March Favorites


If you've been following me over the past month then you've probably heard that Kayla and I took a trip over spring break to Milan, Italy and London, England. It was a blast. We had so much fun. That was my first time flying in a long time, and I have never been out of the country so we had a lot of fun.

Also if you've been following me, you know that Kayla and I got engaged! She proposed to me in front of Big Ben in London and it was such a special moment. It was on our last day of our trip so it was a great ending to a great trip!

Moving On//
I haven't announced this yet, but I am leaving my current internship/job at the residential design firm and furniture showroom. I have been there for over a year now and I felt like it was time to move on. I just secured another internship at a commercial design firm just minutes from my house and I could not be more excited to learn how commercial design firms operates!



Lush Scrub// 
While I was in Italy I went into Lush and I picked up a lip sugar scrub. I have literally no idea what it's supposed to smell like/the flavor of it or what is in it because it's all in Italian but I really like it. I use it about once or twice a week before bed to help keep my lips soft and so far it's done great!

Lush Bath Bomb// 
While I was at Lush, I also got a bath bomb. I believe it was called a Lava bomb. It smelled so good, very orangey, fresh scent with purple moisture pockets. I definitely recommend Lush bath bombs!

Also while on my trip, I ran into Boots because I knew Zoella loves it. And I'm so glad I did because I found my favorite Botanics products for literally 1/3 of the American price. And let me tell you, I stocked up


Harry Potter//
My book for the month was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. And I loved it! I'm working on getting through all of them. 

Ladies Who Lunch//
If you have been reading for a while, you know that I'm obsessed with Ingrid Nilsen. I have been loving her podcast episodes lately with Cat. Their theme for March was Honesty and I really enjoyed diving deep into that topic.

I LOVED the Serial podcast when it first came out so when I heard the producers of the show started on S-Town I knew I was going to love it. S-Town (short for shit town) is about a tiny shit-town in Alabama (or so John B Macklemore thinks). It's more of a narrative type setting than most podcasts so I really enjoyed it!

*Both of these podcasts can be found on Itunes Podcasts app. 


Day Designer Planner//
I was sick and tired of my old planner so I got an A5 planner binder and Day Designer inserts. So far I'm loving it! I wanted to have something that would keep me more organized and be a little bit more professional when I do my internship over the summer. 

This Month's Blog Posts

What are your favorite things from March?


Is Minimalism Right For You?

Minimalistic interiors are super in right now. Actually, minimalism, in general, is very popular right now. Minimalism is all about surrounding yourself with things that give you joy. Things that make you happy and bring purpose to your life. I watched the Minimalism documentary on Netflix recently. It was a really great documentary about these two best friends who "essentially" came up with minimalism. This is how they describe minimalism on their website:

It’s simply getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.
Minimalism is not just throwing all of your things away and living with just a few things. Well, it is if that's what you want it to be.

One thing that they said in the documentary is that they got asked by someone if they wanted to be a minimalist, would they have to get rid of their beloved book collection? These guys said "It sounds like your book collection is very important to you. Being a minimalist does not mean that you have to throw away everything. If your book collection brings you joy and happiness, then keep your books."

I loved that they included this in there. It's a common misconception for people to think that you just are supposed to get rid of everything and live with a total of 20 things in your home. Yes, that's definitely what minimalism can look like to some people. However, living with items that truly make you happy and often times are better quality, if you're investing in them, can be extremely fulfilling.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
For some people, however, the idea of minimalism can be overwhelming and even a little ridiculous. Some people say that living like a minimalist is something only well-off people have the luxury of choosing to do. Which, I think, is a very good point. There are plenty of people around the world living "minimally", however, they are not choosing to do so. Critics also say that even when living minimally, stuff is still a conscious thought in your day. While a materialist wants to accumulate more stuff, a minimalist wants to get rid of more. Either way, you're still thinking about "stuff".

Whether you decide to throw out all of your possessions and only keep 50 things, or you decide from there on out you'll only accumulate things that add meaning and value to your life, I personally believe taking on somewhat of a minimalistic lifestyle can be helpful to many people and especially the environment.

Do you think the minimalistic lifestyle is for you?


Five Things

1 - Spring Nail Colors// I've started getting my nails done at a salon every two weeks for a couple of different reasons. First, shellac nail polish lasts two weeks and I just do not have time to repaint my nails every few days. I love how long they last and honestly I like to treat myself every other week. This week I decided to gt the most beautiful springy blue! 

2 - 10 Life-Changing Documentaries on Netflix// I love me a good documentary. I've watched almost all of the good ones on Netflix but I found this list and there's a few I haven't seen on here so I know what I'm doing later!

