Friday Faves – 1.18.19

Happy Friday! I know not everyone has Monday off, but I do and I could not be more excited about the long weekend. I have zero plans other than watching the Patriots on Sunday (& making my famous buffalo chicken dip). A storm is on its way but it’s looking like it’s just a whole bunch of wintery mix nastiness by me, so I do wish we were getting some real snow if we’re going to be cold and stuck indoors.

I’m hoping for a good mix of productivity and Netflix binging. I’m literally obsessed with Marie Kondo and “Tidying Up” on Netflix. I never finished reading the book several years ago but after seeing the show, I was inspired. So far I’ve tackled my closet and a few drawers and want to keep going! And for TV, it’s time to get into the a new season of one of the many series we’ve been neglecting.

Read on for this week’s Friday Faves!


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Marie Kondo (@mariekondo) on

On the note of the KonMari method via Marie Kondo, I’m very into the idea of fewer, better things and will be following along this writer’s experiment with that this year.

Making a goal of reading at least one book a month – hopefully more when I travel. Getting inspired by this list of 2018 books.

Totally agree that self care is more than a hashtag… and also face masks and bubble baths (though I do love both of those!).

This call-your-girlfriend post really resonated with me. Good, real friendships are everything.

Finally tried on a friend’s Rothys flats last night and am officially I need a pair… or two. You’ll get $20 off your 1st purchase using my referral link (& I’ll also get a discount on my end, so thank you in advance!).

Discovered my closet is filled with too many dresses with nowhere to wear them. Going back to Rent the Runway for next weekend’s wedding – love this dress. Same deal as Rothys, use my link on your 1st order & we both get $30 off!

In need of black sandals to wear with dresses and love these Loeffler Randall shoes. They’re an investment, but I was able to find these in good condition on Poshmark – and I know I’ll like them because I have the block heel version in tan.

Very excited about our new coffee table and end tables that need to be put together – here is a similar gold coffee table that’s super affordable!

Just started using the juicer we got at my bridal shower… 5+ years ago (oops). I’m very into it and now am considering trying out pure celery juice after reading about it here and here.

Watch the R. Kelly docu-series on Lifetime. And then feel guilty about loving the Ignition Remix as you get disgusted by everything he’s done/is currently doing.

Trying to learn the basics of clean beauty, including how to read labels/identify the worst ingredients and easy product swaps.

Have my eye on Everlane for high-quality basics that are also sustainable – anyone tried them out?

Best Bachelor Podcasts

I’m pretttty excited about the fact that The Bachelor is back – I’m not ashamed to admit that I love reality TV. We’re off to a bit of a boring start with Colton’s season, but I’m confident it will pick up now that we’re through the first couple of episodes.

Thoughts so far: no thanks on the live viewing parties, too much virgin talk and too much age talk. And so many sparkles with these girls’ dresses. Time for the good drama to start – hopefully next week! Colton alluded to the virgin talk coming to an end around episode 4 in one of the Bachelor podcasts I listen to, so can’t wait for that.

Regardless of what’s going on in each episode of the show, I still love recapping via my podcast friends each week. Why do I listen to multiple Bachelor podcasts? I think it’s fun to hear different perspective on the behind-the-scenes and off-air gossip. And if I listen to them on my commute or while I’m doing things around the house, I’m less inclined to spend that time doing the exact same thing online in front of a computer screen.

So with that, today I’m sharing the best Bachelor podcasts (according to me). Most of them are also good for other topics during the show’s off-season, so go subscribe.

Best-Bachelor-Podcasts

  • Bachelor Party: I love catching up on all things Bachelor with The Ringer’s Juliet Litman, mainly because she is reality-obsessed in a way I can relate to. And she’s funny on top of it. This season’s guests have included people like Entertainment Tonight’s Lauren Zima and recent contestants such as Blake Horstmann. Her podcasts bring just the right amount of recapping and scoop on production and other behind-the-scenes details that she knows about from being so tuned into the reality TV world as part of her job.

