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Apartment Living

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

8 DIY Holiday Decorations for Your Apartment

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Festive decorations are as much a part of the holiday season as the jolly, fat man coming down the chimney delivering presents. Decorating is especially fun for apartment dwellers.

But before you start picking out decorations and creating your own winter wonderland, it hits you — you have to pay for your own decorations? Well, fear not. Here are some inexpensive DIY decorations even the Grinch would love.

1. Mason jar snow globes

mason jar snow globe

Source: Mason Jar Crafts

Sometimes, the small details are the best. This DIY snow globe from Mason Jar Crafts is easy-to-make and adorable. You likely have the main component, a mason jar, in your cupboards already. And the other elements are easy to find and won’t break the bank.

Go to a toy or craft store, get a selection of small toy cars, buy some fake snow, mini pine trees, twine and you’re set! Once you’ve made your mini snow globes, place them on the window sills, kitchen counter or coffee table. These decorations are trendy, cute, and can fit anywhere inside your apartment!

2. Popsicle stick snowflakes

popsicle stick snowflake

Source: Simple MOM Project

Do you live in a city where you hardly ever see snow? Are you missing out on a traditional white Christmas? If so, these DIY snowflakes are the perfect craft to create a white winter wonderland, no matter the weather outside.

All you need is glue, white paint and some popsicle sticks. Make as many as you’d like and create the perfect snowy apartment for this holiday season.

3. Pinecone Christmas trees

pinecone Christmas trees

Source: Lauren J Photography on Babble

Have you ever wondered how to use a pinecone as a decoration? Sure, they smell good and can be used as potpourri, but can you make them festive? Yes, you can. Next time you’re out for a nature walk, pick up some pinecones to transform them into miniature Christmas trees for your apartment.

While a big Christmas tree is great, it’s sometimes not feasible for the size of your apartment. So, these DIY pinecone trees come in handy. Gather your pine cones, spray paint them green and glue them to corks for a base. Scatter them throughout your apartment and you’ve got yourself a whole forest of Christmas trees.

4. Coffee filter wreaths

coffee filter Christmas tree wreath

Source: How to Make a Burlap Wreath

Apartments come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the size, they all have front doors (if they don’t, you should probably move). While you may have limited space to decorate inside, you can always spice up your front door with a festive wreath. If you’re looking for a fun DIY project, consider making this wreath out of coffee filters.

All you need is coffee filters and a foam core center and you’ll bring Christmas cheer to your apartment complex’s hallway. It’ll have all your neighbors knocking on your door asking where you got it. The best part is that you can get everything you need from your local grocery store. It’s just as fun to make as it is cute.

5. Flat Christmas tree

flat Christmas tree

Source: Hildur.K.O

Some apartments won’t have enough space for a large Christmas tree. However, being that it’s one of the most iconic decorations, there has to be an alternate solution. Luckily Hildur.K.O has the perfect solution — the flat Christmas tree.

It’s a great way to save space in your apartment and have a tree to decorate and put gifts under. It’s easy to make and requires minimal items that you can purchase at your local craft store. Spend a December evening decorating the tree with ornaments without feeling cramped in your living space.

6. Decorated letters

decorated christmas letters

Block letters are always cute decorations. Luckily, Christmas has great phrases you can spell out and display to make your apartment more festive. From simple phrases like “Joy” to “Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” you’ll have plenty of options for this block letter craft. They’re fun to make and also inexpensive.

All you need for this DIY decoration is the block letters to spell out the word you wish to write, and what you want to decorate them with. You could decorate with candy-like peppermints or really do whatever your imagination wants. Whatever you end up with, you can rest assured you’ll end up with great decorations your neighbors will be envious of.

7. Mittens Christmas garland

mitten garland

Source: Craft Create Cook

If it’s not cold enough where you live to wear your mittens, repurpose them into an adorable garland to hang. Craft Create Cook has you covered with all the steps to make your perfect, unique garland.

This garland will make you want to cozy up in your apartment with a cup of cocoa and a great Christmas movie.

8. Christmas Tree advent calendar

advent calendar

Source: Michael’s

Advent calendars are a holiday favorite for many with the anticipation of waking up every day in the month of December to find a little surprise. Whether it’s waxy chocolate or little gifts from your mom, it’s exciting nevertheless.

