5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MOVE

Moving is a process, and that’s taking it lightly. Whether you’re buying or renting it takes a lot of work to get to the anticipated moving day. A lot of the work can be done before you reach that one exciting and frightful day and the more of it you do the better!

They say failing to plan is planning to fail right? That goes for moving times 10! In order to make this process easier for you, here are some simple tips and tricks to make moving day better for you:

  1. Account for all costs before committing – There tend to be a lot of hidden or unexpected costs when it comes to actually moving out of one space and into another. Maybe it’s a moving truck, dollies, movers; maybe its boxes and packing peanuts, whatever you’re needing, it adds up.   Even a weekend of pizza and paper plates while unpacking can be an unexpected cost that inevitably happens. Instead of watching your bank account slowly fade away, plan for these costs the same way you plan for a down payment or first and last months rent. It’s all costs you can’t really avoid, so be ready and set those funds aside early in your search process so your funds stay in check.
  2. Use your current home as a tool – Once you’ve committed to moving, it’s fun to start visualizing how great it will be to get there. Instead of jumping to your new home, use your current home and how you use it to your advantage. Do you have that closet full of ‘who knows what,’ or that shelf of kitchen tools with parts mismatched? Yeah, me too! Use how you use your current home as a guide to declutter; there’s no use bringing old junk to your new digs.
  1. Pack yourself, move with others – The most frustrating part of moving can be losing track of where things are. In order to avoid that extra headache of searching later, pack yourself. Let your friends, family or movers help physically move instead of packing to move. That way you’ll have a better idea of which box the coffee pot ended up in – you’ll need to unpack that first anyway.
  1. Delegate where you can – Hiring movers is the best way to delegate and its worth every penny. They won’t have other ideas or overstep their boundaries with opinions that loved ones may; use this to your advantage so your stress level moving day is slightly lower.
  2. Start today – Once you’ve committed to your moving date, there’s work to be done! Start with out of season clothing or your bookshelves and work backwards in usage. Getting your non-daily items done early will make everything orderly and manageable.

Your moving day will be here before you know it and the less work you have the night before the better. So plan ahead, and use these tips as soon as you’re able so moving day is easier to celebrate.

Our Design Plan – The Living Room

And so it begins! Since I’ve been doing very little except planing and waiting patiently to move April 1st, I thought I would share a bit of our room by room design plan.  It’ll be a fun way to look back as we start to execute and get settled.

Our first priority for our new home is having a main functional living room that reflects who we are and optimizes the space we have.  It’s a smaller room that will act as the main heart of the apartment, so we need it to carry on a lot of jobs.  Ultimately, we need more storage, more seating than the floor plans account for, and something we love for years to come.

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The building is also an old school house, so the charm of the old floors and high ceilings are too great not to celebrate.  Since it is a small space, and still a rental for us, I’ve been working on getting my creative juices flowing to think outside of the box and get all we want without breaking the bank.

If you missed it, I talked earlier this week a bit about starting the design process and approaching that blank slate with a proactive mindset.  So I started with my Pinterest Board for this space first, and broke down what we like and how we want our space to feel.

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From here I knew we wanted neutrals, texture, and an industrial style that matched the charm the space carries on its own.  The main gist of the Pinterest Board was pattern and neutrals; more of a masculine/urban feel.  From here, I took a more purposeful approach to an inspiration board and that helped get us one step closer to what we wanted.  living-room1

We also know we want to use the same sofa and recliner we already own.  They are in perfect condition and theres just no reason to start over when we don’t need to – so I approached the next decisions knowing the vibe we wanted while incorporating the pieces we already own.

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Once Tommy and I talked about the final mood board and narrowed in on some minor tweaks, I finalized the feel with a visual idea of space in the room.

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It matches our style, where we started with our Pinterest boards, and who we are perfectly.  I have one more larger scale project in mind for this space – but that’s a story for another day.

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AN OSCAR’S WORTHY COCKTAIL

It’s oscars season and it’s one of my favorite awards show to watch.  I have seen most of the nominated movies in anticipation and its always a fun night to see the outfits, wins and speeches.

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This year we’re starting a tradition in our home of cocktails and Taco Bell and I am so looking forward to a cheat and treat night in.

Since our menu is done and all the food prep needed is a run to our favorite fast food joint, I am having a bit of fun with our drinks.  In honor of the golden oscar award, I’m making a golden drink with a bit of glamour. It’s part mimosa part fruit smoothie and fully delicious.

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YOUR HOW TO
Ingredients:
Mango
Limes
Prosecco
Triple Sec
Mint garnish

In a blender blend fresh mango and the juice of 1 lime and blend until smooth.  Pour the fruit puree into champagne flutes.  Top with a splash of triple sec and fill to the top with prosecco. Garnish with mint and enjoy!oscars-cocktail

It’s the perfect ‘golden’ drink for any red carpet viewing party.

