Guess Who’s Back?!

The prodigal Rookie returns!

After a several month long absence here on TCR, many long hours on the job, the WORST winter I’ve ever lived through, and a fair amount of soul searching, I’ve come back.

As cheesy as it sounds, I really missed blogging – coming up with new posts, sharing my life and opinions with my friends and family all across the country, interacting with all of the WONDERFUL people who actually take the time to read my silly little write blog – it’s pretty great stuff, y’all.

A zillion time drains (hello, work!) kept me away from writing for a few months but I’ve really decided that I need to make TCR a priority again – the happiness it brings me is just too much not to!

So, what I’m really telling y’all is get ready to starting seeing my goofy little face around here more and more in the next few weeks and months. I’ve kept up with most of my favorite blogs because uh, I’m a total Nosy Nellie but I’ve usually refrained from commenting since I was a little embarrassed by the ghost town that is my blog over these last couple months. Now I have no excuse not to annoy y’all like crazy with endless comments and tweets!

This Rookie is back and better than ever!

 

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

Happy New Year, Y’all!

My goodness, 2014 already?!

Errrr… Almost the end of January 2014 already?!

Cliched? Definitely. But is it true? Absolutely!

2013 was certainly a landmark year for this rookie. Between enjoying my last semester of school (sob – still kinda not ready to let go yet!), GRADUATING, apartment hunting (successful and unsuccessful), starting my first real job, navigating that precarious professional/personal life cliff (umm… what is dating?), and profiling every curve ball along the way here I feel like I’m still reeling! That’s probably why I’m just finally finishing a post I started over two weeks ago… Whoops!

While I didn’t set any resolutions for this year  – a pretty big change for me, I assure you – I am excited to get back to work on my 101 in 1001, which woefully fell into almost complete neglect towards the end of the year as the hustle and bustle of the very busy holiday season got the best of me.

Some of the 101 in 1001 goals I’m most looking forward to knocking out in 2014:

 

1. Watch 5 Woody Allen movies.  –  Winter is the perfect time to curl up and go movie marathon crazy! I just downloaded Midnight in Paris a few days ago and I can’t wait to watch my inaugural Woody movie this weekend… Or maybe tomorrow night, thanks to all this snow cancelling my other plans!

7. Run 3 half marathons.  –  Okay, not all 3 will be knocked out this year because uh, hello, I’m not a bionic woman. But I’m really excited to tackle my first half marathon in just a few weeks now! Whooo hooo, wish me luck y’all!

19. Try a new type of food.  –  If you’ve followed TCR for anytime now, you’ve probably realized that I have a ridiculously fairly small comfort zone and I often struggle to stray beyond it. This is especially true of food – I was literally THE definition of a picky eater in my younger years.  However, college and living in DC did a lot to broaden those horizons and now I’m ready to push them even further! My top picks so far? Vietnamese, Moroccan, and Greek! Do y’all have any suggestions?

37. Go to a Nats game and get an autograph from one of the players.  –  This just SCREAMS summer and I am soooo ready to be back in the ball park! Like, now. Seriously, can it be warm and sunny again yet??

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75. Bake cupcakes from scratch.  –  I’m excited to get back in the kitchen for an intense baking session! I’ve got about a zillion and a half super elaborate recipes all pinned away on Pinterest so far and I think it’s high time that I took a crack at one or two of them.

86. Eat 3 servings of vegetables each day for 2 weeks.  -  What better time to try to positively change your diet than the beginning of a new year? It’ll be tricky but I’ve actually be pretty good (well, I mean, for ME) about eating more fruits and vegetables lately so I think I’ve got a good shot of crossing this bad boy off the list. Plus I’m going to try to use Twitter to help keep me accountable by letting y’all know which veggies I’ve eaten each day – Keep me accountable, y’all!

 

So there you have it, some of the goals at the top of my list right now. Let me know what goals y’all are working on and what sort of progress you’ve made so far!