If you miss this childhood favorite Michael’s has your back. Their Christmas tree advent calendar is every DIYer’s dream. It comes plain leaving it up to you to decorate it however you want. Think of all the possibilities you could put in those drawers. It could be fun to do with your roommate or if you live alone, to treat yourself for the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

Decorate for the holidays on a budget

Each of these eight ideas is simple, festive and inexpensive. You can have a beautifully decorated apartment without feeling guilty about spending too much money on decor. They’re also small so your apartment won’t be overcrowded and instead, it’ll feel like Santa’s workshop.

All of these DIY ideas are sure to make your apartment have a little more Christmas cheer.

Published at Fri, 29 Nov 2019 13:00:53 +0000

10 Things to Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is the dedicated day each year where you’re guaranteed a cornucopia of food with bounteous amounts of leftovers to enjoy afterward.

Whether you spend the holiday with family or opt for a Friendsgiving instead, it’s impossible not to have a ton of leftovers after turkey day.

So, what do you do with all those leftovers? Sure, you can enjoy another traditional Thanksgiving feast. But there are plenty of other recipes out there that’ll put a unique twist on the classics. Here are 10 things to do with your leftover Thanksgiving food.

1. Turkey pot pies

turkey pot pies

Source: AllRecipes

The rich, buttery flavors of Thanksgiving food are what make this once-a-year meal so appealing. If you’re looking to make another comfort meal, repurpose your leftover turkey, green beans and vegetables and make a large turkey pot pie.

Made with leftover Thanksgiving food, this is the perfect winter meal. In under 90 minutes, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready to serve, and the best part is that it was made entirely from leftover food!

2. Turkey roll-ups

Turkey roll-ups

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, turkey roll-ups are your go-to option. All you’ll need is leftover stuffing, turkey and gravy and you’ve got a complete dinner.

Simply take pieces of turkey and put a portion of stuffing in the center. Then, roll the turkey like a wrap, bake until hot and drizzle with gravy. This leftover meal can be served with any side dish.

3. Monte Cristo sandwiches

Monte Cristo sandwiches

Source: The Tasty Bite

If you’re looking for a way to spice up the traditional leftover turkey sandwich, the Monte Cristo is your answer. A scrumptious mix of sweet and savory, this sandwich is grilled and layered with turkey and brie cheese then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with cranberry sauce on the side for dipping.

And for those vegetarians out there, you can skip the turkey but still enjoy this not-so-classic grilled cheese.

4. Loaded mashed potato bites

Loaded mashed potato bites

Source: The Cookie Rookie

Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving menu item, but there are so many additional ways to use those leftovers. Try making deep-fried loaded mashed potato bites accompanied with all your favorite mixings (think bacon, chives, sour cream, cheese).

Host a small dinner party and serve this finger food as an appetizer while your guests mingle.

5. Turkey fried rice

Turkey fried rice

Source: Sweet C’s Designs

Thanksgiving weekend is made for eating, napping, shopping and watching football. If you’re looking for an easy meal to make while lounging around, turkey fried rice is a great option.

Simply add turkey, vegetables, fried egg and rice or cauliflower rice to a pan, stir fry and voila, you’ve got yourself a yummy meal.

6. Sweet potato bisque

Sweet potato bisque

Source: Farm Flavor

There’s nothing quite like hot soup on a cold winter day. If you’re looking for an easy slow-cooker recipe, consider making sweet potato bisque with your leftover sweet potatoes.

All you’ll need is sweet potatoes and some seasonings and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal.

7. Turkey stock

Turkey stock

Thanksgiving dinner can be expensive, but if you’re strategic with your leftover food, you can get a lot out of it. You may think that the turkey bones and leftover vegetables are garbage, but they can all be used to make homemade turkey stock.

Then, the turkey stock can be used for future meals to enrich the flavor. Now, you’ve even made use of the scraps.

8. Pie milkshakes

pie milkshakes

Everyone likes pie a la mode, right? Well, this idea combines them both.

Simply take a piece of apple or pumpkin pie, add some vanilla ice cream and blend them together. You’ll be left with a creamy, sugary treat.

