DIY Projects

Creating a Cozy Space in for My Home Office

Working from home was something that I used to look forward to during the week. Prior to quarantine, I had (and still have) the privilege of  enjoying teleworking from home twice a week on Thursday’s & Friday’s. Not only did it break up my work week, it allowed me to save on the stresses of commuting through the city 5 days a week; which did wonders to my psyche and moral. However, now that my home has become my office, and my office has become my home, maintaining self-motivation  and organization in between the blurred lines has become a challenge to navigate.

Life pre Covid-19 and quarantine, meant completing my telework from by bedside. I had a “set up”, in the sense of the word, but it was inconsistent of an actual workspace. It  consisted of a small t.v. stand that held my 11″ laptop that offered little to no relief but, nevertheless it worked. Fast forward, to one week into quarantine life, and my lower back was screaming for more than moral support.

I quickly browsed the internet for an affordable new home office desk & chair, waited for it to arrive, and assembled it. Once it was complete, I again noticed something; this new was desk and chair of mine, still was missing a personal touch. So, using my creativity, I shopped my home for home decor items I’ve previously purchased from Goodwill that could add elements to create a cozy space to my “office”.

1. Plants: There is something about plants (living or fake) that brighten up a space. They are the perfect finishing touches that work well with any color palette surrounding it. If you have been following me for a while, you’ve probably seen plants in by photo backgrounds.

2. Books: Besides the obvious, books can be used in multiple ways. I’ve been using them as props during video calls for work and for virtual hangouts with friends. Having a level eye with your computer screen is important for your posture as well, and you’ll notice the difference at the end of they day of how you feel if you’re forced to look down at your screen instead of straight on.

3.Baskets & Ceramics: I have been loving the combination of natural wood colors, neutral brown shades, and ivory shades to decorate my space. I decided to incorporate a few of the ceramic bowls and baskets to hold my writing utensils and to use as storage within my desk. Now that this area is one that I spend more time in, it’s only fitting that I visually make it look consistent with the rest of my room.

4. Office Essentials: What is an office without the essentials? My computer mouseI picked up this mouse a few months ago, after losing the previous one. I’m so grateful for Goodwill having virtually everything you need in their stores, especially tech products. Using my laptop’s track pad as my primary navigation was proving to be unproductive and frustrating. I picked this up for under $5! College Ruled Notepad: I am someone who loves making to-do list’s, even if completely ignore them right after writing them. I found a few college ruled notebooks for under $1 at Goodwill and was so happy to stock up.

How are you holding up during this time? Are you working from home and had to create a new space on the fly? I’d love it if you shared your thoughts below!

 

-Danielle

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Fashion

Event Recap: Goodwill Summer Style Exchange

Hello beautiful sustainable shoppers!

This post will be a recap of the event I proposed and created along with Goodwill of Greater Washington D.C and my community. The event, Summer Style Exchange was inspired by a similar event held within the Nashville area Goodwill and roughly titled, Style with a Purpose. After viewing their event preparation, concept and execution on Instagram it was safe to say that I had serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and I wanted so badly to have that experience for myself in my community. After pitching the idea to the Marketing Director with D.C. Goodwill, we were a GO & what’s better is that this event was held on National Thrift Shop Day on August 17th, perfect timing!

Summer Style Exchange’s main goal was to gather a select few of Washington D.C.’s thrifty and sustainable fashion bloggers for the opportunity to curate a collection by hand picking their own garment racks for customers to shop from. Each collection will then be displayed on a garment rack for customers to learn their individual style, thrifting tips and to get a personal look into the style of their favorite bloggers! In addition, shoppers have the opportunity to experience styling tips from various body types, tailoring tips, enjoy refreshments and music!

Having individual collections from bloggers would aid in building relationships between bloggers & followers by taking away the barrier that social media builds by allowing each party to get to know each other through a mutual enjoyable activity. There is no better way to get to know someone on the fly than to appreciate how they choose the clothes they wear!

