Apartment Budgeting 101

Apartment Budgeting 101

Moving is expensive…. like… really f****g expensive, and I’m learned that very quickly! At the beginning of the year, I laid out my goals for 2019 and budgeting for an apartment move was a the top of the list. (and thank god I did)

Budgeting for a new home is a two step process. The first being the rent itself, but something that’s equally as important, the furniture! Although I’ve loved IKEA since birth, this felt like a time to graduate to other brands. With that said, saving, refurbishing and keeping my eyes peeled on the best deals was very important.  I had to get creative and also embrace that this is a lot harder than just grabbing a top at Zara on sale.

What and How to Buy New:

Based off my space size increase, I did have to buy a large amount of new items. Those big items included an area rug, couch and the bedroom furniture. Although more expensive than I was used to, they are pieces I’ll be using everyday, so it didn’t take long to get over the initial hit to the credit card I had to take.

Websites like Article and Birchlane were both reasonable and easy to find exactly what I was looking for. I also referenced this article, which helped me understand the price points I should be expecting for certain pieces of furniture.

I’d also say that buying new linens, pillows and prints are easy and quick ways to change up your space without totally breaking the bank.

IMG_8233.jpg

Where to save:

Just like shopping for clothes, never count out a consignment shop! All of the armchairs I wanted a big box stores were basically double or triple the price of what I found at my favorite antique shop in Chicago. I’ve got a bunch of items, big and small from flea markets and such that have really pulled my place together. There’s a lot of charm to be gained when you mix newer modern pieces with older, more one-of-a kind pieces.

Framing art is another potential money pit that can easily be avoided. A craft store like Michael’s or local framer can charge you hundreds per frame, but never fear, IKEA is always here. For my gridded gallery wall, I picked up these 9×9  frames for $10 each and bought matt board from a craft store and did this myself. This was at least a third the price if I had a professional or online company do it for me.

TWHome-7367.jpg

Things to keep:

One of the best parts about this move was that I had the chance to look at everything I own, and make sure that it had a purpose if it was taken to a new space. Although I’m not an avid reader, by any stretch, I have a great collection of coffee table books from travels and friends that serve well in a more design sense than they ever would to read. Any cute book has a chance to serve as decor on your table or side board like it does for me.

Those little side tables you got in college, keep them! I almost threw out a $20 black table from IKEA but you never know when you’ll need another surface next to your couch, bathroom, etc. The same goes for picture frames too, as they can easily be repurposed if need be.

The best advice I can give is to think practically when you’re decorating an apartment. You can dream, but you have to be realistic. You know what’s trash, you know what’s overpriced and you know what you need. Only spend the money when it’s something you’re using everyday. Don’t buy the $300 couch and the $70 designer coffee table book! (Even though I’ve probably done the latter before)

IMG_8238.jpg

A list of my favorite places to shop for this apartment below:

Article

At Home

Birch Lane

Crate and Barrel

Edgewater Antique Mall

Foursided

IKEA

Randolph Street Market

West Elm

Old Kid on the Block

Old Kid on the Block

It’s August 1st, as in… summer is already two months in, how did that happen? It’s probably been the fastest summer yet, and my attempts at consistently sharing posts just that a dream unfulfilled at this rate. But no need to dwell, I’m here now and really loving today’s old school look.

It’s been a fairly mild summer here in Chicago, which means I’ve still been able to wear long sleeves and jeans throughout the season. On a cool summer day, this TopMan (Rest in Peace) shirt felt like a must-have. This sweater-esque look has a built in collar and color blocked stripes in the perfect shades for summer.

When I  put this with a simple and classic wash pair of Levi’s, I felt equal parts touristy dad at Disney and Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name, a winning combo, right? There’s a 80’s vibe to this look that I can’t help but love.

Sometimes the best looks are the easiest ones. I  think we all know that a white t-shirt and jeans can be just as attractive and stylish as a bomber or printed shirt.

It’s not always about reinventing the wheel in your closet and finding the newest piece, it can be about bringing an old look back.

Hoping to bring back more old looks, and mindsets here, and soon!

Stay tuned,

TW

Striped for Summer

Striped for Summer

Can we even classify this season as Summer when it’s barely cracked 75 degrees? Probably not, but in a city like Chicago, you’re gonna have to fake it till you make it.

Processed with VSCO with e1 preset

I’m not going to let a dreary summer sky dampen my seasonal wardrobe. I was inspired by June being Pride Month when putting together this look. The look is built around this striped top from Bonobos that I love for summer! In different shades of sherbet, this rainbow print reminds me of a fashionable Pride flag. Seersucker is one of my favorite materials for summer because it’s lightweight and breathable.

