Trends I’ve Been Loving

With spring right around the corner I have been seeing so many different styles or twist on old style comes out and I have to admit, they're pretty cute. I usually don't think that "trends" are that cute, but there are some really cool ones out there that can fit any body type too! I hit up my favorite stores to see what they're putting out this season and I was not disappointed.

Forever 21





Miss Guided



Target






What are some of your favorite new trends? Let me know down below!

xoxo, Michele
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Next Time I Visit New York City
I am always seeing cool restaurants, shopping centers or even locations that look great for pictures but it's usually in a different city. It's these hidden little gems that you really have to take a minute to look for when you visit somewhere. So, whenever I start to plan a trip I like to sit down and list out places that I want to visit. I'll take screen shots of them on Instagram or Facebook then I'll map out how far away it is from where I'm staying. I especially like to do this in New York so I'm not going back and fourth on the subway. Since my mama and I are planning a trip to New York this spring, I figured this would be the perfect time to list out things I want to do next time I visit NYC!


The Bushwick Collective
St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237


Carrie Bradshaw's Apartment
64 Perry St, New York, NY 10014


Tom's Restaurant as seen on Seinfield
2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025


Freeman Alley
Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002


Buns Bar
263 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011


While We Were Young
183 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014


Pietro Nolita
174 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012


Blue Box Cafe
727 5th Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10022


Bluestone Lane Coffee
55 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014


Sarabeth's
40 Central Park S, New York, NY 10021



xoxo, Michele
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Benefits Of Doggy Daycare
Besides Oliver's raging birthday parties, I haven't really talked about dog care in a while. Something that was very important to me when moving back home was to find a good daycare for my pup. I know that sounds insane... daycare? For a dog? If you're a dog owner then you know how important it is for your pup to get a lot of exercise and that can be kind of hard when you work 40+ hours a week. Daycare is a great way to make sure your dog is being taken care of throughout the day, making new friends, and getting all of that energy out of him. I never knew doggy daycare was a thing until I worked for dog daycare and boarding facility. Now, though I will never board my dog, I will say that daycare has been a fantastic experience for Oliver. It's important to research and find the facility that works best for you, your schedule, and your pup.

So what is doggy daycare? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a facility where they watch dogs. Dogs play together all day long, take a nap/lunch break, play some more and go home at the end of the day. Daycare can be a really great thing for your dog, especially if you start them off young. (NOTE: Every dog is different, and sometimes being in large facilities with multiple dogs can make other dogs anxious or aggressive. Please watch for signs of this if you start to take your dog to daycare). Daycare can be a great way for you to not have to worry about your dog being home all alone and to know that he's being taken care of while you're at work. It can also help with socialization and being less territorial. It's literally all of the same benefits of taking a child to daycare, except it's for your dog.

Every dog is going to be different and every doggy daycare center is going to be different as well. Oliver is actually a pretty laid back husky, but he gets his moments where he runs around the living room like a crazy dog. I work a straight 8-4 Monday through Friday and Omar's work hours range, but he also works 40+ hours a week and he's going to school full-time. On days where Omar gets off early (sometimes he's off around 11 a.m.) we won't take Oliver to daycare, because one of us will be home to take care of him and walk him. On other days where Omar and I work ALL DAY, we will most likely take him. We also tend not to take him on the weekends (again, I'm home all weekend, why take him when I can hangout with him), but if we have something to do that day (like this Friday, we're moving and we don't want him to go crazy while we open and close the door and move all these boxes, so we're just going to take him to daycare for the day) then we'll take him. It's important to really get your schedule down before wasting money on days where you could and should be watching him. We try to take Oliver to daycare 1-2 a week, but again it just varies on our work schedules.

