Easy Margherita Pizza + Yogurt Dessert

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to California Pizza Kitchen frozen margherita pizzas.  Like, I can eat the whole thing myself.  And I do.  But with my mission to eat healthier, I've put a stop to that pizza binge.  I knew I'd have California Pizza withdrawals, so I racked my brain for a tasty alternative.  What is a margherita pizza, anyway?  It's basically dough and mozzarella and tomato and basil. 

Win $50 To Get Organized | Apartment Guide's Lost & Found: Do You Know Where Your Things Are? (Closed)

Source: The Container Store

And the winner is... 

Ellen B.

(Congrats, Ellen! I'll be in touch with info about your prize!)

**This giveaway is now closed.**


Sunday Evening: Tea, Candlelight, Birdsong | This Is Lovely, No. 1

This is a lovely little series I'm starting. It's for whenever I feel like sharing something
just lovely. The simple pleasures in my life, like this Sunday evening in particular. 


DIY Multi-Tasking Desktop Organizer | Lost & Found: Do You Know Where Your Things Are? (Closed)

Do-it-yourself multi-tasking desktop organizer.  Now that's a mouthful.  As part of my partnership with Apartment Guide for the Lost & Found: Do You Know Where Your Things Are? Blogger Program, I was assigned a mission to create a rental-friendly organization project.  I got to thinking about what organization challenges I faced myself.  Much of it came down to paper: magazines, documents, homework, cards, craft scraps, etc.  Paper piles up on the desk and other surfaces.  So I wanted a way---well, a pretty way---to organize it.  


Attic Bedroom Inspiration


Hey lovelies!  I'm blogging today with exciting news.  As I believe I've mentioned before, my lease in my current apartment will be up this summer.  I've been searching high and low in this expensive college town for a studio within my budget.  Unfortunately, everything I found was either outrageously expensive or in the ghetto.  Haha.  But, I did find my next apartment!  It's not a studio...

Make It Work: 9 Ways to Style a Chrome Shelving Unit

Shelley sent me this email,
"Hi Jessica, I am absolutely crazy over your blog... you are so inspirational! I have a shelf dilemma I need help with! I have a a metal shelving unit that looks a little bit like this (photo above), but taller: I am moving into a new apartment with some of my girlfriends and we are all tight on cash, so we want to use what we already have! My only problem is that this shelving unit is just so... industrial! I have more of a cozy, traditional style and looooooove color! I just don't know how to make this unit more homey and cute! Thanks from a fan!"

Funny you should mention that shelving unit, Shelley!  I actually used to have the same one.  It's a shiny chrome shelf from Target that is as easy to assemble as it is easy on the budget.  Too bad it's just not so easy on the eyes!


Sorority by the Sea | Reader Request

I love a challenge.  Even more, I love helping you lovely readers get inspired to make your dorms and apartments as lovely as possible.  So when I got this email, it totally made my morning:

Hi Jessica,
I love your blog and design style so much! I was hoping you could help my sorority sisters and I out with some decorating advice. For our bedroom, we've agreed on a nautical theme with navy blue, white, and yellow. I was wondering if you had any ideas that could make the space comfortable and stylish?


April Indulgences

Just a short post today since I have lots to do with a special do-it-yourself project and Girl Next Dorm Magazine. :)  So I'm rounding up my normal monthly list of favorites.  This month, it's all about indulging a little here and there.


Tonight: ABC's Titanic

Ok, ok.  I'm jumping aboard (haha, get it?) the rekindled Titanic craze.  But not for seeing Kate and Leo in 3D, lassies.  I've got something else to be giddy about.  Picture this:  Downton Abbey + Titanic.


Are Photos of Your Messy Apartment Worth $3000? ForRent.com Thinks So!

Confession time.  Sometimes my room gets a little messy.  Ok, well... if we're telling the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth, my room is in a state of creative chaos 90% of the time.


Pure Home: It All Starts with Color

I love interactive interior design sites.  Quizzes that pinpoint style, tools that help pick out colors, galleries that suggest furniture... I just can't resist.  So naturally, when I heard about the new website Pure Home... I just had to give it a try.  Pure Home guides users through the decorating process by starting at square one: color.  Now that's a philosophy I can get on board with. 

The Carrie Diaries

Have you heard of the CW's upcoming series The Carrie Diaries?  The tv series is a prequel to Sex & the City, centering on a young Carrie Bradshaw's senior year of high school.  AnnaSophia Robb has been cast as the young Carrie and I think she looks stunning in this photo.  The outfit! The hair! The heels!  Sooo very Carrie.  This fabulous photo caught my eye and I just had to share.  (Thanks Belle on the Boulevard!)