[Read more…]

Best Amazon Finds of 2018

I’m not sure what I did before Amazon Prime. It’s become my go-to for everything from dog food and kitchen gadgets, to jewelry, travel essentials and gifts. No more going to miscellaneous stores or waiting a long time for orders to come in – it’s 2 days with a click of a button. I looked back at alllll of my purchases over the past year to give you my best Amazon finds of 2018.

Tt was hard to top 2017’s Dash egg cooker or this compact spiralizer, but this year’s picks included several significant purchases for one reason or another. Whether it was changing the way I pack for travel or accessorizing with trendy, inexpensive pieces, Amazon did it all.

If you’re on the hunt for a good gift for a guy in your life, I highly recommend a Yeti cooler. And while I didn’t list out baby and toddler gifts below, I also purchased little board book sets for several of the nuggets in my life (here & here).

Here are my top picks in no particular order, which I love for all different reasons.

2018 Best of Amazon

Self-Care & Beauty:

1. Acupuncture MatIf you’re curious about what acupuncture can do for you but aren’t into needles or committing to appointments, try this super affordable acupuncture mat. Lay on it for 20+ minutes a day and relax – promise it doesn’t hurt.

[Read more…]

Friday Faves – 1.3.19

Happy New Year! To kick off 2019 and also say TGIF, I’m bringing back a series I started a few years ago but in a new way. Fridays are now for sharing my favorite things – whether it’s blog posts from other people, products I’m loving, shows I’m watching/books I’m reading or totally miscellaneous things I love, read or hear about.

This idea comes from an Insta post I saw a a while back where someone had mentioned this was a great way to support other bloggers and women in business. And I have to say, it was fun to write! I’m one of those people who always has a billion tabs open on my laptop, so this is a way for me to dump it into one spot and come back for it later… while also sharing with you!

I’ll be back with my goals for the year, my favorite Amazon purchases of 2018 and lots more this month. Feeling re-energized for the first time in a while. Bring on 2019!

Friday Faves - 1.4.19

Photo by Oskars Sylwan

Speaking of setting goals for the year, I’m into the “word of the year” approach and am toying around with a few right now. This post gives one example (and is also honest perspective from an influencer who is trying to balance her desire to stop buying so much with the business side of blogging).

Also want to attempt the Happiness Project again… but a less intense version with just one task to repeat every day each month (full review of the book here). One of my favorite podcasts just put out an episode that is essentially the same concept with different monthly ideas to focus on.

My Kauai, Hawaii travel guide came in on top every month of 2018. Making me want to go back – especially to the hotel we stayed at! View my other Hawaii travel guides here and here (more to come).

Ordered this black dress for a winter wedding and think it’s simple enough (but with fun details) to wear again. These earrings (or these!) would be perfect with it. I wish I had this dress in a winter color – there are so many options, but the one I have is light blue.

Apparently it’s Capricorn Season… and every horoscope I read is telling me that this is the year of self-love or that now is the time to find more time to relax and heal. I’m into it.

Getting ready for binge-watching season – a.k.a. frigid January/February temps and snow… What are your favorite shows right now? Just binged Yellowstone, started The Office from the beginning and am always shamelessly watching reality TV (can’t wait for Bachelor to start back up).

On the note of entertainment, aiming to read one book a month in 2019. I ended the year with two great beach reads: Crazy Rich Asians (now a movie) and When Life Gives You Lululemons (Devil Wears Prada spin-off).

Not a mom yet, but loved the realness in this Insta post. My feed around the holidays was filled with perfect-looking families with babies – that’s not always reality and that’s OK.

On the hunt for ginger jars of all sizes and found this guide on where to buy them.

Random new daily activity has been laying on this acupuncture mat – perfect if you want to get some of the same benefits without needles.

Also loving hair accessories (why did scrunchies ever go away?!). This headband is so fun – might need to get the leopard print one.

Planning on making a list to help start a capsule wardrobe approach to how I shop. What are your favorite staples?