Back and Better Than Ever,

 

J.Parker

Editor-in-Chief

 

It’s a Win-Win Situation

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/mix941kmxj.com/files/2012/12/Christmas-Presents-iStock.jpg

 

Hi.

I know, it’s been a while since we last got to chat. Appalling, I know. 

But I promise y’all were never far from my mind… Seriously! While I didn’t do an official Thanksgiving thankfulness post, y’all should definitely know how much each and every single one of y’all brighten up my day!

And with that said, I want to present the winners of the super fun Starbucks gift cards I mentioned last week! Remember how I was all like, “oh, I’ll be sure to announce who won on Friday?” And now here it is, THURSDAY of the FOLLOWING week and I’m barely getting around to it. Yeesh. I’m a mess.

 

After a bit of organization – hello again spreadsheets – and some help from my handy-dandy random number generator, I finally got it all sorted out. So without further ado, here they are, better late than never (right?!):

1. Jessica Joyce – Your Friend, Jess

2. Samantha – Newberry Street Prep

 

http://www.savingwithshellie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/starbucks.png

 

Feel free to shoot me an email at [trainingcamprookie@gmail.com] and we can get the ball rolling on those gift cards ASAP! Take advantage of all this awful winter weather: there is hot chocolate to be drunk and sugar cookies to be eaten at all times!

 

Again, I’m so thankful for each and everyone one of you out there reading my sporadic, nonsensical ramblings… Yes, even you, Momma and Poppy!

 

Always Late for a Very Important Date,

 

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Oh, The Weather Outside is BEYOND Frightful

Okay, I feel like I’m starting to beat a dead horse – sorry horse! – here but it is getting extra chilly around these parts now. Oh how I desperately miss those Texas winters (seriously, look at all the cute things my wannabe-blogger biffles, Kate, is wearing these days!) at this point…

Heck, even the previous DC winters I’ve suffered through survived seem down right balmy compared to this one!

And then it snowed.

Another small storm will pass through Tuesday morning bringing the chance for snow

But honestly, I wasn’t even upset. In fact, I was was the very opposite of upset! I went out and crunched through the mini snowdrifts accumulating on the sidewalks and danced around in the soft flurries that were still falling. See y’all, I think I just can’t handle cold for no reason. But cold + snow = one happy little Rookie.

Kind of ridiculous, but that’s just the way my brain works, I guess!

Either way, all the snow and chilly weather and the fact that I’ve started decorating my apartment for the holidays (Helloooooo, Target!), had me in a very festive mood so I decided to have another little giveaway on TCR. Whoooo!

Two of my super wonderful readers (seriously, do y’all know how AWESOME y’all are?!) will win $25 Starbucks gift cards! Because is there really anything better than a big steaming mug of hot cocoa, tea, or coffee on a blustery winter night?

The Rules:

Just be sure you’re following along, either via WordPress or BlogLovin! I’ll pick the winners on Friday, December 13th at 5 PM and contact the winners that night so they can collect their sweet, sweet Starbucks booty ASAP!

Yep, that’s it!

Feel free to leave me a comment telling me what your favorite winter time activity is too, if you feel like it. You know I always love hearing what all my cool blog bffs are up to!

Brrrrr, It’s Cold In Here,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

Coffee, Tables, and Books

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Alright, before we get into anything else we first need to talk about this horror that has befallen us: it is freaking COLD now, y’all.

I did a super quick trip up to New York the weekend before last and almost died trying to walk around. Blisteringly cold wind made my nose run and my eyes water and the freezing sidewalks cut right through my boots and made my poor little toes turn into ice cubes after 3 or 4 blocks… Several cabs were hailed mid-journey after I simply couldn’t hack it any longer. Complain city, I know, but the cold just makes me very sad and whiny, y’all.

But in a silver lining kind of deal, all this cold has meant lots of warm beverages like cocoa, cider, and yes, coffee. I spent almost all of Saturday curled up on one of my school friend’s beds while watching hours of The League on Netflix and noshing on tasty treats from Dean and DeLuca while she made us cup after cup of super yummy pecan caramel coffee in her fancy french press. HEAVEN.