Leading up to the event, I had the opportunity to curate my own rack, and let me tell you, it was liberating! For events like these, anything goes. You don’t have the pressure to pull together the perfect thrifted outfit to impress others on the gram because, you are simply choosing items that bring you joy, that spark pleasure FOR YOU. In just under 2 hours I curated my perfect rack consisting of my primary moods including, athleisure, graphic tees, skinny jeans, printed dresses and masculine outerwear. Needless to say,  I am satisfied about how my items came together. My friend and co-host, Carolyn even said “I can tell this is your rack just by looking at it”.

Event Recap:

7AM comes quickly but even more so when it’s a Saturday morning lol. Despite my grogginess, I was excited for the next few hours to come! I got dressed, make-up, hair black tea in hand & headed to Goodwill.

Once there, Carolyn and I set up a marketing table, food table, and the DJ arrived shortly after to set up his table for the tunes. As we got closer to the start time, bloggers began to trickle in and attendees started to outline the outside of the building; things began to become a bit more real. I think anyone can relate to that feeling you get just before something great is about to happen. It’s like a 6th sense that is indescribable but, it FEELS good. That’s what I had as the bloggers greeted our guest just before opening the doors. And let me tell you, once those doors were open, it was a race! It for a moment reminded me of my retail career on Black Friday or the day before Christmas but, in a much more wholesome harmonious way.

During the event, I took time to focus on witnessing our customers experience, their behaviors, identifying any inconveniences and looking for room for improvement. I also took this time to just relax. After planning and organizing, its nice just to live in the moment of your event and live vicariously through each attendee. I documented majority of the event on Instagram stories and in feed posts as it was happening. However, I still have a ton of photos to file through but, these photos speak to the volume of this events success.

I’m already eager to plan the second iteration of this event before the year ends. Stay tuned!

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Fashion

Are You Overlooking the Most Important Essential Accessory at Goodwill?

After years of thrift shopping, I have scored a lot of finds that I am always happy to share with you all. But, when I’m not shopping, I dedicate that time to let my wallet catch a breath while I live vicariously and enjoy a few thrift hauls with some of my favorite YouTube channels. Those that I follow always have a great perspective on what items to look for, how to style their finds while in store and by the end of their video, I’ve put a few new tricks in my back pocket and walk away with inspiration for my next trip.

However, one thing I’ve noticed is the lack of accessories that are highlighted in many thrift hauls. And by accessories, I am speaking about jewelry.

A question for you, What do you think about the idea of purchasing jewelry from second hand stores? For me, I have a guilty confession of purchasing many accessories from fast fashion companies like H&M, Target and Forever 21. Mostly because of the affordability, accessibility in finding pieces that are on trend and the ease of finding an abundance of these types of stores instead of looking for a thrift stores in the immediate area.

After thinking about why my shopping mentally is this way, I’ve deducted that the structure of most thrift stores sometimes easily allow for jewelry to be overlooked. As an avid thriftier, I find that I like to take my time when shopping. Maybe for obvious reasons- but, in most thrift stores, the jewelry and other accessories are behind glass casings, inaccessible for close examination or require assistance from a employee. So by the time I make it to the register, that is when I notice the jewelry; but its too late.

What deters me from making a purchase is a variant of things like, there are time constraints and I need to check out as soon as possible, budget, or to be frank, I am fatigued from shopping the whole store!

With that said, I want to make it more of a conscious effort to start there first, ensuring that I can take a few goodies home with me. As someone who purchases most of her clothing secondhand, the idea of buying jewelry is a no brainer. However, I’ve noticed that I hardly talk about the items that I’ve picked up overtime while shopping. So, I thought for this post I would show you a few of the jewelry items I’ve that I am currently obsessed with and have worn the most.

*Not all these items were purchased at the same store or purchased at the same time. 

 

Nautical Wheel Earrings

I actually found these while traveling in Puerto Rico at a secondhand store! I figured since I was on an island, surrounded by beautiful water, these earrings were an essential to pick up! Since then, everytime I wear these I think of the beauty of Puerto Rico and the memories I made there. I scored these for under $5.

 

Aztec Circle Engraved Earrings

These cuties were picked up during my last thrift tour in Washington, D.C. (recap post coming soon). I found these for $1 while waiting in a long line to to check out. I love the fun print on them that are oh so subtle but, still bold enough to make a statement.

