LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

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My Favorite Thrift & Antique Shops in DC

Shopping, DCLibby RasmussenComment

Thrifting and antiquing in DC is 90% heartbreaking and like, 10% success. When I’m back home in Wisconsin, it’s like heaven on earth (for many reasons) but particularly for the fact that I could find a full midcentury dining set of like, six for $200. Here in DC, we sing a different song. Things are pricey and those that aren’t, go QUICK. Other than scouring Craigslist every day (a favorite pastime of mine) here are my favorite places to thrift and antique in DC. I have a few hidden spots (to keep from over picking) but wanted to share the rest since it’s easily one of my most asked questions. In no particular order, here we go:

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For Your Eyes Only

One of my favorites! Located behind Union Market and also a location in Rockville, the owner Mo, has a great selection of items mostly found at estate sales. He also has a great Instagram @foryoureyesonlydc where you can scope out items before checking them out in the warehouse. I get a lot of my blue and white china there and my most prized possession, this ornate woven chair.

Address: 411 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Prices: Negotiable - Items can be on the pricier side

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Mom N’ Pop Antiques

One of my favorites for glassware and random oddities, Mom N’ Pop on Georgia Ave is easy to spot (when you know where to look lol) with its colorful stained glass corner and typically open door. Just two weeks ago I snagged this adorable mint ottoman for $23. I love it so much. The owner, Bill has been here since 1986 and is just a call away when you’re looking for something specific. AKA me, calling him regularly asking if he has any colored glass pitchers that week…not kidding.

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Address: 3534 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Prices: Negotiable, VERY affordable

Christ Child Opportunity Shop

Truly one of my favorite places in all of DC. The little ladies who work at CCOS are just as special as the ornate china sets in the store. This shop has mostly beautiful F-R-A-GIIIII-LAY items like delicate crystal glassware, stunning full dining sets for upwards of $2,000 but then also an occasional vintage Hermés silk scarf for $200. The silver platters and serving trays on the second floor make me swoon every time and the jewelry (if I wore it) is notable as well. I would say I leave with something from here every other visit, typically gifts for others but an occasional blue and white planter if I’m lucky enough to find one for less than $50.

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Address: 1427 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Prices: Not negotiable but prices decrease in monthly increments according to the sticker. Mid-prices

Miss Pixie’s

Pixie herself is arguably the OG queen on 14th Street. She started the shop, originally in Adams Morgan in 1997 before moving to 14th Street in 2008. I recommend going during the week as on weekends most of the good stuff is picked over from the Saturday shopping sweep. But, there’s always something good to find here. The lamps are typically well priced and readily available. Painted dressers and tables are common at Pixies’s and the staff is always there to greet you with a smile. Vintage silver, postcards, and magazines are always stocked up.

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Address: 1626 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Prices: Not negotiable (to my knowledge) Reasonable

GoodWood

If there was an award for “Best Smelling Store” in DC, GoodWood would take it home. This place is the coziest shop in DC and you’ll realize this the second you walk through the door. Most days when I walk into GoodWood, I’m greeted by a beautiful Chesterfield couch covered in Kilim pillows. There’s always a candle or Japanese incense burning, which naturally, I need a pack of each time I go in. Well framed art and mirrors line the walls for not a lot of loot. And, best of all, there is always at least one or two stunning credenzas for around $1,200 or less.

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Address: 1428 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Prices: Not negotiable. Overall very reasonably priced, especially for larger pieces.

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THIS IS IMPORTANT AND I WANT YOU TO READ THIS PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

If you are shopping at a thrift store or a Goodwill, I would STRONGLY encourage you to donate to the stores you shop from. Kind of like, “Take a penny, leave a penny” you know? Yes, you are allowed to buy what you please, but I promise you, you’ll feel better about scoring that beautiful ginger jar vase for $1.95, “a steal!” if you donated to the place you found it. You know?

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Keeping It Clean with Two Maids and a Mop

DC, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

Adulting is pretty nuts. I’m sure 18-year-old me would have probably thought by now, I would have a farm, a child and carpenter husband who built said farm.  If you’re wondering, 18-year-old me had a pretty mind-blowing tarot reading which resulted in shockingly accurate information about my future.  I’m serious, Miss Cleo (I don’t remember her name, it was probably Barb) knew very confidential information about my life that was  and told me I was going to marry a man who would build me a farm and I would have a kid at 28. MAYBE she meant a baby goat (kid) but sadly that isn’t the case either. 

ANYWAY..

What I’m try to get at here is if you’re reading this, you’re probably in your mid/late twenties maybe early thirties and saying “YUP, not where I thought I’d be right now.” But you’re also probably looking to your older or hometown friends who are and saying “damn, that looks hard” and it is.  Getting older is hard regardless of what walk of life you’re in.  This isn’t a shtick about our millennial woes but rather more of an ode to the things that we can all to do make like easier and creep into adulthood a little more. 

