All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up

Under a week till Christmas, where did the time go? Last week I  shared my gift guide and as promised, today’s post features my all time favorite part of gifting, the wrapping! Choosing my wrapping paper theme is year is a serious highlight of my holiday season and I’ve come to learn that a lot of people are just as into it as I am.

As long as I’ve been able to, I’ve chosen a theme each year to get everyone excited about what’s under the tree. Buying a prepackaged bundle of wrapping paper at Target is simply not acceptable.

This year, because my family will be coming to Chicago for the first time for Christmas, I  went with a “Home for the holidays” idea, since Chicago is home for me. I  loved this bright pastel paper that I  snagged from Foursided, my favorite Chicago shop. It comes from this adorable online shop. Typically I  choose at least 2 papers to offset, but this year, I went with a classic bold red. To tie everything together, I used the same white yarns and adorable little wreaths, like these, as a part of my gift tags.

It’s all in the details for me, and the smallest little trinket makes a small gift, all the better. The best places to find easy and affordable gift wrapping needs are Target and The Container Store, while boutique shops and places like Papersource, Rifle Paper and even art supply stores, make for ideal wrapping paper options.

After each year, I  love remembering all of the themes from the past years, so here’s a bit of a trip down memory lane.

Lumberjack Christmas

Loved how those chalkboard style stickers worked with the buffalo print. Brown craft paper is such an easy and trend friendly option, it works with every

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Scandinavian Christmas: 

Call it my love of IKEA, but this theme was so much fun! Tucking in real greenery with was easy and festive.

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Candy Land

I  found that fun printed paper and felt like this was a unique twist on Candy Land, with bold colors and pom pom accessories.

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Feliz Navidad 

Right after the new year, I found these adorable Christmas piñtas , and it was a great jumping off point for last year’s theme. The chartreuse paper was an expected but bright choice!

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This Year: Home for the Holidays 

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What’s your wrap game like? Are you as into themes as I am? Hoping you’ve finished all of your shopping and now get to start putting the final touches on your gifts before the 25th!







Settling In

Settling In

February has certainly been the coldest month of the year in Chicago as long as I’ve been here, which means the walls of my apartment start to close in while I live in a state of hibernation until spring rounds the corner.

Because I  find myself having more nights in during this short month, it’s important that my apartment looks its best. If you’ve read my gallery wall post, you know that I  put a lot of design focus on my living room wall. Living in a small one bedroom apartment means wall space is limited and highly prized in terms of decorating.

This month I decided to wipe the gallery wall clean and tweak it with some new additions. Today I’m breaking down my favorite shops and places to find everything in order to achieve the perfect gallery wall, as well as those smaller pieces around my living room!

Wall: Gallery walls should be a mix of a little bit of everything! Photos you’ve taken, maybe some personal sketches, music posters, and art you’ve collected. My new map is from IKEA, that’s also a chalkboard! (how fun) IKEA is where a lot of my frames are from too. I  only invest in frames when they’re really special pieces or going to be hung somewhere forever. Vintage markets and music festivals are great places to pick up prints and smaller pieces to hang. Foursided is one of my favorite Chicago shops for small cards and prints.


Chair: Finding a good arm chair can take years, but when you find it, you’re set for life! I    scooped up this salmon colored leather chair from a local shop in my college neighborhood for $70. Furniture can be really expensive, so it felt like a steal to me. Throw your favorite patterned pillow on it to make it feel finished.

Table: The table is two suitcases, from the same shop as the chair. Stacking a couple of them helps with height, and to protect the top, add a piece of glass. (not shown) You can find glass for the table at your local Salvation Army or second hand shop. Using trunks or suitcases for a table also doubles as storage!

Accessories: Truly, the best way to make your home feel fully decorated is with the smaller pieces. You can easily go to one or two places and just buy what you deem cute, but it’s more fun to use pieces from your travels, keepsakes passed down and little trinkets from markets you’ve found along the way. The solider is from a local shop, the camera is from my favorite street market, and books are from various bookstores.

