11.12.2013 Fall Trends

With the changing of the seasons, there comes a change of trends for the home, fashion, holiday decor, and just about everything else, too. I mean heck, even Essie has a Fall 2013 and Winter 2013 nail collection (which are to DIE FOR if you haven't already seen them). Are you loving any of the new trends? Are there any you want to steer clear from?

I am one of those people who sometimes is a little hesitant to accept or get involved in new trends, I.E. when Uggs were first introduced to the world, I was the 7th grader that asked WTH were those? Now they are a MUST HAVE in my closet. I've seen a lot of metallics on trend this season, especially when it comes to nail or eye colors. Obvi plaid is a staple for the Fall, one trend which I am a major fan of.

What are some of your favorite trends happening now? Love to hear your ideas :)

11.03.2013 Holy fast-year...

I can't believe it's already November! I mean what the heck happened to this year??? Granted we've all been busy I'm sure. Do any of you have fun plans for this month? Doing any holiday traveling? What are you excited for?

For me, it's traveling home to be with my family and for Black Friday shopping, duh! Even though home is an hour and a half plane ride away, I don't always make it home every weekend, much less every month. I generally only visit about once every 6 months to a year! The last Thanksgiving we had at my parents' house and my childhood home was maybe... several years ago?

As long as I can remember, we've been traveling to San Diego or Oklahoma for the Thanksgiving holiday. Mostly because my sister participated in soccer competitions with her team and had practices on Thanksgiving Day. We've enjoyed our dinners at Claim Jumper, Mimi's Cafe, and sometimes at the hotels my family stayed at which were all fabulous and affordable Thanksgiving meal options for those of you who don't like to cook! Lucky for us, she's gone away to college at Cal Poly SLO so we'll all be making the journey HOME for Thanksgiving this year. :)

Thanksgiving is an important holiday for me because I love the time I get to spend with my family. I'm looking forward to being with loved ones in my sometimes for a long weekend before having to return to reality. My mom is going all out this year since we'll all be there. She's planning our shopping extravaganzas, our family bowling outing, a trip to the movies, dinner at our fave sushi restaurant, all of our holiday traditional side dishes, caramel apple making with my "extra set of siblings" whom I can't wait to see, and so much more!

Do you have any plans for this year? Will you be spending it with family? What are some of your holiday traditions?

Gallery Wall

This post is one I've been excited for because... it took me awhile to figure out exactly how to perfect my gallery wall in my apartment. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy and took me forever. I put together what I thought was a decent gallery wall, and after looking at it everyday.. I was not impressed.

My perfectionist tendencies had gotten the best of me, yet again, and my first attempt was 1000% symmetrical. What fun is that? Totally not the look I was going for at all. I had over the past few weeks gathered quite a collection of frames though, and as I started rearranging my apartment recently, I played with the placements of my other various wall hangings. I took some down, put some in my closet for hiding, and even retired some old pieces.

Last weekend, I was able to step back and take a breath. I had turned this:

Into this!

Such a difference and I couldn't be more excited about how it turned out. I even have room above and below it to add more pieces to as time goes on.

I picked up some different frames from Ikea and Target. I made the initial and burlap frame myself. I hand painted the canvas. I added some photos of the important people in my life to some of the smaller frames including my family at Thanksgiving, my friends, and my two amazing sisters and I at Christmas last year. And I found and created the monogram print from a website online! Voilà!

One helpful tip! Take out the paper that comes inside the frame to help you map out your wall. Lay them out on a large flat service first and rearrange it as many times as you need until you like the placement OR tape the pieces of paper to the wall your turning into your masterpiece to help you visualize it!

Do any of you have a gallery wall in your house/apartment/loft/flat/or whatever else you live in? What is your favorite piece in it?

11.02.2013 Storage... You can never have enough!

So, I'll preface this post by stating the one simple fact/limitation/whatever-you-want-to-call-it about my apartment that most of you probably don't know.... I have to accommodate living in 398 sq. ft. of space. So basically my "home needs" include (1). Storage, (2). Decor without overcrowding, (3). Coloring that doesn't make my apartment look any smaller than it already is, and (4). Closet space!

Studio living can be challenging, especially for those who are easily claustrophobic, which sort of describes me in a nutshell. Over the past year, I've had to learn to adapt, sacrificing space to not have roommates, etc. But all in all, I couldn't be happier with my choice to live alone and in my own apartment. 

Essentially, there's a few things that I absolutely love...

These boxes are TO DIE FOR. I keep these three parked next to my dresser or sometimes on the top rack of my closet. I use them to store current school work/previous coursework from this year, paid bills, etc. They are super easy to put together, too! (May I just add that I am not the most handy when it comes to things like that, so you should have no problem!) You could even throw these into your closet to store scarves, sweaters during the summer, or whatever else you want!

They come in a few different colors/patterns, I've linked to my favorites below :)

Patterned Boxes: Here and here!

White Boxes: Here!

One of my other storage dilemmas was DVD/blu ray/book storage without adding a super chunky shelving unit to my already tiny space. My mom (my creative inspiration! love that lady to death) and I talked for a minute about how I could store these items without adding something to my apartment. Her genius idea? USE THE WALLS! My apartment has a decent amount of wall space, my TV hanging on a wall completely by itself. So, we bought a few shelves from our favorite store, The Container Store.

If you're an organizing freak like me, this place is for you!

We chose to arrange the shelves around the TV and let me tell you, it provides an immense amount of storage! :) Still working to fill these babies up with a movie collection! Although I can't find the exact item online, they have it in store. But the point, more or less, is take to the walls! Ikea happens to have lots of affordable shelving options here.

Even if you get shelves without sides, look for cute bookends, vases, etc. to help keep your items upright! Take to the walls people!