Last obsession: dainty gold jewelry, which is nothing new for me, but I’m loving everything from Missoma and Mejuri.

Trying to swap out products as I run out for cleaner options. Right now I’m loving this mascara and this primer, both at Target.

Shop the Post:

Target Holiday Decor

Yesterday’s post was all about fun ornaments for your home & to give as gifts (the sale is still going on – 20% off!) and today I’m back with Target holiday decor… & lots of it. Not only that, Target is having a home sale this weekend, so now is the time to gear up for the holidays with 25% off!

I love having our condo decorated for the holidays. At my mom’s house growing up, we had cathedral ceilings in our living room and would hunt for the biggest tree we could manage bringing home. That’s not possible in the city, but we still do a good job of getting in the holiday spirit over here! This year we are heading away on vacation around the time we usually decorate, so we unfortunately won’t get as much time with our festive decor as usual, but I can’t complain about spending some time on the beach in December.

Read on for my favorites from Target’s holiday decor selection – and don’t miss out on the sale!

Target Holiday Decor

Shop My Picks:

TOP (shop the whole room here):

Merry Xmas Stocking Holder / Garland

White Reindeer 1 & 2 (also in black) / Reindeer Candle Holder

Red GinghamWhite Gingham & Red Plaid Stockings

BOTTOM (shop more from this line here):

Plaid Pillow / Advent Calendar (also love this one) / Letters to Santa

side note: also love this coffee table shown above!

 

Target has SO many holiday decor options that it’s actually overwhelming. Below are several other things that caught my eye!

Target Holiday Decor

Shop My Picks:

Red Glitter Topper Bow / Wicker Tree Base Cover / Advent Calendar

Pom Pom Tree Skirt (also in off-white)Gold Lobster & Crab Ornaments

Nordic Star Blanket / Merry Xmas Garland Banner / Napkin Rings & Napkins

Unicorn Ornaments (& cutest owls!)Station WagonTruck with Tree (ornaments here)

Red Berry Wreath (also this one for 1/3 of the price)

Red & Green Dog Bow Ties / Tree & Penguin Dog Toys

Ornament Gifts from the Anthropologie Home Sale

I love decorating for Christmas – and for me, the best part of it is decorating the tree. Ornament gifts are the best way to think of whoever gave it to you or a special memory that was had. I was an only child for many years and there was always something so special about decorating the tree with my mom with the ornaments she had collected. Aside from getting dressed up for Halloween, Christmas has to be her favorite holiday.

I remember getting so excited about pulling out our ornaments – each year it was like I had forgotten about them and rediscovered them all. There was one Wizard of Oz set she still has that had each of the characters and then a mini version of the book. I would sit there and read that book to myself for hours – the whole thing is even on home video. Ever since then, I’ve collected ornaments and I get that same happy feeling filled with memories as I open up the boxes that have been stored in the attic since the year prior, whether it’s at my house or my mom’s.

Ornament Gifts Anthropologie Sale

Shop the ornament set above here

Over the years, my mom and I started a tradition that my husband I have also adopted, which is picking up an ornament everywhere you travel. It’s fun to look back on amazing trips we’ve taken in the form of trinkets on our tree. Another thing I do here and there is make ornaments out of photos – we did this with our wedding and a few other special occasions and there are lots of sites to do this on like Shutterfly.

Whether you’re into hunting for your own ornaments throughout the year or not, they make great gifts. This morning, I saw Anthropologie is having a 20% off home sale and now is the time to pick a few up for yourself and as gifts! There are lots of cute ones that can tie in well with the personality or interests of whoever the recipient is. If someone gave me the everything bagel ornament, they’d be speaking to my heart.

Here are a few of my favorites – and you can view the whole collection of Anthro ornaments here. The 20% off sale is for all full-priced home items, which also includes fun gifts for kids, along with hostess gifts and items for your own home!

