I'm happy to say this weekend was a success. Friday night was filled with scary movies, fall candles and home-made apple snacks. I tried one of the apple pie bite recipes I shared last week and everyone loved them.
Plus I pulled out all of my winter clothes (thank god the temps have really dropped in NYC) and put away my bathing suits (I'm still mourning that loss). I reorganized my closets and finished up my Halloween decorating. I wanted to share some of the festive details from my apartment with you so check them out below and let me know what you think!
Honestly, TG it's Friday because I have a vicious hangover due to the happiness that ensued after the Mets won game 5 over the Dodgers last night. It was a great time, but I'm paying for it now. Luckily I have a pretty easy Friday night plan - scary movies and pumpkin decorating with AJ and a few of our friends. I'm not a huge fan of the pumpkin carving struggle and the faces I make never come out as planned so I searched the web for some easy carving hacks and found the good ideas below.
Skip carving a face altogether by cutting off the top
and adding felt gloves and googly eyes.
Don't do any heavy lifting: carve a baby pumpkin. Cut out a mouth
and add teeth for adorably sinister looking pumpkins.
Simplify the process by hitting a cookie cutter through the pumpkin.
Another simple method - use a drill to turn your pumpkin into a disco ball.
Well apparently mother nature is taking the fact that fall officially starts this week very seriously, because I actually needed to break out a jacket this morning. NYC is supposed to stay seasonably chilly this week and I have to admit, I'm a little excited about it. Football is in full swing, I had my first PSL over the weekend and a bunch of shows are starting and returning this week. To me that means we've officially hit the season. That being said, I need to take my flip flop door hanger down and start getting my apartment ready for autumn. I won't put up anything Halloween related for a couple more weeks but I plan on filling my apartment with candles, warm colors and maybe some pine cones for the next few months. Below are some of the best fall decorating ideas on a budget that I found during my planning. Stay tuned to see how my apartment turns out!
Add something seasonable, like popcorn kernels to a candle holder. Original post here.
Burlap table runners are pretty and a super easy way to bring fall into the house. Original here.
Spray paint pumpkins for a chic transition to autumn decor. Original here.
Buy or create your own fall printable. Get the one above here.
Keep it really simple - just fill a jar with fall related items. (you can probably do this
for free with stuff from outside and an empty jar from your house). Original post here.
I FINALLY got around to taking some pictures of our apartment this weekend. My favorite parts of our home are the pieces of us that we incorporate into it and those usually appear in the small details. Below I documented just some of the home decor details that I love about our place.
The entryway is a great place to set a tone of organization in your home. We don't have a ton of storage space in our 1 bedroom place in Brooklyn so we utilize wall space to keep everything in order. I found the planter turned mail holder at an antique store by us for only $10. The "keys" holder is from Walmart! It came as plain wood and I spray painted it gold.
Having live plants and real flowers in the apartment is really important to me. My mom always had them around while we were growing up and it really make the space feel alive when you walk in and see that greenery. As you can tell by our cork collection, I'm a big fan of wine and AJ loves trying different craft beers. We save our corks for practical use and decoration. These small vases hold our cork screw and bottle opener in style.
As I said before we don't have a ton of space for extra stuff so I like to squeeze in pretty details where I can. On the left is part of our bookshelf in the living room. I wanted to bring a little of Jersey with me so I filled a vase with shells I had been collecting over the years. The piggy bank is missing the bottom piece that holds the money in, so instead of change we keep fortunes from our Chinese takeout in it. Now he's our lucky pig! The picture on the right is from an end table. That "vase" is actually a re-purposed soap dispenser.
One of the best parts of our apartment are the huge windows in the living room. We have a great view (you can just see the Verrazano in the background here) and we get tons of light during the day. I like to showcase them by treating the main one as a mantle. I propped a wall shelf that I found at Marshall's on it and decorated. It's great to switch up for the holiday's too.
Like I said, I'm a huge fan of live plants in the house. We decided to try and grow our own basil from seeds and the little guys are coming right along.
Hope you enjoyed the small tour of my living room details. More to come as we keep making improvements!
Hello and happy Friday! I hope you all have exciting weekend plans. I'll be heading out to Long Island for winery tour tomorrow and I can't wait to share the pictures with you on Monday. In the meantime, let's talk about hitting the refresh button on life.
Though our New Year is technically in January, the fall has always felt more to me like the time for a fresh start. Mid-August always triggers the urge to take stock of what I have and what I no longer need. It's like doing quality control in all areas of my life: emotionally, physically and in my work and living spaces. I think getting ready to go back-to-school for so many years was simply ingrained into my brain. It's a good time for cleaning out your closet, trying a new work-out and checking in with yourself to make sure you're happy with where you are.
With that being said I'm going to be doing a variety of posts on fall updates in different forms. We're going to start out with a simple work space update that will cost you nothing - what's better than that? So if you haven't done so lately, get some new desktop wallpaper. Do you know how many adorable wallpapers there are to choose from? A ton and they immediately brighten up a dull work space. If you want to bring a new energy to your desk and help yourself re-focus on what's to come, this is a great place to start. Check out a few of my choices from some of my favorite designers below.
Another quick, zero dollar update? Clean your desk. Seriously, we tend to forget that we spend a lot of our lives at our desks and they quickly fill up with clutter and dust. So take a half hour to re-work your space and clean it out. You'll be able to concentrate better once everything is in place.
I think I may have mentioned to you that I'm planning on doing a gallery wall on the white space above our living room couch. Since my boyfriend and I have a free couple of days at the tail end of our vacation I'm hoping I can finally pull all of the pieces together and build it during that time. If I manage to get it done I'll definitely share the end results with you as soon as I return.