3 - How to Spring Clean Your Entire House in One Day// Check out my post from last week on how to spring clean your entire house in one day! (aka what I'm spending next Saturday doing)

4 - Kitchen Project// I've been working on a kitchen project for my kitchen and bath class and I am finally almost done with it! It's taken forever and it's been A LOT of work but the deadline is in sight and I can't wait to finally have it done!

5 - Total Body: Ultimate Fat Burn Workout// I love Blogilates total body workouts. They work you, hard. They aren't very long and they're apartment friendly - meaning there is no jumping, which I definitely appreciate!

What are your five things for this week?


How to Spring Clean Your Entire Home in One Day

It's that time. Spring officially started on Monday and now it's time to start furiously spring cleaning your house. When I spring clean, I typically do it on a Saturday, blast some music, open the windows, and start in the living room and work my way back to the bedrooms. It usually does take me most of the day, however, it's so worth it at the end of the day when you have a perfectly clean and organized home. Here's how to spotlessly clean your entire home in one day!

Living Room

  • Start with the hard table top surfaces. Dust and wipe down the tv stand (and tv!), coffee table, end tables, bookcases, and anything else that can collect dust. 
  • Throw all the blanket throws in the wash and fluff the pillows. 
  • Special Tip: Spray the upholstered furniture with fabric spray to freshen the furniture up!
  • End with the floors. If you have hard surface, mop the floors and vacuum the rugs. If you have carpet, vacuum everywhere. 
Kitchen/Dining Area
  • Do the dishes first! Make sure all the dishes are either put away or in the dishwasher. This will do loads to making your kitchen look substantially cleaner. Don't forget to wipe down the sink/sink areas. 
  • If you have a garbage disposal, throw half of a lemon down there and turn it on. It will have the sink smelling better!
  • Wipe down all of the counters with spray (lemon smells the best) and a paper towel. 
  • Don't forget the microwave, oven, and refrigerator. When cleaning, it's easy to forget to wipe down the microwave, self-clean the oven, and dump old food from the refrigerator. Those 3 things may not seem like a huge deal, but you'll definitely thank yourself later!
  • Take out the trash and recycling. 
  • Special Tip: to help with cleaning the microwave, grab the other half of the lemon you used for your disposal, cut it up into slices and put it into a bowl with one cup of water and one cup of vinegar and microwave for 5 minutes. When it's done, clean out the excess with a sponge!
  • For the dining area, wipe down the dining table and any other furniture in the room. 
  • As always, end with mopping or vacuuming the floors!
  • I love adding plants and flowers in the kitchen, and especially a bouquet of flowers on the dining table!
  • First, put up clothes. Don't lie, you know you have an unfolded pile somewhere. 
  • Toss your sheets in the wash and when they're done, make your bed. Even if it is 5pm!
  • Wipe down and dust dressers, end tables, etc. Clean any mirrors you have as well. 
  • Obviously, finishing up with floors!

  • This is typically the room in my house that takes the longest. I always start with the counter, and I'm not sure why. I wipe everything down, including the sink and the mirror. 
  • Next, I take out the trash and mop the floors. I typically also throw a load of towels in the wash and put the floor mats in there as well. 
  • The shower/bath is the worst part. Take out everything, all the soaps, and shampoo bottles. Then take whatever cleaner you have and spray down everything and let it sit for a few minutes. 
  • Take a sponge or brush and really get the grim (ew) away! I take my detachable head and then rinse everything off from there!
And that's it. Your house should be spotless at this point. I hope you got a few special tips. 

What helps you get motivated to Spring Clean? Do you have any special tips?


Five Things

1 - Ring// I FINALLY got my ring yesterday! I had to get it resized and we chose to get it done in our hometown, so I didn't have it for over a week. Kayla met her mom halfway yesterday to get it and I really couldn't be more happy with it! I love it!

2 - Day Designer// I had a Day Designer last year and I LOVED IT. However, this year, I decided against one and got a regular weekly planner. I'm not sure why, but I did. I have missed having the hourly section, to-do section, and notes all on one page for each day so much. So I decided to get an A5 planner. I bought the planner binder on Amazon and I got the A5 inserts from day designer and I LOVE IT! I'll do a planner tour someday soon!

3 - Deep Cleaning in Less than an Hour// It's that time! Time for spring cleaning. HGTV has some great tips on 11 things you can deep clean in less than one hour. 

4 - Lush Bath Bombs// While I was in Italy I went into Lush Cosmetics and I was a little overwhelmed. I have never been in one and there were so many amazing products that I would have loved to try. Since I had to fly and everything was in Italian, I decided to play it safe and get a lip scrub and one of their signature bath bombs. I used it last week and it was amazing. I'm definitely going to get another one soon!

