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Showing posts from May, 2014

My Apartment: Floor Plan

I love floor plans. When I was a little girl, you'd often catch me toting around my spiral-bound notebook of graph paper in which I sketched up big castle-like dream homes, small city apartments, and sometimes ancient Roman villas. While driving past houses, I immediately imagine what the floor plan could be like – especially in older homes. And even today, one of the first things I do when moving into an apartment (or even apartment hunting) is to make a mock-up floor plan to see how I could fit my furniture.
I finally got around to measuring out the lovely Victorian apartment I've lived in for a year now. The 511 square foot space is a gathering of three rooms on the 2nd floor and at the back of a big, beautiful Queen Anne house. Here's the rundown:

Enter to Win the Ultimate Bedding Giveaway by Down Linens! (Closed)

Happy Tuesday, lovelies! The Lovely Side is excited to announce a lovely giveaway happening right now! It's the perfect time to refresh your bedding for spring with luxury-stuffed feather/down filled pillows and an all season down comforter. And Down Linens is giving one lucky winner a luxurious bedding prize pack.

Business Casual Basics: 6 Clubby vs. Classy Styles | Working Girl Wardrobe

Between internships and jobs, I've worked in office environments that ranged from business casual to creative professional to completely laid-back. While I've never felt comfortable wearing a jeans and sweatshirt as work attire even in the most casual office, I don't mind when co-workers do if that's part of the acceptable dress code. What really strikes me are the women who come to work dressed for the club.

7 Cheap Thrills Under $7 | Beauty Buys

When it comes to shopping for anything, I'm a bargain hunter at heart. There are a few things in my beauty cabinet that I'll splurge for (Clinique Chubby Sticks, Clinique fragrances, and Burberry Perfume) but those are a whole 'nother story blog post. I like to change up my look depending on my mood. And I tend to misplace lipsticks for weeks until they turn up somewhere unexpected. So I love it when a cheap thrill turns out to be a keeper by surprising me with its quality.

These are the 7 cheapies I'm digging right now for under $7:

1. Hempz Treats Delicious Body Lotion - Sugar Lemon Squares - $5
I nabbed a small bottle of this lotion on sale at TJ Maxx last week. Despite my childhood aversion to lemon (my mom baked lemon cupcakes for my 2nd grade class; I was the only one who didn't partake in the birthday treats) I'm now a lover of any lemon dessert. This lotion not only smells like my beloved lemon bars, but it makes my hands feel soft and sumptuous for hour…

Working Girl Wardrobe | Desi: Graphic Design & Marketing

Working girl Desi and blogger behind A Northern Girl works in graphic design and marketing for a Division I University's basketball arena. When she's not working sporting events, she's handling donor benefits, Broadway shows, and other concerts and events. Just as she has to be versatile, so does her work wardrobe.

Some of Desi's must-have ensembles include:

Colored Skinny Jeans + A Blazer
Desi's day-to-day look combines pulled-together with laid-back. Hued skinnies and a classic blazer is professional enough to meet with clients, yet comfortable enough to take on the day.

5 Favorites for May: Pink Polka Dots, Matte Red Lips, #GirlBoss, and more!

May is a month of transition for me. This is my last week at my current full-time job and I'll be starting at a new company next week. Here are five favorites that are part of my fresh start this spring:

1. Whilst shopping for a fresh workplace wardrobe, I hit up Old Navy. I've been disappointed there in the past, but I gave it a try. And I fell in love with their 'Pixie Skinny Ankle Pants' – especially the light pink ones with the white polka dots. The trousers are the perfect skinny cut, ideal ankle length, and are so comfy. At around $30, I bought several pairs to get me through the work week.

10 Decor Tips for Short-Term Living Spaces | Reader Request

The Lovely Side reader Shelby messaged me with a special challenge: decorating the small space she'll be living in short-term during her summer job.
The good news... After graduating Saturday, Shelby will be flying out to California on Sunday – with only two suitcases. She'll be working as a House Manager for a theatre in CA and living in a dorm suite – she gets the RA apartment all to herself!
The bad news... Shelby can only tote along what she can fit into her two suitcases. (Her bamboo plant can't tag along – sad!). Plus, she'll only be living there until mid-August and will have to move out the last week of work to stay with someone else, as the students will be returning and will need the dorms back.

Shelby's stumped with minimal space and time to make her new, temporary home look nice. Knowing how boring dorm rooms can look (and having no roomies to share decorating duties with) she finds herself in need of a little inspiration.

Closet Office Progress: Desk Painted | My Apartment

The closet office in my bedroom is coming along. To recap: I nabbed an Ikea Mikael desk off of Craigslist. I didn't like the birch finish, so I painted it Sealcoat (a nice, dark, warm charcoal hue) by Sherwin-Williams. Since the desk fits the nook within inches, it had to be put together inside the nook. Let me tell ya... if you thought putting Ikea furniture together was a challenge, try putting it together inside a closet. The space was so tight I couldn't use tools – just my hands! It was a tricky, tricky challenge that involved crouching underneath the desk and uttering a few not-so-lovely words.