 

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All of the coffee and our shared love of looking at beautifully decorated interiors (stay tuned for big news regarding this!) reminded me of one of my 101 in 1001 goals: to find three perfect coffee table books for my apartment.

Coffee table books are kind of a big deal, y’all. Basically, they let people know that you are an adult and that a) you have a coffee table, b) have friends who come over and within a reasonable proximity to said coffee table, and c) that your hobbies are photogenic enough to be compiled in a fancy book with glossy pages to sit on the aforementioned table. These are all good things.

 

These are a few favorites I have my eyes on so far. Do y’all have any suggestions? Let me know!

 

ralph lauren coffee table book

vogue living

http://guestofaguest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/kate-spade-new-york-things-we-love1.jpg

kate spade – things we love coffee table book

http://trainingcamprookie.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/51bc2-eloise-ultimate-edition-kay-thompson-hilary-knight.jpg?w=339&h=475

eloise: the ultimate edition

the american dog at home

This one is kiiiiiiiiind of my favorite, y’all.

Now all I have to do is actually find a proper coffee table (and preferably a nice roaring fire place to curl up next to as well) and I’ll be all set!

Thumbing Through ALL the Pretty Pictures,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

Cleaning Up My Act

before and after

I grow insanely, irrationally attached to inanimate objects, y’all.

Like, it’s kind of ridiculous… and potentially an early warning sign that I may become one of those super scary-trainwreck-but-you-can’t-look-away hoarders later in life. Fingers crossed that’s not the case, everybody!

But really, it’s just with a few specific things that somehow end up going everywhere with me: my stuffed bear, Mr. Barry, who I’ve had since kindergarten (I’ve seriously never gone anywhere without him); a pair of 6 year-old Sperry top-siders that have seen MUCH better days but still get thrown on any chance I get; some seriously ancient Texas football t-shirts that I stole from my parents. They all have little stories behind them that remind me of good times and great people, making them that much harder to part with.

Now it’s looking like I’m adding a new item to my list of oddly sentimental junk I own: my Texas orange Longchamp bag. I haven’t had it as long as some of the other stuff in this hallowed collection but it’s something I’ve dragged along on my adventures almost constantly since it came into my possession 2 years ago.

My momma bought me a navy Longchamp bag my freshman year of college since aside from a few small satchels I didn’t have a real purse yet – I always used a backpack or gym bag during high school and kind of scoffed at the idea of carrying a bag – uh, tomboy much, y’all? I used the navy Longchamp here and there but I was still pretty content with sticking with a backpack or maybe a canvas tote most of the time, especially since it seemed like every other girl I saw around campus had my exact. same. bag.

Fast forward 2 years and I was in the middle of my internship and decided it was time to clean up my act a little so I strolled into Bloomingdale’s and started browsing… And promptly stopped browsing when I saw the four, five, and six hundred dollar price tags attached to the bags I was looking at. I was about to head upstairs to look at the clothing before I saw a Longchamp section out of the corner of my eye. Drifting over I noticed a burnt orange bag all folded up and hanging on the display, seemingly calling my name.

I checked the price – well within my budget – and carried it right over to the register where I was so excited that I even bought it with my own money, foregoing the use of my mother’s Bloomie’s card. I thought that was the ultimate sign of maturity and independence since up until this point basically all of my clothes and shoes and well, everything was always purchased for me by my parents – plus I wasn’t so sure Momma would be happy I spent her money on such a garishly hued bag.

But I’ve used this bag for just about EVERYTHING in the two years since that fateful trip to Bloomingdale’s. It’s been a beach bag, a weekend bag, a carry-on bag (many, many, many times a carry-on bag), a school bag, a gym bag – It’s been across the country and to three different continents at this point. And boy, oh boy, is this poor guy is FILTHY. It’s literally coated with my blood, sweat, and tears… Plus mud, pen ink, sweet tea, toothpaste, and mustard. Yikes, y’all.