Ornament Gifts Anthropologie Sale

Shop the Ornaments:

Dogs / Unicorn / Cheers / Macarons

 Everything Bagel / Palm Tree / Oyster

Camel / Mermaid / Rainbow / Hamsa

2018 Goals Reset – October-December

Ugh. We’re more than 3/4 through the year and it’s time to revisit those goals I set back in January. In typical Katy fashion, I set them too high. Today I’m taking a look back at what I have done and how I can continue progressing for the next 3ish months.

This time around I’m taking things month-by-month, being a bit more specific and not overwhelming myself with trying to take on too much at once. So far, it’s been helpful to see what I’m trying to accomplish each month because it’s easier to see what is actually feasible.

Goal Setting

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

Where I’m At: After reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” I decided this was something I could relate to. In general, I had hoped to take smaller steps to get to what I’m trying to accomplish because it’s less overwhelming. I’ve been better about starting a draft blog post or jotting down notes when I think of ideas – but I haven’t been making them into finished posts.

New Goal: Good news – I have lots of half-written posts done. Now it’s time to finish and publish these. And as I mentioned above, my overall approach to goal-setting is going to be about making progress throughout each month without overwhelming myself.

FOCUS ON THE BLOG

Where I’m At: I was off to a decent start this spring, with six blog posts in February and seven in April… but then I lost my groove. I have so many ideas but got busy with freelance writing work (yay!) and the craziness of summer. I also want to be better about promoting content I do write via social. My goal of 100 blog posts in 2018 is LOL at this point… I have 23 down so far.

New Goal: Aiming for 2-3 posts/week from now through the end of the year, which will bring in 26-39 more posts. Even on the low end, I’ll at least close out the year with 50 posts, 50% of my original goal. And on the note above, I want to take the time to promote my posts, particularly via Pinterest using Tailwind, which I hope to have all figured out within the next few months. I also have a big goal of going through a blog redesign before the New Year, but admittedly I need to do more research to understand how big of a project this really is.

PUBLISH TRAVEL CONTENT

Where I’m At: Ok… so I’ve only published one travel post so far this year on Daily Katy. BUT in April, I took on a freelance travel writing gig with TripSavvy.com, which is something I had been looking to do for a long time. Admittedly, it’s taken away from my regular blog content, but the reality is that it is a paying, steady job that I needed to get in a groove with before I could spend more energy on the blog.

New Goal: I still have lots of travel content to finish up and publish, including new recommendations from recent trips to Palm Springs, Savannah and soon Grand Cayman! Aiming to publish one travel guide a month for October, November and December. I’m also playing around with a new travel-specific Instagram, @katyctravels, so follow me there!

LEARN NEW SKILLS

Where I’m At: I still have BIG aspirations when it comes to learning new skills. I have this urge to figure everything out for myself, but just don’t have time to do it all – or at least do it all well. I got a new iPad and the fancy pencil thing that goes with it but have yet to try out the Procreate app that I’ve been dying to learn. I also haven’t taken any photography or editing classes either, but I almost had my first gig shooting headshots, which unfortunately fell through due to scheduling.

New Goal: Not going to set this one too high. I’d like to play around with Procreate to teach myself digital calligraphy when the weather gets cooler, which seems like a good Sunday football activity. Next year I can get back into photography.

GROW MY ETSY SHOP

Where I’m At: Zero progress here. I’ve made a few sales on existing items in my shop here and there, but really haven’t spent much time building out my shop. I did create a few invitations and favors for a friends’ baby showers and as gifts, but haven’t yet posted them.

New Goal: Post what I’ve made! I don’t know why this always seems like such a daunting task. And after that, I plan to add a few new types of items to my shop – potentially a 2019 calendar and to do list notepads I’ve been playing around with. I also plan to listen to a few podcasts about how to best promote the products I do have in my shop, especially heading into the holiday season.

