Friday Faves – links I’ve read, products I’m eyeing and more. What are you loving right now?

Friday-Faves-Target-Vases

Image via Target – shop the blue & white vase here

 

In my quest for clean beauty, looking to try out a few BeautyCounter products. Which are your favorite?

Also listened to an interesting podcast with Miranda Kerr about her Kora Organics line and also need to try it out.

Way behind on my yearly photo books and think I need to switch over to Artifact Uprising after seeing this post.

My husband sent me this post on how to KonMari your technology as a not-so-subtle hint that my phone has way too many unread emails on it. On a related note, I did use her folding technique as I packed for a trip and it really helped! Watch this video to see how you’re supposed to pack a suitcase.

I’ve never used an interior designer but am trying to make updates around the house. If you’re considering working with one, this post on how to get the most out of it will help. Also, has anyone used Havenly?

Read about a few female founders and their morning hacks for starting the day off right.

Stayed at the cutest boutique hotel in Denver last weekend, The Maven, which is right in the Union Square area with lots of restaurants. More to come on that.

Obsessed with home decor at Target right now, including all things blue and white – this striped vase, these flowers/vase and this soy candle. I have them all on display together in this gold tray on my coffee table.

Very into this article about Millennials being the burnout generation. I can totally relate.

Bachelor fans: loving Kaitlyn and Jason’s new romance, but also felt sad for Shawn on this podcast.

Have my eye on this affordable gold ring for everyday wear.

Love this Serena and Lily rattan chair – it’s under $100!