Anyway, I'm still working on one or two finishing touches and for some last minute inspiration I thought I'd post 5 of my favorite examples of gallery walls.
Monday, Monday, Monday. I had a rough start this morning because of a late bus and an empty metro card but I have a giant cup of Starbucks next to me and only 4 1/2 days until vacation. Which brings me to my first topic this morning, next week will be void of new posts. I'll be traveling a little bit so I won't have much access to a computer but I promise to take lots of pictures and share them with you when I return.
Now, back to business. I spent this weekend doing some reorganizing and trying new decorating fixes around the apartment. Here are four easy decorating tricks to try with stuff you probably already have.
Body pillows are usually found on the bed but they are also a great size for a love seat. I popped this fuzzy white one on the sofa to switch up the look of our couch for zero dollars. The best part is you can buy inexpensive replacement covers whenever you feel like making a change.
I don't think anything makes a room cozier than candles. If an open flame bothers you try battery powered LED lights like the ones above. I have a mix of both around my apartment but I decided to create a centerpiece using fake ones grouped on a glass cake plate. The end result is really charming.
Place mats are a great way to keep your table clean but they can also make an unexpected space a little more interesting. I styled an end table with this nautical looking blue and white place mat from Crate and Barrel. It really ties the wood and blue couches together.
When I was given this anchor bottle opener as a gift I was anxious to find a way to display it. I also had a ton of wine corks laying around that I wasn't sure what to do with so I decided to go simple. I actually have two of these small vases like the one above so I filled both with corks, put a bottle opener in one and a cork screw in the other and displayed them on my dining room table. Now the tools are in an easy to reach place and they look adorable.
So I know it's only Thursday but I'm 100% in weekend mode already. My company is doing a screening of The Entourage Movie tomorrow and a catered lunch afterwards for our 30th Anniversary, so it'll basically be a day off. That being said I won't be posting tomorrow since I won't have a lot of computer time so I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.
I'm trying to put some more focus into decorating my apartment this weekend. After the initial rush of moving in and setting everything up I haven't been actively adding anything to the apartment lately. Last weekend I shared a picture of the new mirror my boyfriend put up as we tried to add some of our style into the space. In any case I've been doing some brainstorming and Pinterest searching for some fresh ideas.
One of the things I found that I consistently pin are bold patterns in bright colors, particularly when they're in unexpected places. Below are some of my favorite samples of that. Though a few of them focus on putting pattern an entire wall a lot of them are definitely apartment/renter friendly.
If you've read any of my past posts you've probably noticed that I love flowers (just look at yesterday's). Growing up my dad brought my mom home a fresh bouquet of flowers every week and for every holiday. I think they're the easiest way to brighten up a home and make it feel more alive. Since this is the first year I've had my own space I decided I want to take a shot at growing my own flowers. Even though I live in a Brooklyn apartment I've done some research into container gardens and i think I can get one going on my fire escape (I'm not positive how my landlord is going to feel about this but we're going to give it a try).
Since I know absolutely nothing about growing anything I've been doing a little research on how to start a garden of your own, specifically one in a small urban setting. Below are some of the tips, definitions and ideas I've gotten so far.
This is the dream.
Pruning - the selective removal of parts of a plan, such as branches, buds or roots.
Deadheading - cutting off a bloom that has run its course so the other buds can bloom.
Annuals - a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed within one year and then dies.
Perennials - a plant that lives for more than two years.
- Do your research. Find out what zone you're in so you know what kind of plants will thrive in your area. Whether you're going to be planting flowers or edibles every website I looked at talked in zones.
- Don't go overboard. If you're a beginner it's important not to take on too much. I for one want gardening to be something relaxing I can do in my spare time, not a chore that I dread dealing with. Everyone I spoke to said to seriously consider how much effort you want to put in and go from there. If you're going to be away all summer or don't feel like watering your plants everyday this might not be the hobby for you. I plan on starting with one or two different flowers and seeing where that takes me.
- Be mindful of watering. Under-watering or over-watering your plants is a great way to cut your gardening adventure short. Make sure you're giving the plants enough water so that the soil absorbs it. However, you don't want to drown the roots either. I read in several places that you should stick your fingers about two inches into the soil before watering to test how wet it is. If the soil two inches down is dry then water away. Also, if your plant is limp or has yellow leaves it's most likely been over-watered.
- Don't skimp on soil. This is the biggest thing my mom said to keep in mind when shopping for supplies. She's all about a bargain but she said cheap soil won't allow the plants to grow. Go for the good stuff so that they can really take root and flourish.
What you choose to grow will depend on your zone and the area you'll be growing in. I did some research for flowers that would be good in a small space and also in a location that's a little higher up than a regular garden since I have to keep wind in mind. I'm going to be heading to a nursery to get my started plants and plan on asking their advice on what to grow, but here are the flowers that my research has told me should do well in a container or balcony garden:
I'm sure there are a ton more but these are the ones that interested me. I'm also anxious to find out if peonies or hydrangeas will work in my garden. If you're looking for an easy to grow and useful plant, apparently herbs are a good choice for gardens like these. I'll be sure to update you all as my garden adventure continues!
I hope you all had a great Easter or Passover holiday weekend. I had a really nice time with my family but I was happy to be home in my apartment last night. The past two weeks have been busy and I'm exhausted. Since I'm not a huge cook (I'm trying see my chef attempts for proof) I'm usually left to decorate the table for holidays. This Easter was no different and I had a good time playing with flower arrangements and designing place settings in the past few days. Take a look at the pictures below to see how our table came out and feel free to share some memories from your weekend in the comments!