Once you know about how many times a week and what hours you'll be taking your dog, you should research doggy daycares in the area. See what time they open and close and know that when a facility closes and you haven't picked your dog up yet, they will usually board them for the night. Not only is that more money out of your pocket, but now your dog doesn't get to go home for the night. Make sure you are able to pick your dog up in time before they close. Also compare prices. In North Carolina a day of daycare was $18 for all day play (5:30 a.m.-6 p.m.). In Northern Virginia, it's $20-$40 a day, depending on the facility. We personally LOVE Dogtopia. Dogtopia reminds me a lot of the place that I used to work at in North Carolina and I love it. They're really flexible with hours, they take notes about your dog and put him with the right playgroups, they require the basic shots, but not the extra ones (like the flu shot), and they have multiple play areas so your dogs aren't restricted to just one room. Dogtopia has flexible prices depending on what you're looking for. You can do $20 for a half day (5 hours) or $35 for all day. You can even buy packages and use your "passes" on which ever days you want, resulting in the every day price to drop. For instance, you can buy a $500 package for 30 days.. making each day $17 a day. Make sure it's in your budget, because going 2-4 times a week definitely adds up. Another thing is to make sure it's convenient for you to get to. Most people, like me, are taking our dogs to daycare on our way to work. It's not worth it if the daycare facility is on the other side of town. Some places (at least in North Carolina and in Virginia) offer a bus service though for an additional fee. You can also take tours of facilities and see if this is the place your dog would enjoy. Is it clean enough? Is it big enough? Do they have enough staff? Make sure you're comfortable with it. Another reason we love Dogtopia is because of the webcams. I can actually watch Oliver playing all day long (except during nap and lunch time when he goes into his own crate). It's the best thing ever and I can see that my dog is not only having fun, but he's having fun in a safe environment. Some facilities will even offer other services such as boarding and grooming, which is great when Oliver is just a little too smelly and I need him to be bathed before I pick him up. Some places will even let you do a free first day to make sure that you and your dog are completely satisfied! Basically, just research, research, research. Make sure you look through all of your options so that you and your pup are happy.

Benefits Of Doggy Daycare

Once you have the place picked out, you're good to go. Just fill out the contact form or stop by for a tour! I will always brag about Dogtopia and how happy Oliver has been since we've started taking him to daycare again. If you decide to take your dog to Dogtopia let me know I sent you their way ;)! I also love that they print out pictures for me, write report cards, and even feature Oliver on their Instagram page. Doggy daycare has truly helped us out so much, and Oliver loves it!

xoxo, Michele
The Ultimate Apartment Checklist
Hey everyone! I wanted to update you all and let you know that Omar and I have found the perfect apartment. As some of you may know, after living in North Carolina together we moved back home when Omar got out of the military. We lived with our parents for a bit to save money, because as you all know Northern Virginia is very expensive. Omar has started school and has a full-time job. I graduated college and I am also working full-time. We finally saved up money and found our dream apartment in Falls Church. We have been so excited to start decorating it and looking for all of the fun new pieces to add to our new home. When my Grandma made a comment about hitting up Costco before we move-in, it dawned on me that although we’re looking for some big items, we’re realizing that we’re forgetting some of the minor and most important things too.  Like, a broom! Much needed especially when you own a husky. I decided it would be a good idea to sit down and make a checklist of everything you need when moving to a new place. For all of you who are moving soon too, I hope this helps when trying to get organized and plan your move.


I found it easier instead of just adding things, to organize it by the room. There’s a ton of little items that you won’t think of until you’re trying to set up a shower curtain and realize you need shower curtain hooks. Hopefully, this post can postpone some of that frustration. Some of these are absolute must-haves, while others are helpful, but they’re not dire to have. Just focus on your budget and decide if you want to spend $10 on a trashcan or on a picture frame.

Entry
Most of the time entryways can be kind of bare, but there are some items that you can add to make your entryway more personalized. None of these are “must-haves,” but rather secondary items you may eventually want to get.
Kitchen
Kitchens tend to have so many little items that you forget about until you start cooking. These items don’t have to be expensive, I think our first apartment most of the kitchen necessities actually came from the dollar store!