9. Cranberry oatmeal

Cranberry oatmeal

Source: Dessert Now, Dinner Later

Cranberries at Thanksgiving are like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. They’re subtle but essential. With this leftover Thanksgiving recipe, cranberries take center stage.

Take any oatmeal recipe but add a dollop of cranberry sauce to it. You’ll enjoy a sweet and delicious breakfast with the tangy taste of cranberries mixed in.

10. Dog treats

dog treats

Now that you’ve enjoyed a variety of leftover Thanksgiving food, let’s look at some pet-friendly options for your furry friend.

Made with leftover turkey, veggies, potatoes and flour, you can give Fido a homemade Thanksgiving bone.

Keep these expiration dates for leftover Thanksgiving food in mind

While we all want to savor the flavor of Thanksgiving food, we don’t want to get food poisoning from old food. All of your leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of coming out of the oven.

Here are some quick guidelines to keep in mind when preparing leftovers to stay safe and healthy.

  • Turkey can last four days in the fridge and four months in the freezer
  • Veggies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer
  • Pies can last three to four days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer

Enjoy the holiday weekend

These 10 recipes and food ideas will help keep the holiday alive throughout the whole weekend. Enjoy a variety of meals all while saving money and making use of your leftover Thanksgiving food.

Published at Thu, 28 Nov 2019 13:00:48 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

Ways to make your space feel bigger when you meditate

In a world that moves at a breakneck pace, finding time to slow down and quiet your mind is difficult—and it’s also essential. Many people turn to meditation to help. The practice guides the mind to a calmer place using breathing techniques, mantras, and imagery. It can be as simple as breathing deeply and repeating a phrase or as complicated as traveling to a different plane tucked away in the recesses of your imagination. Either way, you need a quiet, calm space to do it in order to really reap the benefits of meditation. Here’s how to make your apartment feel bigger when you meditate.

  1. Oust any clutter.
    One of the most obvious ways to make your space feel larger is to rid it of any stuff that’s non-essential. Purging extra clutter is a good habit to get into, whether you meditate or not. Donate any knick-knacks, furnishings, and decor that you don’t really need in order to open up some space for your meditative practice. This will make it even easier to get into the zen zone.
  2. Welcome natural light.
    When sunshine comes streaming into your home, it makes your world a bit brighter and bigger. Harness the power of natural light and pick a corner for meditation with ample windows. The sunny rays, and the view visible through the windows, will make your meditation nook feel instantly more spacious.
  3. Enlist neutral hues.
    While dark colors tend to make a room feel smaller, light and neutral tones do just the opposite. Whites, creams, and shades of beige create the illusion of extra space. So when you pick furnishings for your meditation area (or for any room in your home, really), opt for these lighter colors instead of dark, bold hues. If you already have darker furniture in the area where you intend to meditate, there’s no need for a full makeover. Just add some lighter elements, like a whitewashed throw blanket or set of pillows.
  4. Just add mirrors.
    Mirrors instantly add square footage to your home, almost in the same way that a window does. The reflection seemingly doubles the size of any space. Affix a mirror to your wall or find a small stand-alone mirror that you can incorporate into your meditation nook.
  5. Strategically place your pillow.
    One essential that every meditation space must have is a cushy pillow for you to perch on. Pick your pillow and then arrange it strategically to make your space feel larger. Instead of pushing it up against the wall, pull it out at least six inches. This is an old trick for arranging furniture. When you let your furnishings float, the room feels bigger. When they connect with the wall, that seems to suck up space—or, at least, make a room look smaller. You can use this tip with any piece of furniture or decor in your meditation area.

How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: 25 Tips That Work [StyleCaster]

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Home Meditation Space [Yoga Journal]

10 Sneaky Ways to Make a Small Space Look Bigger [The Nest]

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:53:45 +0000

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

If there’s ever a time to indulge, it’s the holiday season. The nonstop family gatherings, workplace celebrations, and get-togethers with friends certainly provide ample temptations in the form of festive treats. And while it’s fine to nibble on something sweet at the occasional soiree, when you make a habit of it, you could enter the new year carrying some additional weight. Here’s how to avoid going overboard with the holiday snacks.