5 - Ingrid's 5 Steps to Clear Skin// You guys know how much I love skin care videos and how much I love Ingrid Nilsen so I LOVE when she posts skin care videos! After traveling, my skin has kind of taken a hit. So I have been watching, even more, videos lately trying to get the best tips to clear it up!

What are your five things for this week?


Bedroom Design Inspiration

The rest of our house has finally gotten fine-tuned over the last couple of months. Our living room looks nice and everything flows, our kitchen is cute, and our dining area really pops with a vase of flowers on top. I love our little cozy bedroom, however, one of my favorite rooms to design is the bedroom. There is nothing better than a cozy bedroom!

What kinds of things are your must haves for your bedroom?


Five Things

These past few weeks have been crazy and amazing! Kayla and I just got back from Europe (Milan, Italy and London, England). Now we're back in Greenville and trying to get readjusted and get back to the normal routine!

1 - Engagement// If you follow me, you know I GOT ENGAGED! Kayla and I have been dating for over 5 years now and we've been ready for a while and she's been waiting for the perfect time! We were in front of Big Ben and she asked me to get a video of the whole street and as I was turning around she was on one knee and asked me to marry her! And of course, I said yes!

2 - Our Trip// We had so much fun. We flew out on Friday (finally arriving in Milan after 3 flights and about 10 hours of flying in about 24 hours). We got to Milan around 1pm and it took us forever to get through the airport, figure out how to get to our AirBnb. We immediately took showers and took a nap before we could do anything else. We spent three days in Milan then flew to London on Tuesday, spent the day there Wednesday and flew back to the States on Thursday. We're still not completely readjusted back to the time zone and we're exhausted!

3 - Boots and Botanics// While in London, we passed by a Boots and I had to go in. Zoella always talks about it so I knew I wanted to go in if I found one. I ran in there real quick and I was amazed. If you've been following me for a while, you know that I LOVE Botanics products. I've posted about them a lot and I did an Instagram haul yesterday on my story so go check it out if you haven't! Everything was super cheap so I had to stock up!

4 - Back to the Grind// This week is going to be a little crazy. I'm supposed to hear back from Kirkland's about a job today, I have a mock interview and a real interview on Wednesday, I have a project due on Monday and a project due on Tuesday. I also now have to up my game on trying to get an internship for the summer! So the rest of the month is going to be a little crazy!

5 - Zoella's Feb Favorites// I love Zoella and monthly favorite videos are some of my favorites on YouTube! Watch Zoella's and read mine below! 

What are your five things for last week?


February Favorites

Botanics All Bright Cleanser// I didn't get this cleanser in February, however, I did have a renewed sense of appreciation for it this past month. A couple of weeks ago I bought two new cleansers, one for acne and one for morning burst. However, my skin got so dry it was insanely painful. I was constantly applying moisturizer. After a while, I realized it was because I was not using the Botanics cleanser. I'm not sure the specific number but it's like 80% organic and I think going from such an organic cleanser to one that was definitely not was drying out my skin.

Botanics Age Defense Replenishing Night Cream// You've heard me talk about this before - probably more than once. I loved this stuff. Like a lot. It smelled so good and it was super hydrating. It felt amazing on the skin. I just ran out of it last week and I had to get something else. This was when I was having the SUPER dry skin so I went out and got the dry skin cream from Ponds. It works well too, however, nothing will ever replace my Botanics night cream. I'm not sure if they still make it but this is similar.

Design Ally Website// For one of my classes I had to create a professional website. I am super proud of it, and I have a lot of my projects on it so if you would like to check it out, here it is.

New Car// I got a new car in February! Well, technically January, but I didn't get it until February. I love it so much. It's a Chevy Sonic and it's the perfect car for me. The best part, to be honest, is the amazing gas mileage compared to my old car!

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban// It was my goal to finish reading this before the end of the month, but with the crazy amount of work and homework I had and trying to plan the trip to Italy and London (We leave Friday!) I haven't made it through yet.

The Path// The Path is a new Hulu Original TV show, meaning it's only on Hulu. And it's SO good. Kayla and I started watching it a couple of weeks ago and we're already caught up to where the new ones are releasing each week. If you have Hulu you should definitely check it out. 

Kayla's Birthday// Kayla's birthday was last week and we had a lot of fun. On her actual birthday, we went out to eat and came back home because I had worked all day. On Saturday, her family came into town and we ate with them, opened presents, ate cake, and hung out. Then later that night we went out with her brother and his girlfriend to downtown. Overall it was a great weekend!

Travel Plans// This month has been full of getting ready to go to Italy and London. It's taken a lot of planning, preparation, nerves, and excitement. We leave to our hometown tomorrow because we fly out on Friday! Yay!! (Expect a ton of pics!) Follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (allygagliardo) to follow along on our trip!

Posts from February//

Five Things February 12th

Five Things February 19th

What were your favorite things from February?

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