Big News!!

I have some big news! My fiancé is (almost for sure) getting up a job up in the DC area! Our dreams are coming true! LOL. I am just so excited because after about 3 and a half years of spending almost all of our money on plane tickets to see each other, we are finally going to be able to start our life together. AND now we don’t have to constantly worry in the back of our mind that we might not be together even after we are married. How do things always end up working out? I really honestly wonder!

So, the sad part is that I don’t get to move into that cute house that I posted all the pics about and shared allll my decorating ideas. The good part is that my fiancé will be moving in with ME into my apartment. That means I have a million decorating and organizing things I need to do! SOOO excited! I obviously love decorating and now I have a reason to spruce up my house.

My apartment is roughly 523 square feet. It is a studio with a balcony, full size (and nice!) kitchen, pretty decent sized bathroom, and awesome closet space. There is a walk-in closet, a linen closet with shelves, a huge coat closet (half of it is my craft closet), and a kitchen pantry. The bathroom has more than enough storage space for just me (well, the whole apartment does actually), the kitchen has tons of shelves, and I have three bookcases as well.

The first thing I need to do is organize all my stuff.

I will be posting one-by-one before and after pictures of each that I take on.

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Keep Herbs Fresh Longer

I love fresh herbs. Who doesn’t? But since I live by myself, I rarely cook enough to use up the herbs before they go bad. To make them last a little longer is very simple – just treat them like flowers. Trim the ends and put them in water. You can keep them on the countertop or, if you have a cat who loves to eat anything with even the smallest resemblance to lettuce like I do, you can keep them in the fridge.

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Trim the stems. This is parsley.

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Peanut won’t stay away! All she wants to do is eat herbs!

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Finished product! Cilantro and parsley in the cute little watermelon glasses.

How to Keep Avocado Fresh

Here is a quick tip I discovered to keep your cut avocados from turning brown on the edges. Wrap them in plastic wrap! Make sure you press it up against the green avocado inside. Avocado turns brown when it oxidizes, or comes in contact with the air for too long. Pressing plastic wrap up against the avocado will keep the air out. Also try to keep the seed in as long as you can.

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Apartment Decorating: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

I have a few little areas in this apartment that I have created that I am very proud of! I thought I would share them.

 

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I had been feeling like the sink area was just too dark sometimes for my bad eyes, so I installed these! They are $20 from Lowes and so worth it. The LEDs definitely help my bad eyes. Yes, I know. Poor little boring, sad wall. I think I should hang my cutting board from there. If I do, I will be sure to add a post!

 

 

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I am so proud of this area! It is my homemade bar. I bought the old rake off Etsy, the old window off Ebay, and the little glass shelf from Marshalls for about $60. The most difficult part was making the rake hang at the right tilt so that the glasses wouldn’t fall off. I’m sure you noticed that the biggest glass on the right is hanging funny. That was because on of the tines was bent. I think it looks just as cute like that.  Oh, and I tied a bow of twine around the top of the rake.
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I really started getting into about a year ago. When I knew I was going to get a studio apartment, I did a bunch of research and learned the obvious trick – mirrors add more light to your small space and are supposed to make it feel bigger. So I knew I was going to need to have a mirror or two. And I liked the way this one looks like a window and the dark wood. It goes with my whole rustic feel pretty well. It was around $10 from Walmart. I lovvee the sunflower. It was a gift from my younger sister. So cute!

 

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The craft office! Sorry about the messiness of this picture. It was the only one I had and it is WAY messier now so no picture taking today. I love this area though. I am SO SO proud of it! Yes, more mirrors! It helps me jeep my crafting supplies out of the rest of the house, gives me an ‘office’ to do my crafts in! I love sitting down in here and crafting. And of course, little spaces like this make the studio apartment seem so much more spacious!

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This is one of those cheap wall mount shelves. On the underside of it are four jars with the lids hot glued to the shelf. The biggest one is a spaghetti sauce jar, then a peanut butter jar, and then two artichoke jars, one bigger, one smaller. It is the perfect way to display all your pretty sequins, beads, glitter and paint. And it also gives you easy access to all your supplies, rather than keeping them in boxes you have to dig through. Storage like this also makes use of the small closet area.