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How to Start the Design Process

 

A lot of times, the hardest part of the design process is staring at a blank slate.  There are too many options and decisions to be made all at once that it can be overwhelming.  Finding ‘your style’ isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but here are some tips and tricks to help get the process started.

  1. Utilize Pinterest

Pinterest is the best tool to find things that know you already like.  If you’re able to filter by space or function, it’s even better! If needed, start a new board and go through things you’ve already pinned, repining them to your new board, narrowing in on your needs.  This is the best way to get a clearer vision of what you’d like without having to make decisions quite yet, plus it’s a good way to validate all those hours you’ve spent aimlessly scrolling through the site.

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  1. Step Back

Now that everything you’re inspired by is all centrally located in a Pinterest board, take a step back from it.  Zoom out the internet browser and get a visual of as many ideas as possible at once.  Look for similarities or overlapping ideas you may have liked in multiple spaces.  Is there a lot of one color, style, or repeating accents? Identifying the repetitive styles will give you a great place to start narrowing in on your plans.

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  1. What already exists

Take a minute to wrap your head around what you already own.  This is (clearly) the best way to save money and a lot of times what you already own can be transformed into what you’re looking for now. Compare what you own to your Pinterest boards and see what matches or what could match.  Some paint or new fabric can transform a lot of whats already an option for you – theres always an opportunity to make an old piece fit your new style with some DIY muscle.

  1. Just go

Now you have an idea of what you like, what you have, and where you want your space to go. Now, just do it. Trust your style and try new things – starting is the best place to start.

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DIY KNIT THROW PILLOW

One of the easiest ways to transform a space is adding extra texture.  This can be through blankets, curtains, wood, metallic accents and so much more.  It always adds visual excitement and gives the feeling of warmth thats especially perfect this time of year.

A throw pillow can add the perfect amount texture but some of these options can be pricey.  Here are some really great warm and wintery options that add the perfect pop of texture and warmth, they are just outside of my accent pillow price range..

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While wandering the aisles of my local Forever 21 however, i found this winter scarf on sale for $6.45 and fell in love with its visual texture.

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I am always trying to find new ways to use everyday items but this one was clearly made to be transformed into a throw pillow.  Its the perfect size and it has the most wonderful silky touch.  A minimal about of creativity and DIY effort transformed this scarf into the knit throw pillow I was looking for but under $10! Winner.

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Find any neck winter scarf in your local sales bins to make something similar and follow along below to get the same look.

Supplies:
Knit ring scarf
Scrap fabric in coordinating color
Pillow Stuffing
Cashmere like Yarn (I found mine for under $2.00 on ebay in the perfect color)

First cut the spare fabric into 2 squares the same size as the scarf for an inner lining, since the knit pattern of the scarf I used was so wide, this was necessary to hold in the stuffing over time.  I sewed the lining first to the inside of the scarf, added the stuffing and sewed the scarf to itself to close both openings.  After a bit of fluffing, your throw pillow is complete!

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Incorporating textural pieces like this to your daily decor adds a feeling of expense, and doing it yourself keeps that expense way down.

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OUR NEW HOME

I’ve been talking a lot about moving here lately, and as I am sure you’ve caught on, we’re moving!  It’s been a major topic of conversation in our lives since deciding to take the plunge and so I thought I’d share a bit more about our end result.

We live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and are blessed to able to live in one of our favorite cities. Since it’s such a special place to us, and since both our families are in the suburbs nearby, moving was never going to take us far.

One of our favorite parts of this city is a neighbor called South Philadelphia; it’s where we spend all our spare time and where we look forward to getting to again and again. When we started thinking about moving, this was the first part of the city that came to mind and we started searching immediately. It’s a big step to move, especially when its not too far away, but its something I knew we’d regret 10 years from now.

After months of searching for a place, and really narrowing in on our must haves and ideal streets, we found the perfect little place for us. I wanted to share some blank slate pictures of our new home before we make it ours. It’s a gem and it’s ours, even if it’s “just” a rental.

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Master Bedroom
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I hope you’ll come back, check in, and see what’s to come for this little apartment of ours. I have big plans and I think they’ll inspire you and your loved ones to take on some similar projects too. If nothing else, I hope you check back in to see more of these windows – they are just swoon worthy.

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HAND PAINTED HANDBAG

I love finding deals and steals on things that are almost great.  These kinds of buys make the perfect DIY projects and a little effort can go along way.

Please see exhibit one: this navy handbag was a $6.00 Primark find after I broke the zipper on a previous crossover bag.  It was fine, but not really noteworthy.

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Using some multi-surface craft paint and a steady hand, I  added this funky line detail with a small brush and upped its wow factor.

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If you’re looking for inspiration for patterns to use, use google images or Pinterest and search for fabric patterns.  Its a great way to find a simple and visually exciting pattern ideas for an use.

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It’s the perfect addition to a color neutral outfit that the plain navy bag just didn’t offer.

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Any discount product store will have similar bags too! Find a style that suits you and then jazz it up – it turns into a whole new piece that’s one of a kind.

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