After doing a little online research I found out you can clean Longchamp’s Le Pliage bags super easily at home, no pricey trip to the dry cleaners necessary! So feel free to follow along and replicate it at home if you have a similarly abused bag.

before

Here is my bag before I got started, in all its ratty glory. You’ll notice it’s nice and smudged up, especially on the bottom, and the corners are starting to fray due to all the wear and tear this bad boy has seen. But the best part? The inside. I’m pretty sure there are slaughterhouse floors cleaner than this.

IMG_1523guh-ross

To get started you’ll need a few things, most of which you should have lying around your house already.

Supplies

Now let’s get down to business. Get your sponge all soapy and wet and go to town on your bag! I had to put a little bit of elbow grease into some of the parts that had a little more wear and tear – the corners and bottom mostly – but after 5 or ten minutes of work I noticed a HUGE improvement in the general griminess of the exterior. Hooray!

scrub city

After all that hard work comes the easy part: wipe up all the loosened grime and soap suds off your bag with a paper towel dampened in warm water. You’ll be able to see if there are any parts you need to give another once-over to at this point or you can simply take a moment to marvel at your own DIY-ingenuity. Basking aside, you can then rinse the bag carefully to ensure all the soap residue is gone and pat it dry with a new paper towel.

Rinse and Dry

Since my bag was a little damp (I ended up getting the leather trim wet but it was no big deal), I improvised a little and hung it up on a hanger to dry in my shower because I am a DOMESTIC GODDESS, obvi.

bag dry

It was totally dry by the next morning and was looking much better, I might add. There will be some stains that will never be totally gone (looking at you, felt tip pen!) but for the most part I was really pleased with the results – especially since I haven’t cleaned this bad boy one iota in the two years and change that I’ve owned it… Whoops!

voila

And the best part: the bottom of my purse no longer looks like it was bathed in toxic waste!

IMG_1552pris-freaking-tine, y’all. 

Now go forth and clean! The time is ripe to seize the day: throw out those old Chipotle and Starbucks receipts; peel that half dissolved mint of the bottom of your bag; removed that smelly old gym sock whose partner you lost long ago yet continue to hold on to just in case you run into it again somehow. Oh… Just me on that last one then? Either way, I hope this is at least vaguely helpful if you get a hankering to clean up your act like I did!

A Lean, Mean, Cleaning Machine,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

Tulle Cool For School

loft tulle skirt

I’ve got visions of sugar plums dancing through my head, y’all.

No, I’m not going into diabetic hallucinations. I’ve got Christmas card outfits on the brain! Each year after Thanksgiving my family will go out and take pictures to put on our annual Christmas card. Yes, we’re totally THAT family, y’all. But the best part of our family photo shoots are the themes we like to come up with for them: red and green, all white winter wonderland, comfy fall sweaters, we even did a nautical themed card one year when we spent Thanksgiving at our beach house — Gotta love that Texas “fall” weather, y’all!

This year I lobbied hard for The Nutcracker to be our aesthetic inspiration but alas, it was voted down since my brother wasn’t so much feeling the idea of dressing up as a tiny wooden toy… Spoilsport. But I so wanted to be there front and center, twirling away in the cutest tulle skirt like the ballerina I’ve secretly dreamed of being since I was six years-old.

Poor Little It Girl in Anthropologie Tulle Skirt, Madewell Shirt and Flower Crown Society Floral Crown poor little it girl in anthropologie

I am always so envious of the little girls wearing tutus. I love this adult version! Hat tip to Anne.

turtleneck and tulle

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tartan and tulle

At first I thought I might have to wait until next spring or summer to give into my twirly-tulley cravings but then I saw a bunch of pictures of these tutu-inspired skirts styled perfectly for fall with crisp button downs and cozy sweaters. The look above was so perfect it nearly gave me heart palpitations… Especially since it fulfilled the tartan/plaid  theme my family ended up settling on this year instead. Alas, my dear Momma had already bought me a perfect skirt for the occasion already but I’ve definitely still got my eye on these tulle beauties!