Pots & Pans | Cake & Muffin Pans | Baking Sheets | Mixing Bowls | Cutting Board | Cooking Utensils | Knives | Measuring Cups | Plates | Bowls | Coffee Mugs | Glasses | Silverware | Silverware Organizer | Coffee Pot | Toaster | Microwave | Blender | Bottle Opener | Can Opener | Dish Drying Rack | Spice Rack | Tupperware | Water Filter Pitcher | Ice Trays | Waffle Maker | Crock Pot | Rice Maker | Dish Towels | Oven Mitts | Trashcan | Acrylic Fridge Organizers | Plastic Food Containers | Ziploc BagsAluminum Foil | Paper Towels | Sponges


Dinning Room
Most apartments don’t come with an actual “dinning room,” but rather an area that could potentially fit a dinning room table and some chairs. Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to finding the right dinning room set up for your home.

Dinning Table | Chairs | Bar Cart | Bar Stools | Wine Rack

Living Room
Living rooms are the focal point of any home. It’s first thing your guest will see so you want it to look good, but also have everything you need to make it comfortable for you. There are a lot of bigger furniture pieces that you’ll need for this room, but it’s also the place where you can show a lot of your personality.

Bedroom
Ah, the bedroom. It’s your go-to place when you need to unwind and relax. Depending on how big your bedroom is, depends on how much you’ll want to put into your bedroom. There are some necessities that you will need such as a bed, but other items such as a vanity may be what you get later on.

Bed Frame | Mattress | Sheets | Comforter | Pillows | Blankets | Throw Pillows | Night Stands | Desk Lamps | Dresser | Mirror | Curtains | Jewelry Organizer | Vanity | Bookshelf | Artwork | Décor | Plants | Television | Storage Containers | Hangers | Shoe Rack | Candles | Sleep Mask


Bathroom
I have never been a big believer in decorating a bathroom. I don’t like putting family pictures or cliché quotes on the bathroom wall. It’s just not my style. I like to keep it simple and let some of the bathroom accessories stand out. The bathroom is also a place where you will need certain things that you don’t really think about until the time comes.

Bath Towels & Washcloths | Hand Towels | Bath Mat | Shower Curtain | Shower Liner | Shower Curtain Hooks | Shower Storage & Shelves | Cabinet Organizers | Hair Product Organizer | Makeup Organizer | Qtip Holder | Cotton Pad Holder | Scale | Toothbrush Holder | Soap Dispenser | Candles | Air Fresheners | Wastebasket | Toilet Plunger | Toilet Brush Cleaner | Toilet Paper | Qtips | Tissues | Toothbrush | Toothpaste | Face Wash | Shampoo & Conditioner | Soap | Body Wash | Razors | Shaving Cream | Robe

Laundry Room
Laundry rooms are pretty straightforward. You need laundry detergent and what not, but there are something’s you may want to get to make life a bit easier. For instance, I’m definitely investing into a clothes steamer because I felt like I never had time to iron things and since we don’t have a full laundry room, but rather a laundry closet, I think it would be easier to store.

Laundry Basket | Iron & Ironing Board | Steamer | Lint Roller | Dryer Sheets | Laundry Detergent | Bleach | Fabric Softener | Scent Boosters | Stain Remover | Wrinkle Releaser

Cleaning Supplies

Vacuum | Broom & Dust Pan | Swifter | Swiffer Sweeper Dry | Swiffer Sweeper Wet | Duster | Cleaning Wipes | All-Purpose Cleaner | Glass Cleaner | Magic Eraser | Dish Soap | Lysol | Carpet Cleaner | Hardwood Cleaner | Toilet Bowl Cleaner | Drano | Shower Cleaner | Febreeze


Wow! What a long list. I hope that this helps when you start to get your apartment checklist together. Obviously, some of these things will vary depending on your apartment and what you may or may not need. For the most part though, this should cover a good amount of things. If you can think of anything else I need to add to the list, leave me a comment down below. Happy shopping!!

xoxo, Michele