  1. Preemptively eat a healthy snack.
    When you grab a healthy snack before you head out to a holiday party, you won’t be ravenous by the time you show up. This will make it easier to stay away from the festive spread, or at least to keep yourself from overdoing it. So nibble on some fruit or veggies the next time you’re getting ready for a holiday party.
  2. BYO noshes.
    If you don’t think pre-gaming with healthy snacks will be enough to keep you away from the buffet table, here’s another way to avoid temptation: bring your own bites. Instead of chowing down on holiday cookies, chips, and other unhealthy snacks, bring along veggies and hummus, fruit and yogurt, or low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers to share with the crowd. Other health-minded partygoers will probably thank you!
  3. Focus on balanced snacks.
    If you do intend to partake in the provided nibbles at a holiday bash, make smarter selections. Opt for a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates, ideally with a small amount of fat. This combination will help to keep you full and avoid overeating.
  4. Sip on tea or coffee.
    When you’re at the family holiday party, do you devour snacks because you’re actually hungry, or simply because they’re sitting on the table next to you? Many people will absentmindedly snack just for something to do. Distract yourself with a hot cup of peppermint tea or black coffee instead. Sipping on the warming beverage will keep your hands busy, but it won’t add any calories to your daily intake.
  5. Chew gum.
    Another way to distract yourself from the snack spread is to chew gum. Most gums contain only a few calories, and they help to trick your brain into thinking you’re snacking freely. If you’re not actually hungry, just looking for a way to keep your teeth busy, pop a stick of gum instead of snacks.
  6. Keep treats out of sight, out of mind.
    When you go to a party hosted by someone else, you don’t have control over the menu. That’s when the previous tips may come in handy. But when it comes to your own home, you can choose what you bring into it—and how you display (or don’t display) holiday treats. Try to avoid bringing candy, cookies, and other desserts into your apartment altogether. When you can’t, at least keep them stowed away in the cabinet and showcase fruit and other healthy snacks on the counter. This makes it more likely that you’ll choose a light and healthy bite over a calorie-dense treat.

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:52:20 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

My Next Dream Kitchen

My Next Dream Kitchen

If you don’t follow Apartment 34 on Instagram, than you might have missed the exciting announcement that official This Old Victorian – aka my five year renovation saga – is about to come its close. Domino Magazine announced its first ever Renovation Issue and I’m thrilled to announce that office tour of our house is included. If you want your first sneak peak into the our before & afters (and they’re rather dramatic), click here.

But I think once you try your hand at renovations, you catch the bug. And so I’m already designing my fictional future dream house in my hand. And I think I already found my dream kitchen.

This epic kitchen is another product of design savant Amber Interiors. She has figured out the magic mix of California casual, old world grandeur, and what I like to call elevated rustic style that combine to create warm, welcoming but also dramatic spaces.

Obviously, the architecture of this space lends itself to its awesome dramatic feel, not to mention all that stunning natural light. But that is probably one of my biggest leanings from our renovation – that a space’s bones are everything. If you happen upon some a home with some good architecture, jump on it! You can be confident that even the ugliest of toads can be transformed.

The use of various both refined and rustic materials offers really beautiful juxtaposition in this kitchen. Honed Calacatta marble counters and backsplash feel sleek and fancy. But then the reclaimed French limestone looks as if you could be in a farmhouse in Burgundy. The mix and match continues with smooth plasters walls abutting a white brick pizza oven. Brass hardware offsets the custom white oak cabinetry, but the cup drawer pulls reinforce the more country, rustic feel. Finally, a rustic beam holds residence above a sophisticated Lacance range. Yet it all works.

This space would feel fitting should it be in middle of wine country, in Europe or in downtown LA. In fact it resides in Malibu, CA but you certainly wouldn’t say it has a beachy feel.

I love how Amber switched the far counter’s top to a dark limestone to anchor the space and mirror the dark range across the room.

If I could get my hands on this space I might have thickened the countertops (I still love that fat look), selected more modern cabinetry hardware and swapped out the antique pendant lights for something more minimalist and refined. But that’s fun thing with renovating. Once you get to play with the details, you just want to play more and more and more and more.