For me personally, especially in the colder months, I’ve been at home more.  I’m cooking, I’m taking baths, I’m on the couch, I’m hosting guests. I’m making a real mess. 

So as an adult-ish person, I decided to occasionally hire a cleaning service to come clean my apartment.  All three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, floors, shelves, all those annoying places you pretend don’t exist but dirt and dust know alllll too well.  I googled and found what I believed to be the best place with the most reasonable price.  Two Maids and a Mop was what I decided on. I knew the name, I knew they were a national reputable company and so I moved forward with the process.

Fun Fact: Two Maids is a small, women owned business that utilizes a Pay for Performance Plan where the maids are compensated based upon your rating each and every time that they clean your home. Love that!

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I had my 1,200 sq ft apartment cleaned after my birthday party back in December. My apartment wasn’t trashed per say, but man it sure was sticky.  On top of that, I really needed help getting all of the surfaces that I’d been avoiding for so long, think: microwave, bathtub, under the couch, etc. 

The maids arrived while I was out of the house but I trusted them completely. By this time, I had used Two Maids and a Mop a few times before and knew their staff to be totally reputable and trustworthy.  The cleaning took a little more than two hours and honestly, you would have thought they were there all day long. 

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To say my apartment was immaculate sounds like a stretch, but it really was. 

You guys, THEY COMPLETELY CLEANED OUT MY OVEN. To the extent my roommate thought our building had come in and replaced it completely it was that noticeably clean.  And honestly, this was ideal considering a few weeks before; I had set off the fire alarm with a grease drip that stained it pretty badly. 

It was clear that Two Maids was a cleaning company that paid VERY special attention to detail of things many cleaners would overlook.

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Par exemple: they vacuumed perfect lines into my favorite persimmon velvet chairs.  I immediately noticed when I got back to my room and thought, “Wow do I need this every day?!”  The simple answer is, yeah probably.

From there I was totally sold.  Yes, I thought, I could clean the house and pocket the money I spent but also, when was the last time you really cleaned your apartment? It’s probably a quarterly activity that we both know you don’t put 100% into, yes, even if you are a clean freak.

For me, hiring a cleaning service once in a while (monthly, bimonthly, etc) is a good way to:

1.      Reassess what you think you’re cleaning when you clean vs. how you actually clean

2.      Adult a little more

3.      Treat yourself to a fresh space

Now I KNOW many of you have fallen into the Mari Kondo life and have cleansed yourself of the things that spark joy and those that do not. While you’re at it, why not spark some joy by hiring Two Maids as a reward for your fresh new outlook on your home and the new year. 

Full disclosure: I love this company and actually reached out to them for this collaboration. They are local, responsive, and women owned and operated.  I like them even more now after the owner informed me they give back to the community by working with Cleaning for a Reason by donating free house cleaning services to women who are battling cancer. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E.

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Sign up for Two Maids and a Mop here and get a quote asap! You can also get $10 off your cleaning when you look at your quote online. You can also LIKE them on Facebook here!

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Bra Fitting 101 and Other Things I Learned at Coup de Foudre Lingerie

DC, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Let's talk BRAS baby. Candidly, up until last week, I hadn't given much thought to. As a woman who is, ehem, pear-shaped, I've spent more time shopping for jeans and pants that fit my thighs and rear than what's on top. Is this a curse or a blessing? Well, for me, it's always kind of worked out in my favor. I haven't had to struggle with backaches, awkward high school gym class moments, or heartbreaking fittings at the mall. Life with bitty buds is kinda easy. I pretty much survive off of sticky bras, sticky petals, sticky tape, or honestly, no bra at all (full transparency, I am writing this blog post sans bra.)  It's been well, really nice.  But, I have been avoiding something important for every woman, a real bra fitting.  

So here's what I did. 

My good friend Sophie from Rosé Media reached out to me to stop by one of her client's lingerie shops, Coup de Foudre Lingerie, for a bra fitting.  Located next to Dry Bar (hellllo new bottle of dry shampoo) I immediately felt at ease when I met the owner, Kiersten Ballman. She's awesome. 

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Kiersten didn't skip a beat.  We chatted about what I was looking for, and she grabbed some beautiful pieces, and we got straight to the point, the bra fitting. 

 

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I learned a lot during this fitting:

1. I'm not wearing the right size - so I figured Kiersten was going to tell me this. But her answer wasn't what I was expecting.  Like many women, I was told, I make the mistake of sizing up in the band when a bra feels uncomfortable.  Looser is better, right? Wrong. The brand should, in fact, be tight because bras are meant to, well, lift and support you. Duh Libby. 