 

Flower Fields Earrings

I have a thing for earrings, can’t you tell? I have tiny ears so, I love to add to them to make them appear larger (lol) These are my first pair of vintage clip-on style earrings. Unlike the typical clip-on’s, they actually screw-on. I had never seen anything like this and was amazed about how comfortable they actually are! With such a contraption, I was not expecting to last too long in them- a pleasant surprise to say the least! I picked these up for less than $3.

 

What are some of your favorite second hand jewelry pieces you’ve collected so far?

-Danielle

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Fashion

The Return of the Dad Sneaker: A Style Guide

Sometimes style trends have the tendency to come around that we could never have expected to. Just to name a few: fanny packs, neon colors, shoulder pads, KANGOL bucket hats and classic white sneakers are all in a slow but steady movement making an encore appearance back into the fashion scene.

I will admit, that this dad sneaker trend crept up upon us (as they usually do) via the influence from social media channels, celebrities, bloggers, IG influencers, and most noticeably, during Cochella 2019. Nevertheless, there is no denying that white chunky sneakers were basically a staple in everyone’s wardrobe back in the 90’s. Fast forward 20 years,  now more popularly referred to as “Dad Sneakers” these kicks are undoubtedly making a comeback for this years spring/summer season. To paint an image of what a dad sneaker is: visualize a middle aged male wearing relaxed-fit medium-wash denim or jean shorts, a tucked in polo shirt, clip on cell phone holder to his belt and chunky white sneakers. The look at first, second and even third glances doesn’t exactly scream glamour OR fashion for that matter.

As a kid who grew up in the 90’s, I distinctly remember owning several pairs of white chunky sneakers (embarrassingly I will admit, they were all Sketcher’s designs) fanny packs of all colors and iridescent shades, shoulder pads, denim overalls and, somehow, I STILL wasn’t welcomed among the cool kids at my school. Now as an adult in 2019, it looks like my nerdy girl fashion sense has finally caught on to the masses and my childhood dreams are becoming a reality! (well, at least on Instagram).

Yet, if executed creatively there’s are several opportunities to make this trend work with almost any ensemble. From business meetings, date nights to sequin dresses, there is a new found freedom when styling your favorite pieces with these casual kicks.

Being a woman that gravitates to jeans, sneakers and tee shirts, I couldn’t wait to mix and match my favorite feminine pieces with my new shoes! Now while there is an abundance of white sneakers to choose from, I chose to purchase the FILA Disruptor II and am in love. What stood out to me was their jagged silhouette, noticeable chunky platform structure and sleek monochromatic colorway. They seemed to pair so well with almost everything in my closet!

 

So How Do I Style my Chunky Dad Sneakers?

I think the better question here is, how MANY ways can you style your sneakers? Majority of the pieces I’ve paired for this post were purchased with Goodwill over an extended period of time. Here are some of my favorite outfits I choose from.

1. The Summer Dress Sneaker

A classic take on femininity and comfort. Paring a comfy summer dress and sneakers isn’t exactly an emerging style trend but, it is the most common way I’ve seen these sneakers styled. It’s comfortable and functional for almost any casual activity you are engaging in.  The dress I choose is a vintage A-Line with a deep V-neck neckline and floral print. I also threw on this light-wash denim jacket for added texture.

2. The Athleisure Sporty Sneaker

How could we skip athleisure wear? When I’m not at the gym (which is regularly) I’m more than likely hanging out in my leggings and sports bra. I was actually shocked when I found this one piece neon pink body suit at the thrift. Moreover, I was surprised when it fit me! Since I don’t want to blind anyone, I paired the bodysuit with my favorite track pant that I found in the men’s section at Goodwill. Although blue and pink are not quite complementary colors, I love this pairing!

3. The Vacation Sneaker

If there is any an appropriate time to wear sneakers, it’s on vacation. I’ve paired this tie- dye off the shoulder dress with, yep, you guessed it-my Fila’s. I love everything about this dress and the color and pattern combination. Threw on my oversized straw hat, and I’m ready to go!

4. The Night Out Sneaker

As I stated above, I am a jeans and tee-shirt kind of girl. So. when it’s time to have a night out or date night, I sometimes struggle to figure out what outfit to wear that doesn’t involve painful heels or dresses that hug me like a hot dog casing. I found that incorporating dark black denim will elevate most outfits for a night out. For this outfit, I decided to pair dark denim with a silk bold red tank top that I actually found in the intimate section at Goodwill! I added some accessories and a black moto jacket over my shoulders to complete the look.