I mean, what Gen Y girl didn’t want one the minute they got done watching their first episode of SATC, anyway?!

Do any of y’all have a ballerina-inspired skirt? How would you style it? My bff said she’d throw on a field jacket and military boots because, duh, she is like 1000X more stylish than me. I’m a little nervous that I’ll look like a delusional peter pan wannabe if I try it but I guess I’ll never know if I don’t give it a shot!

Ready for My Solo,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

P.S. The Loft tulle skirt pictured at the top of the post is 40% off thanks to the current friends and family sale going on! The universe is basically tell us we NEED this, y’all.

Be My Shadow

yellow cab

Here’s a little confession that will probably surprise very few of y’all: I love schedules. I love structure and itineraries and to-d0 lists. Maybe it’s just my type-A personality rearing it’s overly-organized little head or it could be the years and years of carefully mapped out days shuttling between classes, sports practices, music lessons, church and volunteer commitments, and of course, family time. So even though I’m no longer a student or an athlete, I still cling to my beloved schedule pretty tightly, it’s almost a semi-neurotic security blanket really.

Plus, I don’t know if you’re anything like me but I tend to be a bit nosy… Okay, like probably a lot nosy. I love knowing what people are up to basically ALL. THE. TIME. The advent of social media keeps me sooooo entertained, y’all. And I’ve noticed that some of my favorite blog posts are the ones that give me a behind the scenes peek at their lives: the beauty routines, schedules, what they carry in their bags on a daily basis. So I hope you enjoy peeking into my day as much as I like keeping tabs on everyone else’s!

5:44 AM: Wake up time! I am a self-admitted morning person, y’all. I feel like I get my best thinking done in the early hours plus I’ve always liked the feeling of getting down to business while everyone else is still snoozing. But even as a early bird it’s sometimes tough to drag myself out of bed before the sun has even had a chance to rise so I always make sure I turn on music and as many lights as possible the minute my alarm clock rings. Then I chug a bottle of water (yes, the whole entire bottle is GONE in roughly 30 seconds flat), brush my teeth because morning breath is no joke, and then I’ll slip in to my tennis shoes and I’m out of the door for my morning run!

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I’ll generally run anywhere from 45 minutes to 75 minutes in the morning, depending what my training plan has scheduled for me that day.

IMG_1497pounding the pavement before the sun has even come up!

IMG_1498freezing, but gorgeous.

6:50 AM: Back from my run I chug another bottle of water and usually eat a little something – a cereal bar, french toast sticks, toast with a healthy schmear of JIF – while standing in my kitchen and reading Politico Playbook and Morning Money. After I’ve caught up on the day’s news a tiny bit I’ll hop in the shower and start my morning beauty routine, a fairly non-invasive procedure that basically amounts to drying my hair to the point it’s no longer sopping wet, slapping on as little make up as I can possibly get away with (sometimes none if I’m feeling extra lazy), and shimmying into whatever conservatively appropriate business clothes I picked out the night before. I will admit, my first few weeks of work I did put a bit more concerted effort into my appearance each morning but now as long as I just look presentable I’m not too worried.

IMG_1277it’s safe to say that TCR will never ever be mistaken for a fashion blog 

7:20 AM: I’m out the door and on the way to work. I have a thing about taking buses so I walk about 10 minutes over to the closest metro station and take the train to work each morning. It gives me a bit of time to read the paper and enjoy the brisk fall air and early morning sunshine before spending the next 10 hours in a florescent-lit office building. Plus it may or may not also give me an excuse to pop into Starbucks for my first taste of caffeine for the day.

IMG_0022off to work i go!

7:45 AM – 7:30 PM: Work. I’m lucky to have a job that keeps me pretty consistently busy, which might sound kind of weird but I’ve had some awful internships in the past that consisted of little more than surfing the internet for 8 hours, maybe answering a few phone calls here and there so I like being active and knowing the work I’m doing (even when it seems a bit overwhelming) is actually making an impact.

