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Lifestyle

For the past several months, I’ve made a significant effort to reduce my plastic usage — and while it’s hard to go completely plastic-free, I’ve found it pretty easy to find reusable alternatives for some every day items that contribute to a ton of plastic waste.

Growing up in California, in a family that loves camping and backpacking to get away from the crowds, has made it easy to see the impact humans have had on our environment — you wouldn’t believe how much plastic trash has found its way into the most remote parts of the world.

But it’s also easy to forget how much plastic you buy and throw away on a daily basis — a bottle of soda here and there, your medication, and even your regular grocery items like coffee and milk! So I thought I’d pull some of my favorite reusable, non-plastic alternatives that I started purchasing to help me remember to waste less, and avoid buying plastic altogether.

shampoo mouthwash floss stashers covers beeswax towels soap producebags

Note on shipping: When it comes to reducing your plastic usage, it’s also a good idea to think about where you get your products. You’ll see some Amazon links in here for convenience, but Amazon tends to send you a large box filled with plastic packaging that isn’t suited to what you’ve ordered. Eco-conscious shops, on the other hand, ship with really thoughtful packaging that uses zero plastic (and honestly, is designed so well, it’ll make you smile).

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We’ve all been there — moving is no joke. And while I recently moved in with my bf (who deferred all design decisions to me, thank god), my former roommate, Emily, was moving into a new apartment with virtually no furniture. While moving can be the perfect reset opportunity to your own style, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. So she enlisted me to help.

Online shopping gives me life (even when I’m not the one buying things), so I jumped at the chance to help her decorate her new space. Since I’m pretty obsessed with design and decor, helping Em was a treat — instead of decorating one new home, I got to decorate two! So we huddled up and got to work. I filled a Google doc with all the cute things I could find on the internet within her set budget range.

I figured some of these gems would make a cute little graphic, so here are a few of the things I recommended for a classic, light and airy, natural feeling living room setup (plus, some extra splurges that I’d like to get myself).

Her apartment has tons of natural light, and Emily was set on becoming a crazy plant lady (which has already begun, as she adopted lots of large plants from a friend moving across the country). With that in mind, I wanted to include some warm woods, light-colored surfaces, and clean lines to keep things feeling modern, but also cozy and expensive.

The Frame TV, 43 inches, $860 // Bird of Paradise plant (it’s real!), $36
Fox & Fern 12-inch matte white plant pot, $59 // Safavieh Boston Collection flatweave rug in gray, $129 // Set of 6 pear-shaped vases, $37 // Faux marble coffee table, $106
Globe floor lamp, $75 // Belleeze Mid-Century Armchair, $140
Posner TV stand, $309 // Rituals book, $20 // California Living book, $24
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Having just moved into a new house, I can speak from firsthand experience that figuring out what to hang on the walls can take the longest — especially when you want to share meaningful artwork.

I’ve recently begun buying artwork while traveling — but honestly, I haven’t done it enough! So in a pinch, I love turning to sites like Etsy and Society6 to supplement my artwork. Plus, supporting other artists like myself feels good.

Since I’ve been spending so much time browsing artwork (without committing enough to actually pull the trigger on any), I figured I’d share some of my favorites with you here. Hope you enjoy my alternate names for them 🙂

1. Bull portrait // 2. Sassy tigers swimming in a pool // 3. Palms and fronds
4. Tangello, Limoncello! // 5. Calm mountains // 6. Positano, in pink
7. Le sigh // 8. Sassy yellow lady

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Last summer, I got roped into the organizing crew for Dîner en Blanc, an amazing event that happens on different nights all over the world, where thousands of attendees meet at an undisclosed location for a flash mob, picnic dinner.

This year, the location was so perfect — the Carnegie Library, located right smack in the middle of DC. And, since my assigned meeting point was in Chinatown, the 350 people headed to the location with me didn’t even have to get on the metro. Talk about convenient!

Here are some shots from the night.

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About a year and a half ago, I got really into knitting. And like most things I take up, I did a pretty good amount of research, watched some YouTube videos, and dove right in. Did I start with a cable knit project? You bet I did.

The first few projects were pretty much crap, but I built up my skills and kept challenging myself, with the positive encouragement from friends and coworkers. My favorite feat thus far is a pair of fair isle socks, gifted to Emily because I accidentally made them too skinny for normal people’s calves. But she rocks them. I’m also a big fan of these fingerless mitts I made for those days when the AC is blasting in the office and I can’t feel my fingertips.

The first of my college friends just had her first baby last week, so naturally, I had to knit something for her! This pattern comes from one of my favorite knitting blogs, put together by the staff at Purl Soho in New York (they’re hiring… I had to unsubscribe from their emails because of my feelings about knitting and New York). This baby blanket is shipping off to Charleston this afternoon! Love you, Kels.

Yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca’s worsted cotton in shell.

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I had the pleasure of photographing two of my dear friends getting married a couple of weeks ago at Dewey Beach — and while sweaty, the celebration was absolutely perfect… and probably one of the best parties I’ve ever been to. That bride knows how to break it down on the dance floor, and I’d be lying if I denied any post-fireworks night swimming. We kept the camera safely stored away for that.

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