READ MORE

Where I’m At: This one was off to a slow start – but I blame my new-found love for podcasts. I was late to the game, but they are perfect for my short commute! Read about some of my favorite episodes/podcasts here. I had set a goal of reading 12 books this year – I’m at at least 8, so actually relatively on track. Definitely not one a month, but two YA trilogies helped me zoom through 6 books!

New Goal: Back to one book a month starting in November. It’ll be an extra bonus if I can get a third in during October or December, but right now it feels like I have a lot on my plate to start. I do want to publish at least one more book review blog post, which I already have in the works.

DECLUTTER

Where I’m At: I’ve been OK at this here and there and am gearing up to do a big Goodwill donation as I change over my summer to fall clothes.

New Goal: Keep working on this – it’s certainly not one of my strengths but I know it does make me feel good when I have fewer things to sift through when I get ready in the morning.

MAKE SMALL HOME UPDATES

Where I’m At: SUCCESS! This year, I’ve successfully revamped my bathroom (see the full transformation and shop everything here) and our condo’s entryway (coming soon!). After being in our condo for over 6 years, it was time for a little bit of a refresh. The goal was/is to not break the bank because eventually we’ll move to a house outside the city.

New Goal: Next projects will probably be finding a good rug and coffee table for our living room, but this may not happen this year. I’ll be on the lookout – maybe something will catch my eye during holiday sale season.

BE MINDFUL & PRESENT

Where I’m At: The 5-year daily journal and gratitude journals were a fail. Turns out that I’m not good at remembering to do things like this and then it feels incomplete and I stop all together. I did try out the Headspace app a few times.

New Goal: I think this will be a never-ending goal, as we could all use a little more of this in our lives. I would like to keep trying the Headspace app more consistently. And I also want to take time to do things like read a book, get my nails done, etc. – sans iPhone. I’m also trying not to mindlessly scroll quite as much.

TACKLE THE LITTLE THINGS

Where I’m At: I think I’ve gotten a little better at doing things like writing my to do list the night before, but still have lots of work to do in this department.

New Goal: Refocus on small things – picking out an outfit for the following day before bed, not letting dirty laundry pile up beside my bed, responding to emails that only require a couple minutes of my time instead of letting them sit.

 

Bathroom Makeover with Target Opalhouse

While it certainly doesn’t feel like it, spring is finally here and I’m feeling the urge to make updates around the house. As you may have seen in another recent post, one of the things that sparked me taking action was the launch of the Target Opalhouse collection (more on that here, including all of my picks for every part of your home).

First up: the bathroom I call “mine,” which is technically connected to our spare bedroom, but my husband and I each took one since we have 2 full bathrooms. When we moved, we literally took everything from our 1-bedroom, 1-bath apartment and plopped it into the guest room. Now it’s 8 years later and while we did get new bedding for the spare bed a couple of years ago, the bathroom has remained untouched.

Bathroom Makeover with Target Opalhouse

Shop the Post:

Shower Curtain / Bath Mat (another option here)

Tissue Holder / Soap Dish / Toothbrush Holder

Soap/Lotion Dispenser / Waste Basket (similar)

Towels (other here & solid colors here)

Gold Frame (similar) / Watercolor Print (similar)

 

I had no idea how much of a difference something as simple as a shower curtain could make. Our old one was brown – I think I was trying to decorate in as gender-neutral of a way as possible! – and it made the bathroom seem so dark when you were actually taking a shower. I always thought it was because the bathroom didn’t have any windows/relatively crappy lighting, but now that I have a light shower curtain, that problem is gone! I also love this one – but ultimately decided to go with more of a blue/green vibe.

[Read more…]

Target Opalhouse Collection Finds

If you read my 2018 goals post back in January, then you know that my husband and I are approaching 6 years in our city condo and I’m feeling the need for a refresh… but without going crazy cost-wise. In addition to tackling closets and whatnot with organization bit by bit, I had a few ideas for ways to spruce up our space. The first things I’ve been on the hunt for are a new shower curtain/bathroom set for “my” bathroom, coffee table, end tables and throw pillows for the living room, and other fun décor like kitchen towels.