2. I'm wearing my bra too low - another point that surprised me.  After I was given my proper bra size, I was shown exactly where on my back my bra should fall. LOL, my old bra lines on my back showed just how low low low my strapless was sitting on my back. No bueno. We got me up where I should be and it really did change the way I looked and even the way I stand. 

3. No, you don't need 25 bras - "A woman really only needs 3-5 bras for her everyday rotation." Kiersten explained. The key word here, ROTATION.  I like many women, get into the habit of wearing my bras to death. Literally death. And then forgetting that different bras serve different purposes.  You should have a great strapless bra for sure, and 2-3 everyday bras in black and nude. And then, all of the fun stuff that you want to integrate. 

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4. Not all bras are made the same - this may seem like a no-brainer, but I really didn't think about it until I saw the beautifully framed piece (below) in the shop.  It displays all of the beautiful and important materials that go into making a high-quality brassiere. Spoiler alert: you won't find this quality in your Victoria's Secret bra. Coup de Foudre carries a high line of affordable lingerie that will last you for quite a while.  

5. They accept bra donations! Woohoo! I loved this.  You can bring in your used bras and Coupe de Foudre will donate them to women in need of support.  

6. Bra Fittings at Coup de Foudre are FREE! Can't beat that. 

After trying on a few fun pieces, and wow, it actually was more fun than I thought, I made my selection. I wanted something that felt like me but also felt like spoiling myself. I decided on Coupe de Foudre's most popular set, The Marie Joe Jane.  It's super elegant and sexy with just the right amount of intricate embroidery over the black tulle. 
The best part, it's so comfortable.   

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Special thanks to Sophie, Kiersten and the team at Coup de Foudre Lingerie for answering all of my questions, and making me feel comfortable and sexy.  *Disclaimer: the pieces I selected were gifted to me. Thank you thank you thank you! 

Make sure to pop into Coup de Foudre Lingerie soon and follow them on Instagram for the latest and greatest. And remember, all bra fittings are FREE! 

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The Perfect Rainbow Wrap Dress for PRIDE

Shopping, DCLibby RasmussenComment

DC Pride has come and gone and I can truly say it was one of the best weekends of my life. Nothing I did was really planned per say, but the concerts, events, and parties I went to will be cherished in my memory forever.  That being said, the parade was incredible and I had the best time wearing this Aqua dress from Bloomingdale's.  It was heavy enough to carry some beautiful movement but also light enough that I wasn't super warm.  I know that NYC Pride is coming up, and if you still don't have anything to wear, or if you just really want a fun dress for the summer, I can't recommend this number enough.  Check out my other favorite Pride outfits below. Most importantly, show love and kindness to one another EVERY DAY, not just during Pride month. 

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(Some) Of the DC Concerts I'm Going To This Spring - And You Should Too

DC, MusicLibby RasmussenComment
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A few years ago, I had someone ask me if I would rather wait 3 hours in line for an amazing meal, or concert. And while I love question, because I think it says a lot about a person, I am becoming to feel like my answer is more 50/50 than it used to be.  “Oh, dinner, of course!” I announced. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Bob Dylan was my first concert in middle school after begging my parents to take me. And I had my fair share of Lollapalooza in high school and college. But something kind of faded for me, I was sick of seeing artists at large venues with massive crowds so I stopped going.  

Fast forward to early last year, I made it a goal of mine to see more shows at my favorite venues; U Street Music Hall, 9:30 Club, and Flash. It was great, and I knew that this year, I would want more. I’ve kept up with this list since the new year and have been added to it weekly. I am so excited for the newer DC venues, like The Anthem (amazing by the way) and Union Stage. 

Upcoming Shows

January 23 – Darius, Cashmere Cat, MØ at 9:30
January 24 – Gilligan Moss, Toro y Moi at Flash
February 10 - Steve Aoki at Echostage
February 13 – Børns at Anthem
February 15 – Youngr, Elephante, Matoma at 9:30 Club
February 16 - Don Diablo at Echostage
February 22 - Lane 8 at 9:30 Club
March 5 - LP at 9:30 Club

March 10 - Tycho at Flash
March 10 - Beth Ditto at 9:30 Club
March 17 - Courtship at UHall
March 20 – Billie English at Black Cat
March 21 – Betty Who at 9:30 Club
April 7 – Vérité at 9:30 Club
April 18 - Sofi Tukker at 9:30 Club
April 19 – Clean Bandit at 9:30 Club
April 20 – Gramatik at Echostage
May 6 – Bahamas at 9:30 Club
May 8 – Kygo and Blackbear at Anthem
May 13 – Jorja Smith Union Stage
May 16 - Darius at Flash
May 27 - Chad Valley at Black Cat

See any that I’m missing? PLEASE TELL ME! I love hearing new suggestions, especially at the smaller venues in DC.   

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