Although I  love the minimalism approach that many of my peers take with home design, for a packrat like me, more is definitely more. Home design should be a reflection of your personal style and I’ve settled into knowing what mine is! What’s yours?




The Write Way

The Write Way

Maintaining a blog requires a few things…. creativity, photos and of course, writing. I’m no author, but I’ve enjoyed the process of improving my writing skills through blogging. I’ve always appreciated the art of writing, and it’s emotional sentiment. Whether you’re doodling to relieve stress, keeping a travel journal or sending a thoughtful note, there’s something special about breaking out pencil and your favorite pad of paper as opposed to typing on a laptop.


I recently found Oak+Ink, a Nashville based gentleman’s stationery store, that I could not be more in love with! Stationery is a lost art in my opinion. I remember picking out my first stationery at 11 years old, and continue to send hand written thank you notes and messages to friends and family after every birthday.

Oak+Ink has a variety of classic designs with a modern touch. Whether it’s more nautical and outdoorsy or stylish and sophisticated, there’s a design for you! This is a perfect gift for yourself or someone else. I’ve been using the note pad daily at work for quick sketches and memos. The pencils with catchy sayings are fun as well and also from Oak+Ink.


The brown paper and sketched designs really make the paper feel more sophisticated than boxed stationary you can get at a big box store! I’m looking forward to writing more with Oak+Ink and here on!

As Oak+Ink says, Write On,


Photos by: Jenny Connors 


You’ve been framed

You’ve been framed

Home decor has been such a love of mine for as long as I could remember. With IKEA practically being my second home since birth, I’ve always had a say in decorating ideas for each childhood bedroom and that’s only transferred as I’ve navigated designing my own apartments.

My first apartment was a simple white-box studio, so space and ideas were limited. I’ve entered year two of my first “adult” apartment and I seriously couldn’t be happier with it. A problem I often run into in both fashion and home design is my obsession with trends. Whether it’s a color, pattern, or “must-have” piece, I’m quick to try it for myself.

The difference between fashion and home design is that it’s not as cost friendly to change your house as it is to revamp your closet. As year two in this apartment approached, I wanted to change up a few things without breaking the bank. I decided to take my living room wall and really expand the “gallery wall” look that is so popular these days. Lots of friends and guests loved the outcome, asking how I achieved the look.

You’ll need: 

  • Tools: A small drill, hammer, nails, screws, and a level are basic but necessary.
  • Patience: Keep in mind one try at hanging a photo won’t cut it!
  • Pieces to hang: The best part is collecting all of the work to hang!

Step 1: Collect! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your gallery wall. The best gallery walls mix a little bit of everything; personal photos, artwork, knick-knacks and honestly whatever else you love and want to showcase.

Dig through your photos, dust off your keepsakes, and maybe even grab a new piece of two. For this wall, I had picked up a needlepoint souvenir from my recent trip to Austin. (Check out that post here!) and found some vintage Badminton rackets from a Chicago street market. (Just $15 for 2) Even though I have no relationship to badminton, and never will, I loved their preppy look and colors.

Step 2. Strip your canvas! Make sure your wall of choice is completely bare. For me, I needed to take everything down and forget the previous set up to give the wall a fair chance of a true “reboot.”

Step 3. Plan it out… or Don’t! Pintrest is a great resource for gallery walls! You can see how thousands of people have arranged their walls, some even giving you stencils or templates to follow. For this wall, I just started hanging and worked from right to left. I knew the rackets needs to be hung horizontally towards the top, and then went from there. The goal was to have an even flow of color, size and distance between them all.

Step 4: Enjoy! Now that it’s set all set up, stand back and enjoy your hard work! The best part about a gallery wall is that you can always add more to it later. I’ve left little pockets of space on the top and bottom of mine, just in case a new photo or piece of art is begging to be hung on the wall.

Like I said earlier in reference to Rome, an apartment is never finished in one day! I’m always finding a new project to tackle, which is half the fun!

Until the next home project,