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Showing posts from February, 2016

Can't splurge on a Smeg appliance? Save on these more affordable options

Smeg. The word – err, the brand – pretty much sums up #HouseGoals for me. Show me a kitchen with one of those curvy, delightfully-colored, retro-inspired fridges and I'm instantly swooning. Brownie points if it's that lovely shade of minty blue-green. (image above via Design*Sponge)
But if you're a just-starting-out young professional like me – renting an apartment and strapped by a pretty tight budget – chances are good that Smeg appliances must remain a Pinterest-fueled daydream for now.

Decorating on the Cheap: 10 Ways I Save Money on Decor (and you can, too!)

I love decorating. And truly, I love decorating on a budget... not despite my budget.

"You spent how much?! You bought that where?"

Decorating on a budget means getting creative, getting thrifty, and getting my DIY on.

Which of PPG's 2016-17 paint color trends is your fave?

I get pretty excited every year when decor forecasters and paint companies announce their color trends for the year. Do I ever really follow the trends and incorporate them just because they're trendy? Nah, not really. I tend to decorate with the colors I love – regardless of "popularity" status. But boy do I love waiting to find out if one of my beloved colors ends up on a list!

Flora Overload (AKA: Is it spring yet?!)

Brace yourselves. I'm about to unleash some seriously saturated flower power. I'm about to go all-out garden-party on you. I've been cooped up for far too long through this snowy, shivering Iowa winter – and the fleeting fifty-degree temps we enjoyed this past weekend gave me some serious spring fever. Don't say I didn't warn you. ;)
(image above: Deer Circus)

6 Ways to Hide a Bulletin Board

From the coral and turquoise color combination to an inspiring view of my Birth of Venus folding screen, I really love having moved my office into the front room. It's brighter, less isolated, and vibrantly colored to fuel creativity. All in all, it's a great space to walk straight into after work – and perfectly situated for evening blogging or writing.

Casey's Thrifty, DIY-Inspired Apartment

I love hearing from readers like you who want to share their lovely living space on the blog -- readers like Casey, who has tuned into The Lovely Side since her freshman year of college. After gathering inspiration from spaces featured here, she incorporated them into her own space. And today, I get to take you on a little tour of the cheerful one-bedroom she shares with her boyfriend and two cats, Meredith Grey and Paul Revere. (I just love those names!)

Cumin Lime Chickpeas | Recipe Recommendation

I'm kicking off a new mission in my life: to prepare more of my meals and to eat more mindfully. And I'll be sharing recipe recommendations with you here on the blog!
I'm doing this for several reasons. 1) My insides. I occasionally suffer acid reflux, and last fall I had a bout with diverticulitis. (It was awful.) Both of these conditions are all-too-easily affected by what I put in my mouth and when.

Decorate like Scarlett | A Guide to Adding 'Gone with the Wind' Elegance to Your Space

Gone with the Wind is my favorite movie. And like most of my favorite movies, my love affair with the film was sparked by its beautiful sets. I distinctly remember two things I fell head over heels for at the age of seven or eight, when I first watched this movie: First, those green velvet drapes that Scarlett turned into an elegant gown. Second, Rhett Butler. I've loved curtains and that irresistible cad ever since.

Treat Yourself this Valentine's Day with Scent Trunk

Romantically involved or not, Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse to spoil yourself a little bit. One of my favorite things to treat myself to is a nice fragrance. It's one of those things that I like to pick out for myself because I have a picky nose and a family member, friend, or significant other might not know which scents I love (almond, vanilla, peony) and which I loathe (powder, rose, patchouli). 
The downside to standing in the beauty department trying out perfumes? For one, it's overwhelming. I try on fragrances, get them mixed up, and can't remember which was which. And two, it does take out the element of surprise. Would it be fun if you could treat yourself and still be surprised?

Winter Dry Skin Solutions: Dr. Teal's Lavender Epsom Salt

Winter wreaks havoc on my skin. The cold air and dry heat join forces, leaving me with dry, flaky, itchy skin – especially on my arms and legs. One day, I looked at my arm and saw legit scales flaking off. Horrifying. I tend toward dry skin anyway. (So much so that I actually love summer humidity... it makes my skin feel so soft!) But in these harsh Iowa winters, I have to take extra care to make sure I don't dry up by springtime.
My go-to methods: exfoliating and moisturizing. I was thrilled to be selected for Influenster's recent Cheers to You VoxBox because inside, I received a full-sized bag of Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution – the lavender "Soothe and Sleep" scent!

7 Decor "Trends" that I'll Never Let Go (and 4 that I won't touch)

One of my least favorite posts to see on decorating blogs is the typical "10 Trends on the Way Out" or "5 Home Design Trends that are Soooo Last Year." Maybe it's because I have a problem with the negative spin -- more positive "15 Trends to Try in Your Home this Year" don't grind my gears. But mostly, it's because I don't like when decorating blogs and magazines tell people exactly how to decorate their homes. Those sources should be just that -- sources of inspiration, not discouragement.

To each their own. (It applies to decorating, too!)