Good thing I have my yard project to keep me busy at the moment, because I’d be rather tempted to start housing hunting again! Don’t tell my hubs.

design by amber interiors, photography by tess neustadt 

Published at Thu, 21 Nov 2019 22:29:54 +0000

Book Report: the Neutral Home

Some people say all-white design is boring. Or easy. But I beg to differ. Using white as your primary color palette actually requires the utmost expertise – so much so that there’s a beautiful new design book dedicated to working with a (nearly) all white palette. And I, for one, am here for it.

I highly doubt you’re bored by neutral interiors either, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to stick around Apt34 for this long, but this new design tome, FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of UK favorite, The White Company, captures pitch perfect use all my favorite soothing hues.

The secret to a compelling neutral interior is contrast. And there is stunning use of that throughout these homes. Deeply hued hardwoods pop against beautiful white walls.

White on white works when you use dramatic proportions. I love how everything in these homes feels big and eye catching – no bright colors required. Note to self, always add a dog that matches your interior.

Yes, I’ve hated on all-white kitchens in the past, but there is a reason why they’ll never go out of style. I do understand their classic appeal.

I love the mix of materials in this dining room. Modern, clean lined chairs mix with a farm style table and a stunning traditional built-in hutch. Definite display goals with that one.

A freestanding tub is also always timeless. This space is truly elegant.

But in my next dream house, I’d like a room dedicated entirely to my tub, thank you very much.

This is only one of the many gorgeous design books that have debuted this fall. I’m going to share sneak peeks of all of my faves through the month of November, just in case you have another design lover on your gift list!

Photography by Chris Everard, © The White Company.

“FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE: THE WHITE AND NEUTRAL HOME by Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company, is available now from HarperDesign, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. For more information, visit hc.com

Published at Wed, 13 Nov 2019 01:33:58 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Tips For Finding Apartments For Rent

Many apartments for rent available are in our city. The standard rent may vary from $400 per month up to $1500 for a luxury suite. This price is for a one-bedroom-apartment with a fully fitted kitchen and a full bathroom.

Usually you have to put a security/damage deposit in as well. Such a deposit normally is equal to half a month rental price. In some cases utilities are included in the price, and in other they are not. If paid separately utility costs vary depending on usage.

One of my sisters was very fortunate to find a nice apartment for rent in a very quiet building for only $550 per month. And its only a few blocks away from where I live. In fact shes paying a bit more as there is an additional fee of $35 per month that goes for using the indoor underground parking. In her building there are also some additional extras as cable TV, air conditioning and an indoor pool, that are available to tenants families.

Another popular type of apartments for rent that are widely available are the so called bachelor apartments or studios. Their rent varies between $250 and $600 per month, because they only consist of a large room with a modest kitchenette and bathroom facilities. And as you can guess they are really only suitable for a single person. Usually the lowest range ones are in fact old damp and dark basement, and most of them are in such a condition that living there is a real danger. All the bugs and vermin they often host create such health hazards that its not rare at all, the City to close them down and warn the public about such inhuman dwellings.

Unfortunately there is another type of apartments for rent offered in our town that are even worse. In fact they are not apartments at all, they are only rooms, usually situated in an old ex-boarding house. Places like these do often attract prostitutes, drug addicts and all type of underground world members. Apart from being very filthy and unsanitary, such dwellings are also extremely dangerous because of the people who stay there. Murders in such type of dwellings do happen on a regular basis.

Of course there are great apartments for rent too – situated in the most prestigous areas of the city and are often with bigger size than some homes. They do usually offer top quality and of course feature additional facilities as saunas, spas and gyms available for their tenants. Laundry and dry-cleaning along with concierge services are not a rarity at all. And all that comes at the corresponding price, thats usually in the $2000+ per month range.

There are also people who do offer apartments for rent situated in their own houses. In case the house is way too big for one family only there is nothing bad in converting it into a duplex or triplex and renting out. And many people have done so. But the most important downside of those is that being in fact one house they have very thin inner walls that allow noise to spread easily to the other units and no one actually has any privacy there.

So as expected, there is such a wide variety of apartment for rent offered in the CityPsychology Articles, that they can suit any rental range or family situation possible. Actually anybody can find one that suits for him.