10 Renter-Friendly Ways to Add Color & Pattern to Your White Walls – without Paint!

Almost every renter or dorm dweller knows the challenge of decorating around walls. On the bright side, renter white can provide a clean, fresh backdrop for neutrals and colors alike. On the not-so-bright side, it can be a challenge to transform that clean slate from blah to flawless.

How to Style Brightly Colored Glasses | An Ozeal Eyeglasses Review

Some girls have a closet full of purses or a shelf full of shoes. My favorite fashion accessory happens to be frames. This girl loves her glasses – especially if they're bold, colorful, and fabulous. Like the Human Skull Red Crystal Glasses from Ozeal. This pair of red hot frames is my new favorite. A vibrant pair of specs can seem like a challenge to style – and the red gets me quite a few Sally Jessy Raphael references –  but I've been having a lot of fun styling them with different outfits for both work and play.

Closet Office Inspiration Board | My Apartment

I spent all day Saturday and part of Sunday painting the Ikea Mikael desk I scored on Craigslist last week. After much deliberation and flipping through paint swatches, I settled on a color. I was originally leaning toward a bright strawberry red, vibrant chartreuse, or mustard yellow. However, when I realized that the desk's dimensions were practically perfect for my bedroom closet / window nook, I changed my mind about the color altogether.

Vote! What color should I paint this desk?

I'm planning on tackling a desk project and I'd love YOUR input! I might be purchasing the above Ikea Mikael desk from a Craigslister. I'm going to check it out later today and if it's in good shape, it'll be going home with me. The birch isn't really my style, so I'm going to give the Mikael a makeover with some paint – and eventually a glass top. Problem is, I can't decide what color to paint it!

A Peek Inside My Purse: A Planner, Lipsticks, and Mason Jar... Oh my!

I'm a sucker for bloggers' "In My Purse" posts. Just like looking at someone's bookshelf to catch a glimpse of their personality, you can tell a lot about a lady's lifestyle by taking a peek into her handbag. So while I would never rummage through a random stranger's bag, I do snoop around on blogs and Pinterest for these personality glimpses. While I may not have the pricey name-brands found in the purses of Nicolette Mason or Cupcakes and Cashmere, it sure is fun to dump out the contents, take a pic, and do a post of my own.
Here's what's in my bag:
1. My new Daily Project planner from MochiThings. It's dateless – so I could start it in May! It's simple and chic on the inside. It's just the right size. And it's the loveliest shade of vintage chartreuse. I use a pretty, pink, patterned pen I found in the Target dolla' section to plan out my life. 

Exposed Brick + Vintage Style in this Downtown Iowa City Studio

Even though I'm totally in love with my apartment and don't plan on going anywhere else anytime soon, I have this habit of browsing Craigslist for available apartments. I like to swoon over lofts with river views and gush over Victorian units with more charm than mine. I like to admire sleek, modern spaces and crush on cute cottage duplexes. Every once in a while, I come across a real gem.

10 Ways to Add Theatrical Drama to Your Small Space

Last night some friends and I toured Cedar Rapids' historic Paramount Theatre. Built in the 1920's, the theatre displays the jazz era's opulence, extravagance, and drama – all beautifully preserved through the decades and restored after the devastating floods of 2008. From acting onstage to working tech backstage, I've been infatuated with the theatre since I was a little girl. Seeing historic, gorgeous theatres like this one takes my breath away and makes me really miss taking the stage. I especially adore the mingling of red velvet, gilt gold, and ornate patterns that create so much drama.

Color Board: Crimson & Coral, Hot Hues for Spring

Bring on the vibrant colors of warmer weather! This springtime, I'm crushing on coral and crimson colors. Juicy hues reminiscent of watermelons, strawberries, cherries, and apples are what I'm reaching for in my closet and in my apartment. I'm digging:
1. This WoodWick candle will add a splash of color and a juicy apple scent to your apartment.
2. I'm loving my new red glasses from Ozeal. (More to come on these specs in an upcoming post!)

10 Ways to Bring Victorian Style into Your Small Space

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of touring the lovely Brucemore Mansion in Cedar Rapids. As soon as I stepped foot into the stately, Victorian brick estate, I was transported out of 2014 and back into a much more graceful era. (If only I'd dressed for the occasion!) Our short tour took us through the main three levels of the house, including the library, dining room, reception hall, sewing room, nursery, and several bedrooms.

4 Perfect Patio Ideas for Decorating Your Deck or Balcony

Back when I was searching for my current apartment, I swapped out outdoor space for historical charm, proximity to downtown, and a great price. I love my place, but I envy you renters who have the luxury of a private balcony or patio to enjoy in the warmer months. With you in mind, I've curated four themes for turning your boring balcony, dull deck, or plain-Jane patio into a lovely space you'll enjoy all summer long.