IMG_1410i like to take a little “newsprint break” each day around 10:30 if I’m not too swamped.

7:30 PM: I usually get out of work sometime between 7:00 and 10:00 each night, depending on what’s going on. But if I’m out fairly early like today, I’ll go to Starbucks for an hour or so and catch up on emails, return all the texts and calls that have undoubtedly piled up while I was working, and sometimes I even blog – I know it wouldn’t seem like it given the dearth of posts around TCR lately but I promise I’m making progress!

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I also failed to eat lunch (so busy!) today so I had to sneak a Potbelly sandwich into Starbucks with me, which I promptly ravenously attacked behind the privacy of my laptop screen.

IMG_1499i am literally an animal, y’all. 

IMG_0016finally back home for the night!  p.s. it took me about 6 weeks after i moved in to realize i can see the washington monument from my front steps.

9:30 PM: Time to wind down from the day! I’ll change into pajamas, grab a little snack (I’m obsessed with this amazing popcorn lately), then grab my favorite throw blanket and curl up on the futon for a little bit of internet browsing/Hulu catch up.

IMG_0014nom nom nom! 

Yes, I could just snuggle up in bed but I instituted a “no laptops in bed” rule way back during my freshman year of college after going through a random month-long bout of insomnia that nearly drove me insane (this rookie needs her sleep, y’all!) and it’s stuck around ever since. I’ll usually relax it a little bit on the weekends when I don’t follow such a tightly regimented schedule but weekdays mean I’ve got to get comfy on the couch if I want to get my latest fix of The Mindy Project.

IMG_0021lights out!

11:30 PM: Bed time. I’ll usually do one last quick scan of my inbox, drink some water, blow out any candles I lit earlier in an attempt to make my apartment smell like fresh baked apple pie even though my oven has only been used exactly one time in the three months I’ve lived here, and then I hit the sheets!

So there y’all have it: a day in the life of this real-world rookie. Sometimes there’s travel – can we all agree that 3 AM wake ups to catch a train/plane are the worst? – and sometimes there’s relaxation, but most of my weekdays tend to follow this same pattern. Do y’all have a strict daily routine or do you tend to switch things up almost everyday? A mixture of both, maybe? Let me know because uh, hi… I’m a nosy nellie.

Nose to the Grindstone,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

On the Case of the Missing Case

It should come as no surprise to y’all that I am, in the loving words of my dear Papaw, “the kind of klutzy that doesn’t just fall going down stairs, but going up them too.” Therefore, when I tell you that I’ve lost or broken no less than five (yes, y’all, FIVE) phones in the last 18 months, you should realize that this is a direct correlation to my level of absent-minded klutziness and that achieving #49 on my 101 in 1001  – “Get a new phone and avoid breaking it for an entire year.” – is going to be a ridiculously difficult challenge for me.

My current phone is hopelessly shattered, having been unceremoniously dropped on the rough cobblestone sidewalk in Georgetown during a particularly raucous night out, and I finally bit the bullet and agreed to pony up the full out of pocket price for a new phone (having already burned through basically all of the phones on my and my parents’ insurance policies) only to discover iPhones are crazy back ordered all across the country right now! #bummer

texas casehow can i resist, really? 

So while I don’t technically have a new phone quite yet, I’m already thinking about potential cases – kind of a new thing for me, actually. I have always been a no-case kind of girl. Mostly, I think, because I’m ridiculously cheap about really silly things sometimes and also because I can’t stand the bulkiness of some of them. But, I’m really committed to crossing #49 off of my 101 list so it looks like my phone won’t be naked for much longer! These are a few of my favorites so far, although I will admit that none of these probably offer the great protection of say, an Otterbox, but I figure they’re better than nothing, right?

phone casekate spade dots case // marley lilly monogram case // southern proper logo case 

tory burch night sky case // lilly pulitzer tusk in sun case // kate spade stripes case 

What do y’all think – anything catch your eye? Are you #TeamCase or #TeamNoCase? What kind of cases do y’all have? My blogging biffles, JMB of Friends with Distance, actually just gave me a heads up that Kate Spade cases are notoriously breakage prone – have any of y’all ever had a problem with them?  As always, this nosy little Rookie wants to know so be sure to share below!