 

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I have all my ribbons hanging on this rigged-up contraption I made out of an extra metal tube that I didn’t need from a shower caddy and a piece of twine. I save everything that I think could possibly be useful which allows me to build crazy things like this! The only problem I foresee is when I move in with my fiance he will probably call me a hoarder at least once or twice. But I swear I’m not!

 

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The only piece of art I have hanging up that wasn’t made by me! It is a picture of the Mackinaw bridge. I love this picture! And the mirror is kind of like art. It was from Target.

 

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I know what you’re thinking: Why did you post this picture? Because these plain, empty shelf tops make me sad and bored by my kitchen. I need to figure out a way to make this a whole lot cuter. Oh, and it is also Peanut’s secret sleeping place/play area.  I will be doing some research and posting again when I figure out how to make this area cute!

Building a Bedroom in a Studio Apartment

I live in a small-ish studio apartment in the DC Metro area. Of course, before I moved in, I researched many ways to create a bedroom in a studio apartment. Many people created rooms using curtains or bookshelves or those little tri-fold movable walls. I didn’t like how the curtains looked and my layout was a little bit unique. I didn’t think the bookshelves would work for me either because I didn’t want to create a weird walkway to get to the kitchen, I didn’t want to half block the glass sliding door and only window either, and I had to have an area that I could turn into the living room. Below are the pictures of what I came up with. I am not done by any means, and was waiting to post this whole thing until I added a few more decorations, but I have gotten many compliments on my setup by guests and friends  so I thought it couldn’t hurt to share.

 

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View of the bedrom area from sitting on the couch. There are two bookshelves like the one on the left, from Walmart for around $25 and the smaller shelf is from Target for about $30. At the time I took this picture, my Christmas decorations were still up! I am embarrassed the shelf under the TV looks so plain! I will post an updated picture.

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View of the whole setup from standing next to the kitchen. I am very happy with how I decided to lay out my apartment. The living room is right next to the balcony, and the shelves don’t need to block the sliding glass door. The yellow shelf is at an angle. I did this so that there wasn’t extra space lost at the head of the bed and to make the living room as big as possible. Yes, I know. I hate those plain, white, plastic dangly curtain-things that so many sliding glass doors have. That is another project.

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Sorry this image is so dark! I included it just because it shows a slightly different view of the whole setup.

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Yes, I know. The surrounding walls and space seems plain and boring. I promise I’m working on it! The yellow bookshelf was black just like the other one but I painted  it yellow to add a nice touch of color. 

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First view of my bed area. This is another area that I have big plans for. I have been looking for a big, white, metal Venetian mirror to go in the middle of the main wall here. I am also looking for a white, metal head board and foot board set. I have a set of white hanging shelves that fit in a corner but am waiting for my fiance (who lives in TX) to visit. I can do it myself, and probably should, but it is so much easier to have him do it!

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Lastly, The view from inside the ‘bedroom.’ I painted the backs of the two bookshelves that had grayish-brown cardboard backing. I nailed on the backing of the last bookshelf backwards since I was planning to paint the inside yellow. It is kind of ugly back here but much much better than a lot of alternatives. I am also very lucky that this apartment has a huge walk in closet. That made it okay to have such a tiny bedroom area.

DIY Sun Catcher Bead Craft

These are probably my favorite craft I have made yet. I love them!

I made them in small ramekins.  Once they were done, I drilled a hole and strung them with fish line. If you have one of those window suction cups you can put those on; I wish I had those! You can also make other things like bowls or plates – I plan to do this soon! I cooked them at 410 degrees and put them in the freezer directly after. However, the ones I made in thin metal tins got cloudy in the freezer possibly because they cooled too quickly. It was so fun to play around with 🙂 Some I didn’t cook as long and they looked pretty cool too. Here are the pictures I took of them on my phone.

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(more pictures to come!)

 

Here is the link from Pinterest that I initially got the idea from.