Which look was your favorite so far? Do you plan on trying out the dad sneaker trend this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Good Luck

Danielle

 

 

 

 

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DIY Projects

DIY Home Makeover: How to Build a Gallery Wall!

*Collaborative post

With spring in the air, many people tend to equate the changing of seasons with the physical act of replacing their winter wardrobes with their spring. However, there are so many other ways you can channel that energy! I thought I should take a moment to  reevaluate my living spaces and see what improvements could use a bit of a pick-me-up. After looking around on Pintrest and Instagram, I decided upon the idea to create a gallery wall. The concept is very easy to create, budget friendly, and if you rent an apartment space like me, you know that leading with creativity might not always fit the rules you landlord has set in place. Thankfully, this DIY is guaranteed to meet your expectations and won’t damage your walls too much in the process!

You don’t need to watch too many episodes of Property Brothers or Queer Eye to understand that speaking from a design perspective, creating a gallery wall has the ability to instantly elevate any space with personalized style. Using your favorite prints and art pieces of various sizes, shapes, and colors gives you the opportunity to create a gorgeous gallery that gives your guests a chance to get to know who you are, through photos.

So let’s get started!

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Pick Your Frames

While this project is fairly simple, there still needs to be thought put into the assembly of it. As I got started, I thought about what color scheme I wanted to work with, which wall I wanted to use, and what theme my prints would represent. If you’re indecisive like me, take down your thoughts on pen & paper to sort out the many ideas you have floating in your head.

Next, search for your desired frames. This is one of the more important steps in the process because your frames will set the tone of your gallery. Do you want thick frames, thin? Are they square, rounded, oblong? Also think about what colors they will be. Since  this is a spring transition, think about what colors inspire you for the season. In addition, think about the space you are working with. What color are your walls and the surrounding areas (carpet, furniture). If you are working with a classic white background, than almost any color will compliment it. However, if you have painted walls like me, think about which shades of frames will compliment them and make it really stand out within your space!

It’s Hammer Time- What You’ll Need

As far as tools go, here’s what you’ll need to create the gallery wall of your dreams…

  1. Picture Frames
  2. Hammer or Scotch Hanging Strips
  3. Nails
  4. Leveler (if you don’t have one, you can download on right to your phone!)
  5. Pencil & Paper
  6. Small Notebook
  7. Extra nails and screws
  8. And a good playlist going to keep the inspiration flowing

 

Pick Your Prints

Ok- now THIS is the fun part! As I mentioned above, if you want to add some cohesiveness to your gallery, make sure you are combining similar frame shapes and complimentary colors. This includes what images you choose for your prints! For example, your gallery could consist primary of people, animals, places you’ve visited, or inspirational quotes; but don’t feel like you should limit yourself. The most important thing is for your wall to represent you- your tastes, history, and what you  love the most. I sourced by prints via Etsy, but there are thousands of prints you can print for free and affordably from Google, Canva and Unsplash by simply searching images according to the theme you want to achieve.

Lay It Out

From a designers perspective, it comes recommended that you first measure the amount of wall space you want to fill and then tape off that section on a clean floor. This process allows you to space everything out the way you want in advance allowing you to save time and (let’s face it) disappointment of securing it on the wall and not exactly enjoying your results. And not to mention, avoiding unnecessary damages to your wall. Once you lock down your favorite arrangement, take a few photos on your phone and compare layouts. Use your photos as reference when you’re hanging as a guide to go back to as you begin hanging.

Hang In There

Now it’s time to get that art onto the wall! Starting small in this case is not recommended. As a matter of fact, starting with the largest frame will help you visualize how to place the others around it. Placing your larger piece a bit of centered won’t allow it to steal the show, but rather, will allow you to build the smaller pieces around it. Hanging is more of a building framework that yields positive results from the top down. Remember to refer to the photos of the layout options you took on your phone and feel free to move some pieces around as you begin to hang them; remember you are not committed to one idea, this is YOUR wall.

I hope these tips helped you become inspired to create your own gallery wall & revamp up your space!

Good Luck,

Danielle

 

 

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