Safety First,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief

The Odd and Ends of Bundling Up

am i the only one who loves sweater weather?

 

In a true post-grad move, I spend like, 98% of my time indoors now.  Well, that’s what it feels like, anyway. So I am always a little surprised on those rare occasions when I finally am outside – usually as I make my daily commute to and from the metro or on my early morning runs before work –  that the weather has gone from bearably crisp to downright chilly.

While I am mostly ready to handle this cold affront to my senses, having stockpiled tons of sweatshirts, fleeces, jackets, and even a few extra-warm winter coats over the years, I realized I was missing a few vital items to ensure that I’m properly protected from any chance of frostbite, most notably: gloves and toasty ear warmers.

 

IMG_1482the morning commute: looks gorgeous, feels frigid 

 

As I walked the roughly 8 minutes it takes me to reach my apartment from the metro one night my fingers became too numb to even properly reply to my bestie’s latest snapchat; clearly, it was time for a cold-weather intervention. I popped in to one of the 28 CVS stores in my neighborhood right then and there for a quick fix and bought the first pair of gloves I could find… Which, of course, I promptly lost within 36 hours, but c’est la vie.

This past weekend, I devoted my free time to looking for some cute, snuggly accessories to keep me warm as the temperatures get ready to drop even further (note to self: eeeekkk!) throughout the rest of fall and winter.

Stripe Texting Glovesvineyard vines striped texting gloves 

I hadn’t popped into VV Georgetown in what seems like forever until this weekend and oh.my.lanta. Y’all, I nearly died. I loved literally single thing in the winter collection. The sweaters, the skirts, THE DRESSES… Seriously y’all, I called my momma up right then and there in the store and told her I found the perfect dress for our holiday card picture. But I’ll fill y’all in on that later, for now, let’s focus on these cuties. Aren’t they fab?! Classic, but still girly, and they won’t hinder my texting abilities in the least. Plus I tried them on in the store and they were cozy as a bug in a rug. I’m sold!

Collection XIIX Knit Infinity Scarfcollection XIIX infinity scarf

Little secret, y’all: I don’t like scarves. Nope, nope, nope, not a fan. I always thought they were a little silly plus I was never really sure how exactly to wear them, despite the 12 billion Pinterest tutorials on the matter. I suffered through 2 long, cold DC winters (okay, okay maybe they weren’t that cold but I still wasn’t happy!) before one of my friends finally took pity on me and forced me to wear her scarf. I couldn’t believe the difference one little piece of fabric makes – it kept me so warm and cozy! So this I’m grudgingly jumping on the scarf bandwagon this winter with this cute, super simple infinity scarf… No origami-like folding required! Huge hat tip to AJ who actually pointed me in the right direction on these scarves. I actually went out and ordered two (cream and blue) as soon as I read her post!

ksnykate spade infinity scarf

I’m also pretty partial to this cutie from Kate Spade though. Wouldn’t it be to die for during the holiday season?!

Women's Crochet Big Bow Ear Warmer Crochet Earwarmer Headband Head Wrap - ANY COLOR

bow ear warmer headband 

I’ve always preferred headband ear warmers to hats and this adorable Etsy creation is no exception to the rule. Nice and functional but still has a touch of cute, slightly rustic charm without going too far overboard – I’m sold!

However, this uber luxe cashmere cap from Ralph Lauren is totally calling my name too. I do deserve a little splurge every now and then, right??

ralph lauren cable knit cap

Is the weather turning colder in your neck of the woods? Have you already stocked up on all your cold weather gear? Feel free to share any tips you have on staying warm and cozy during the cold winter months… Seriously, I need them!

The World’s Largest Blanket Cocoon,

J. Parker

Editor-in-Chief