This shirt could really work with anything, white jeans, dark denim or khakis. I  thought instead to try a more neutral green to let the shirt pop more. These chinos from Banana Republic Factory are my favorite fitting casual pant. They give a lot of shape and don’t have to be tailored, AMEN!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

 

On top, a year round must-have, is this Levi Denim jacket. I  recently purchased this one because the wash is the most neutral and my other denim jacket is too oversized for summer, where let’s face it, fit is crucial. A rope belt and grey loafers are easy accessories to make a little more casual yet cool.

It’s been a while since I’ve put up an outfit post partly due to scheduling and finding motivation, so if you’re reading, thanks for sticking with me 🙂

More summer looks to come, stay tuned!

TW

 

 

Bachelorette: Celtic Chaos

Me currently because my past recaps and stories  have been stalled due to an extremely busy schedule, but also me because we start Week 5 and we are STILL talking about Luke. Once again, one of my biggest issues with The Bachelor/Bachelorette format is that we spend the first half of each season focused on hating the villain and in our case, we’re still in deep with Luke P.

We pick up with Luke S. and Luke P. exchanging dirty looks before Hannah cuts the cocktail party short and wants to start eliminating. Before she can even finish her sentence, Luke S. decides to bow out and tells her to watch out for Luke P. 

It was nice knowing you Nick Viall Jr.

After a hellish time in Rhode Island, they head to Scotland and Hannah is determined to reset with a one-on-one with Mike. Honestly, Mike is so genuine and actually likes her, I  almost forgot that those kind of people exist in this land of famewhores.

The other guys are excited because they get a group date without the threat of Luke P. trying to kill them, and the men compete in a Braveheart-esque physical battle. Although they all suck at axe throwing and keeping milk in a bucket, Jed gives us this moment, so we’ll allow it.

Hannah spends the rest of the date doing a quality check on all the furniture’s durability by making out with Jed on a bench, Ryan on a pool table, and Tyler on the bed. Jed wins another group date rose and I’m starting to get a front runner vibe.

Back at the house, Mike and Luke continue to hate each other and we can only pray that Hannah decides to send the little meathead home. Hannah and Luke sit on cliff (that I  hope he falls off) to talk about how shitty the past few weeks has been.

It’s pretty apparent that Luke only tells Hannah what he thinks she wants to hear, and she wants to know about the important stuff… like…. does he like macaroni and cheese?….. *record scratch** yep, you read that right.

At dinner, he kinda starts to get it, but then resorts back to his old ways of perfectionism and saying everyone loves him.

Hannah:

Luke:

(what are feelings?)

So in the end, like seriously, the last 4 seconds, she picks up the rose and says she can’t give it to Luke. THANK THE LORD JED, we are done with this psychopath….until next week’s preview of him praying in church.

Rose: Mike is still probably the realist of the bunch for calling out Luke at every turn, and actually seeming to like Hannah for Hannah. Not sure why… but at least it’s genuine.

Thorn: All the guys for letting Luke get to them, don’t they know that feeding the monster more attention only makes him stronger?

Next week it looks like a straight up mess, Hannah is on the verge of quitting (but won’t let’s be honest) and Luke is still in Scotland, trying to find his strength to stay.

Let’s all try to find our strength to keep watching!

Until then,

TW

Apartment Inspiration

Exciting things are around the corner, or should I say, the block! As of May, I’ll be moving into a new apartment and I could not be more thrilled. Since choosing my new apartment, I’ve been on a steady diet of online shopping at West Elm, combing through catalogs and scrolling Instagram for hours for inspiration.

Having a new place means a fresh start and as much as I’ve loved my apartment, gallery wall and current layout, I thought it might be fun to share some inspiration and trends that I’m planning to incorporate into my new place next month.

Color Shift:

I’m a firm believer of “throw what you know” or better yet, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” When it comes to paint colors, I definitely play by these rules. I’ve had a blue bedroom for most of my life, and in my current apartment a blue accent wall in my living room. Instead of going for the exact navy color next time, I’m thinking of shifting to a softer hue and painting only half way up the wall. For my bedroom, I’m considering transitioning from a charcoal color to a lighter grey or blue.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 9.19.19 AM.png
Loving this “at home try on” approach from Backdrop. (image: instagram.com/backdrop/

I’ve been playing around on Backdrop, a new paint brand that let’s you get large swatches, like the Warby Parker of paint, before choosing your colors. A few trendy colors I’ve been seeing are hunter greens, dusty rose, and icy blues.

Bellow_(5).jpg
Loving this approach to color at Publishing House BNB in Chicago 

Lots of Luxe Fabrics 

Just like your closet, sometimes your space calls for an upgrade. Like a new leather jacket, the power of a luxe fabric can do wonders. Right now my mission is find the perfect leather couch and I’ve already invested in a velvet headboard for my bedroom. Velvet has been popping up everywhere, pillows, couches, bedrooms and armchairs, and I’m into it!

