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Inspiration | No. 6

It's that time of year where it's natural to reflect on the previous year with nostalgia. 

This time last year, things were quite different for me. Living in my college town. Working a part-time job and living on a very tight budget. Sharing an apartment with a roomie. Surrounded by good friends. Nights spent down the street with those friends at our various stomping grounds. Single but seriously crushing on G and hoping he'd be game for giving a long-distance relationship a try. 

And now I've moved 2 hours East of that college town. Working a full-time job, living on a still-tight budget (thanks, student loans!) but no longer struggling. I have my own place, where I spend most of my nights cuddled up with tea / wine / beer and a book / blog / television series. Making new friends in the area, slowly but surely. Happily dating G and even more head over heels for him. :)

It's been a good year. It's had ups and downs, but I can definitely say the ups outnumbered the downs. As I look toward 2014, I have lots of hopes and aspirations... but we'll save those for another post. ;)

What big changes happened for you this year – good and bad?

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DIY Cat Barrier for Under $100 (See-Through, Climb-Proof, and Too-Tall-To-Jump)

ICYMI: I gave up Cotton after deciding that after trying so many things, my two adopted cats Dahlia and Cotton were just never going to get along. Long story short: I missed her. And Cotton's back. And Dahlia's not going anywhere. My heart is big enough to keep trying. And my apartment is big enough that if I need to keep them separated long term (or permanently), it can be done.
I'm going to write-up a separate post about some of the solutions I've tried, how they worked, who they worked on, and what I'll be trying next. But in this post, I wanted to share the main 'piece de resistance' of having both cats in my apartment: an un-climbable, un-jumpable, see-through barrier to separate Cotton and Dahlia.

Aria's Room | Pretty Little Liars Decor

Welcome back for LU's 2nd room in the PLL series!  Today you're getting a glimpse into my favorite room on the show... Aria's room.  Aria Montgomery is the artistic, imaginative, bookworm of the bunch.  So it's no surprise that her room has an artsy, historic, romantic eclecticism atmosphere.  Plus, it's full of books.  My two words for Aria's attic space: Vintage Eclectic.  (Those happen to be my two favorite decorating words... so brace yourself for my soon-to-come swooning.)

Pencil It In | Working the Pencil Skirt into Your Work Attire, Including 25 Examples with Do's and Don'ts

Starting this week, every Wednesday on The Lovely Side will be devoted to wardrobe, hair, and beauty content.  With summer internships right around the corner and interviews for real world jobs looming as well, I thought now would be a good time to delve into the world of office fashion.  
Sarah, a reader, recently emailed me asking about how to style a pencil skirt for her "somewhat casual, somewhat professional workplace full of fashionable co-workers."  She's been lusting after pencil skirts at several stores, but been hesitant to purchase one for fear of looking bad in it and not knowing what to wear with it.