DIY Quickie: Fabric Covered Sketchbook in College & Cook Magazine

I love myself a good diy project.  Given unlimited funds and free time, I'd be crafting up a storm 24/7.  But that isn't so.  So to indulge in my inner do-it-herselfer, sometimes I just have to whip up a diy quickie.  Spray paint is my favorite instant gratification (craftification?).  But occasionally I run out of things to spray paint.  So the nifty little project I contributed to the new Spring issue of College & Cook Magazine is a perfect stand-in for spray painting binges. 


30 Simple Ways to Feel Lovely

A lovely reader recently tweeted at LU, asking that I write a piece about confidence and those "ugly" days that can make a girl feel so lost.  I love being given inspiration that knocks the writer's (or blogger's) block right outta my system.

We all have those days, don't we?  Perhaps it starts off when your hair just won't cooperate or it seems like you have nothing to wear.  You feel like sliding into your sweatpants, jumping back into bed, and pulling the covers over your head---hoping to not see the light of day for just 24 hours.  Often, it comes down to something more than a bad hair day and outward appearance.  Usually, it's emotion at the core.  Sometimes you just don't feel lovely.  Sometimes you feel a little lost.  Well, consider this your special pep talk from Lovely Undergrad.  I've rounded up my favorite ways to turn that frown upside down, to turn that slouch into a strut, and to turn a lost day of feeling "ugly" into a rescued day of happiness and confidence.

1. Coffee.  Studies show (forgive me, I misplaced the source---but I've read this all over lately in several magazines) that women who drink three cups of coffee daily are less prone to feelings of depression.  So roll outta bed, put on the coffee pot, and get some java pumping through your veins.

2. Eat breakfast.  Whip yourself up something special.  Or make your regular feel special.  Make a delicious omelet or French toast.  Or eat your cereal out of a pretty porcelain bowl with the fanciest spoon from your drawer.  Make the ordinary feel a little extraordinary.


Lauren's Happily Inspired 500 Sq. Foot Studio

Lauren's tiny studio apartment is exactly the kind of studio that makes me want one of my own.  I love her choice of colors (the orange, the green, the pops of red!) and her mixing of vintage (chair) with antique (trunk) with contemporary (sofa). 


Kimberly Lewis' Organized, Eclectic Alcove

Wallpaper designer Kimberly Lewis inhabits this lovely little alcove studio in Brooklyn, NY.  Her space is loaded with ideas for furniture layout, storage solutions, and pretty decor.  I love the photo above because it shows three major sections of the room.  The closest (from which the perspective is shot) is the dining area.  It merges into the living room.  And then beyond the black modular bookcase is a small bedroom nook.



Apply for Girl Next Dorm!

Wanna write, design, photograph, social network, or just get involved with Lovely Undergrad's new online magazine Girl Next Dorm?  We're still taking applications!  Seize this chance to be part of the loveliest new online magazine on the block.   (above image via: here.)


DIY Magazine File Makeover

As I've confessed before, I'm a magazine hoarder collector.  So it's not a surprise that my room is overflowing with magazines.  I literally have some bags and boxes of magazines stored away and just keep my favorite ones out within reach.  At One Man's Junk, one of my favorite little shops to pick up vintage goodies, I spotted a metal vertical paper sorter.  Unfortunately, I'm really bad at taking before photos.  (I get so excited that I just start painting!)  But it looked something like this (at right.)  That grayish beigey color.  Quite boring.  But oh-so-functional.  I gave it couple coats of my favorite bright red Rustoleum spray paint.  Then, when I was trying to figure out where to put it in my room... I placed it on its side while gathering up some magazines.  Turns out, I loved the way it looked turned on its side and placed on my window sill behind my chair.  So now it houses my favorite issues of HGTV magazine, Cottage Style, Do It Yourself, and (of course!) Domino. 



$1 DIY Chair Mini-Makeover | Before + After

As I mentioned in my room tour, my space is a perpetual work in progress.  I always have a diy project up my sleeve and a list of changes to make.  One of those things I've been itching to cross off of my to-do list?  A bedroom chair.  I've been longing for a sweet little vintage chair for a certain corner of my bedroom (between my nightstand and closet).  So I've been searching high and low.  Seriously.  This girl has been on a mission to thrift.  

Friday morning, I hit up One Man's Junk, my favorite vintage/antique store in town.  And I spotted this little charmer in the back room.  He's so handsome.  Big enough to be comfy, small enough to not take up valuable floor space.  Lightweight.  Retro.  The green color of the upholstery is a match made in heaven with the green in my bed quilt.  And I'm a sucker for caning.  

I gave this $20 baby a mini-makeover for just $1. That one little dollar purchased a bottle of Americana acrylic paint in "True Red."  With a foam brush, I applied three coats of the red paint... letting it dry between layers.  Here's the chair after its mini-makeover:

 I think the chair makes a great improvement to that corner of my room, which once looked like this:

Kinda disorganized.  The bucket of shoes sitting on top of two storage ottomans.  Just all thrown together.

Now, it's a perfect spot to sit down with a magazine.  And the bucket tucks nicely underneath.  Big improvement.  :)