Bold and Bright Accessories (in bulk) 

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and people buy furniture from a bigger name brand store and call it a day. Sure it looks good, and right out of a magazine (because it probably is) but it’s the styling that makes it your own! Minimalism may have been “in” the past few years, but maximalism has returned for 2019.

“Memphis style” is popular this year, which brings back the idea of bright and colorful accessories throughout the room, in unique shapes with an 80s flair. Even though I   won’t be adding a bunch of 80s decor to my space, I’ll be looking for a few vintage pieces, glassware and other trinkets to have throughout.

furniture-trends-2019-inspiration.jpg
A full look with plenty of layers of styling, and pops of color (image: decoraid.com)

These are just a few trends and thoughts I’ve seen and hope to implement towards my next place! What trends are you seeing and using in your spaces? I’m getting so excited for this change, and can’t wait to start showing what I’ve chosen to add to my new apartment very soon. Keep following along for more updates!

-TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger’s Block

Blogger’s Block

Writer’s block has gotten to me lately, but it’s not just writing, it’s creativity in general. If you do follow along with me, I’ve been pretty quite on the blog and instagram the past couple of months, unless it’s Bachelor related of course. Keeping up with a blog and creating articles, photos and other creative endeavors is something I’ve mentioned being difficult before.

There are a few reasons that have contributed to this “blogger’s block” we’ll say, and sometimes I  believe just naming the issue is the best way to get over it. A few months ago I wrote a post about what I  deem a “blog eat blog” world that I feel like I’m living in. Where even though we’re telling ourselves it’s a community of people of like interest, there is a silent competition on the platform as well. Let’s be honest, who ISN’T writing a blog these days or being an “influencer/content creator”?

I kept on coming to my draft page and quickly shutting the computer lid before typing a sentence. Immediately, I would say to myself “who cares, TW?” “is anyone reading this?” “there are dozens of other blogs they’re going to” or “you’re a dime a dozen.”

I’ve just realized there are two big issues with this frame of mind. One is that I was being  petty. It’s extremely unproductive for me to mock the fact that my peers use the same tools to share their voice. Why does that have to my influence or hinder my creative process? It doesn’t.

The second issue is the negative self talk. I’ve been reading The Defining Decade, listening to podcasts and talking to people like my favorite blogger babe, Megan Prokott, and remembering why I  wanted to blog in the first place. I  wanted to create, I  wanted to share my voice. I’m not why everyone one else is blogging, posting collaborations on instagram, and it really shouldn’t matter.

For me, it was always just about wanting to create and share what my eye sees, because even it’s just a handful of people looking at it, that was enough for me. I get tripped up on Instagram, because it’s trained me to believe a sponsored post is what makes you “creative”, and even though it can be, I  know that not what it represented to me.

Right now I’m throwing myself into work projects and waiting for the cold weather to break, slowly but surely finding new sources of inspiration. Right now I’ve been reading, watching home design shows, and keeping my eyes and ears open to see what’ll spark creativity next.

I’m realizing that like most things in life, I  don’t need to structure it around a time line. As Marie Kondo would ask “does it spark joy?” and for me, sharing my photography, outfits and ideas is what sparks joy, no matter the outcome. I  love showing how I  see color, how I  live in Chicago and that’s what I want to get back to.

Here’s to getting back into the swing of things,

TW

Pop of Preppy

Pop of Preppy

It’s been a hot minute… or month, since I’ve posted about an outfit. Perhaps I’m distracted by all my bachelor posts or perhaps I’m just overwhelmed with how crazy busy the last couple of months have been. Either way, I  finally have a chance to sit down and break down a new look.

With years of prep school under my belt, I used to be extremely preppy. At the time, I  thought I  was EVERYTHING in my Vineyard Vines, seersucker pants and the latest Sperry’s. Just the thought of some of things I used to wear, yikes! When I moved to Chicago and realized I was a pastel fish out of water, I started adopted a more city-friendly look.

CallieCraigWinter-19

At my core though, there is a still a little bit of a preppy left in me. With today’s look, I  feel like I’ve been able to merge together a more modern preppy aesthetic without looking too “school boy.” The look is really entered around this TopMan white sweater with striped neckline. White is not usually my first color choice, but the bold stripe reminded me of a collegiate style sweater that could be come an instant classic. Winter whites are always very fashion forward too.

If I  were to pair this with khakis and a white button up, I think it’d start to look like a school uniform. Instead, a navy turtleneck and blue plaid pants break this up and make the whole outfit more contemporary.

When it comes to style, we can never truly change our spots completely. That’s me when it comes to being preppy, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Once the weather starts to break, hopefully I’ll be able to share more outfit ideas.

Stayed tuned for developments with Bachelor, home design, travel and fashion soon!

-TW