How To Make a New House Feel Like Home

I recently moved to a new place, and when all of my things were in boxes, the rooms in my house mimicked how I felt: empty. When the physical remnants of your life and memories are packed away, a place that once felt so personal is just a bunch of bare wall space. Kinda sad, isn’t it?

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Fortunately, the following quick fixes make it easy to liven things up and make a new place feel like it’s always been yours (or even help your current living space feel extra homey!)

1. Get out those rubber gloves and clean

This sounds kind of common sense, right? Even if your place has already been cleaned pre move-in, the fresh smell of citrus or lavender that’s in so many cleaners helps liven up a new place and get rid of that cardboard box smell that often permeates the air when you move and drag along 30+ boxes with you.

Green Works by Clorox cleans great, smells fab, and is eco-friendly without harsh chemical fumes.

2. Make your bed

Get your sleep space set up on the first day of your move. It’ll give you some sense of normalcy even if everything around you is an unkempt disaster. And, if any of your bedding has been in storage, wash it if you can. No one wants to sleep surrounded by the smell of a box or mothballs, do they?

3. Organize that closet

I can’t tell you how much I scrambled around before work last week trying to find my umbrella! I was so overwhelmed by my lack of closet space that I let everything lay scattered on my floor for a week. Take it from me, it’s worth sucking it up and organizing your closet. You’ll feel like you’re at home when everything has its rightful place.

Check out great organizational solutions at The Container Store. Their closet experts can make the most hopeless closet space functional.

4. Stock your pantry

On our second “move” day, we made a Trader Joe’s run. Even though the lure and ease of a ton of restaurants in our neighborhood was tempting, there’s something about having a stocked fridge and pantry that just feels homey and comforting. Plus, we were able to cook dinner, which warmed the flat with some yummy scents.

5. Unpack some books, pictures, and knick-knacks

Nothing gives life to an empty room like your personal belongings and snapshots of the people you love.

6. But, if you don’t unpack anything else at first, set up your kitchen

Even if you’re not a huge cook, chances are you’re going to want a glass of water (or wine) or something to store your leftovers in. Plus, if you like to eat breakfast and/or bring your lunch to work, it’ll make things easier and save money you’d otherwise spend at eateries.

7. Plug it in and light it up

Back to scents: smells are the biggest memory triggers and can also release feel-good endorphins. So grab some wall plug-ins and candles in scents that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe it’s spicy cinnamon that reminds you of fall or a beachy scent that takes you back to your favorite vacation spot.

Bath & Body Works always has lots of wallflowers and candles in seasonal scents— often on sale!

8. Get inspired

Finally, you can always do what I’ve been doing in my spare time: scour Pinterest for decorating inspiration. I mean, don’t we all have a Pinterest dream home?

What have you done to make a new place feel more like home? What would your dream home look and feel like? Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. How to combine decorating tastes with your man.

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Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Day Survival Kit

One thing I loved about getting married at my parents’ house was that I didn’t have to worry about forgetting any wedding day essentials.  If you’re NOT getting hitched at home, it’s wise to put together an emergency kit to ensure that you look your best, no matter what curve balls are thrown your way.  (Gift Idea: Put them all in a cute case labeled “Wedding Day Survival Kit” and give a kit to each of your bridesmaids with a thank you card!)

Check out these must-haves for the big day:

Fashion Tape: don’t let a plunging neckline turn into a wardrobe malfunction

Safety Pins: straps break, bustles fall… keep a few different sizes on hand, just in case

Cinnamon Mints: did you know that cinnamon is a better bad-breath buster than mint?

Clear Nail Polish: stops runs in panty hose, keeps rhinestones in place if they start falling off your shoes, keeps nails from chipping

Bobby Pins: for stray hairs

Lip Balm: go for balm instead of gloss, so your lips look lustrous without being sticky

Oil Absorbing Sheets: to keep your face looking fresh in photos (and in real life!)

Bandaids: just in case those gorgeous wedding shoes of yours start to give you blisters

Q-tips: easily fix smudgy eye makeup, spray with hairspray to keep brows or stray hairs in place

Deodorant: dancing will make you sweat, I promise!

Wet Wipes: After the ceremony, I got dirt all over the back of my dress (from taking photos at a barn) and we were able to get it all off with wet wipes!  So handy…

What do you think of this survival kit?  Past brides: did I leave anything out?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Accessories to Help You Stand Out in the Office

I don’t need to tell you how much time you spend at work. No matter what you do (unless you’re Ryan Gosling’s tailor) you probably wish your job was a little bit better.  Or cuter.

These accessories are guaranteed to make your day a little brigher, and all are under $100!

On Your Desk

These pencil and pen organizers have adorable hand-crocheted covers with hand-embroidered labels.

Show visitors to your bookshelf how wise (and stylish) you are with these ceramic bookends.

If you you geek out over colors, trivia, gadgets, or even keeping notes, this desktop office block is for you. Described as an “interactive daykeeper,” this calendar features black, heat-sensitive squares that fade away to reveal fun trivia facts.  It’s certainly a fun pop of color for your cubicle.

Accessorize Yourself!

This summery bow belt is reminiscent of Kate Spade but priced more like Forever 21.

Similarly pink, this oversized necklace from Anthropologie  will perk you up on afternoons when you’d rather be at lunch with friends.

Add a little whimsy to a plain white button-up with this elephant print top from ASOS.

How do you bring your personality to your desk space?  Do you like wearing bold accessories to stand out at work?  Sound off in the comments!

P.S. Tips on dressing for the office.

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Have A Fabulously Long Weekend

What are you up to this holiday weekend, my sweets?  Travis and I are going camping!  I’m super excited; we both love to camp, but we didn’t have time to go last summer because we were planning our wedding.  I can’t wait to read by the lake, make s’mores, and spend a couple of night snuggled up by a bonfire.

Let’s kick off this weekend with some fun posts from around the web…

Mmmm… fruit pizza!

Non-white wedding dresses.

Which of these makeup looks is your fave?

A fun use for trendy summer neon.

How magical is this bed?!

Neat uses for old books.

Embrace messy hair!

And a few {bb} posts you may have missed…

A recipe for delicious homemade pesto.

How did you meet your significant other?

Would you rather: beauty edition.

Dream house.

See you back here on Tuesday!

How are you celebrating Memorial weekend?  Going out of town?  Hosting a shindig?  Catching up on sleep?  Share in the comments!

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How To: Make Your Own Terrarium

I’ve been dying to make my own terrarium for ages, and over the weekend, I finally took the time to do it!  Terrariums are easy to make, extremely low maintenance, and add a beautiful touch to any room.  Here’s the step by step…

You will need:

1) Potting soil     2) A terrarium (or canister of any kind)     3) Pebbles     4) Succulents and/or cactus     5) A figurine or character of some kind

My terrarium is made to hang and the globe shape wouldn’t sit upright on the table, so I put it in a cereal bowl while I added everything inside :)  Start with 1-2″ of rocks.

Follow that with about 2″ of potting soil.

Remove your plants and arrange them in your terrarium, making sure you dig the roots into the soil a bit.

Cover with more potting soil, then place your figurine in the front.

Put your terrarium on display and enjoy!

To maintain: simply check the pebbles at the bottom.  If they’re wet, no need to water them.  If they’re dry, add a tiny bit of water and you’re done!

What do you think of my terrarium?  Would you make one of your own?  What kind of character or figurine would you add to yours?  Tell me about it in the comments!

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