I successfully found a couple of throw pillows I liked for the living room but hadn’t had much luck in the other areas until this week. In fact, when I hosted a small group of family over Easter, I ran out to the store to grab some festive floral paper napkins because I felt like we had nothing that said “spring” for the holiday. Enter Target’s new Opalhouse collection… I literally want everything! I had a good amount of self-control and stuck with items that were on my priority list, such as this shower curtain, these throw pillows and some floral napkins and kitchen towels. I’ll be reporting back on what works out in future blog/social posts!

In the meantime, there is SO much to shop in this collection. It’s quickly gaining so much popularity that I personally think Target should make it a permanent line. I bucketed out my picks from the collection by room/category to make shopping easier. Just browse through the widgets using the arrow and click the items you like to be directed to shop.* If you’re not ready to shop, just pin one of the larger images for decor inspiration later!

Target Opalhouse Kitchen, Dining Room & Entertaining Finds

[Read more…]

Weekend Reading – February 18, 2018

This has been a great long weekend and it’s not even over yet. We flew out to San Fran on Wednesday night and have been staying with our friends who live north of the city. It’s been the perfect mix of exploring and relaxing with friends we don’t get to see very often, which included a 1st birthday party for their little one. On Thursday, we took the ferry into the city, grabbed lunch and checked out a few spots we hadn’t been to on past trips, such as the Painted Ladies. Another day was spent in Sonoma at a few vineyards and lunch.

I’m definitely not looking forward to trekking back home tomorrow – but hope you were all able to relax and enjoy the long weekend. On the positive side, it looks like it’s going to be 60 degrees back home for a couple days this week. Before we close out the weekend, here’s some weekend reading with some of my favorite links, shopping picks and sale finds.

Weekend Reading

Links I Love:

  • I’ve been considering trying acupuncture because I have carpal tunnel in my wrist and have heard it can be good for lots of other things too. This post breaks it all down and made me even more into it. We’ll see if I can get over my fear of needles and actually try it out.
  • How cool is Chloe Kim?! I have a slight obsession with the Olympics and have been loving the snowboarders. This article made me even more excited for her big win.
  • This post about how to re-energize yourself at work talks about everything from organization to finding your community at work. The suggestions are all simple, but also important.
  • I started my blog about a month after our wedding and really didn’t put much thought into the layout. This post about how to choose the right template for your website or blog is helpful and made me start thinking about changing mine up in the future.

Shopping Finds:

  • I love a good thermal shirt (two of my favorites here & here). This one is next on my list – it comes in lots of colors and looks super cozy and like it will be great for layering or wearing on its own, dressed up or down.
  • These fun tassel earrings also come in a bunch of colors and look like they are also pretty lightweight. I love big earrings but not when they feel heavy. I might need to grab these in white for spring.
  • I’m into a good leopard print as a neutral and have my eye on these slide sneakers. I think they’d be so cute with jeans for work with a cute top, or with yoga pants for running errands. I also like these, which are on super sale in some colors/sizes.
  • Cozy sweatshirts that don’t look one bit like my old college hoodie that I wear around the house have been on repeat for me lately. This one has a twist hem in front that gives it the look of being perfectly tucked in. I’m into the pink but it also comes in a nice gray – and it’s only $45.

Sale Picks:

  • Last week I posted about this straw bag that would be perfect for summer. I just found a similar black crossbody bag that’s on sale for $24! This one is even more similar – not on sale, but under $100.
  • This leather backpack is on super sale for $115, down from almost $400! I have another bag from this brand and it’s great quality. Their bags are good staple items that will last.
  • Two of my go-to lightweight jackets (that I also wear over t-shirts) are on sale right now. Here is the faux leather jacket and here is another that’s a very soft faux suede.
  • I got these Loeffler Randall heels last year that are perfect for wedding season, but I just spotted very similar sandals that are on sale for just $48. I love that they’re cognac and will go with lots of dresses and other outfits.