a homier home

So I know that I’ve been promising this post for ages, but it’s finally here! Because I’m such a homebody, it’s really important to me to create a home that I truly enjoy being in and actually feels like home. So below I’ve shared photos of the majority of the decor in our home. Everything pictured below is still a work in progress, I’m constantly adding and moving things but I thought it was finally time to share where we’re at now. I’ll add more details about each space below but just a few general tips:

  • Frames – Check out stores like Ross, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx to find cheaper photo frames. I personally haven’t gotten a chance to do this but also check out your local dollar store! If I see something I like, I usually just pick it up and worry about what I’m going to actually put in it afterwards.
  • Gifts – As you’ll see when I describe each photo below, a good number of things we have around our apartment were actually wedding gifts from friends. While we didn’t request anything like that, I think people just thought to give us gifts like this because they knew we were starting a new home together. If you have a birthday, graduation, etc coming up and someone asks what you’d like, you can ask them to give you a gift for your home that they think describes your personality. It’s so nice to have things around our house from people who mean so much to us.
  • Souvenirs – In the past year or so, hubby and I have been lucky enough to travel to a couple places around the country. We have a mug collection so we buy a mug from every city we’ve visited together. But I also really like buying ‘functional’ souvenirs for our home. You’ll see a calendar below that we picked up at the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
  • Thrift/Antique Shops – I’m a big believer in supporting small and local businesses so these shops are one of my favorites. I’ve picked up a few of the pieces around our home from a local antique shop.

As an amateur photographer, I really enjoy taking photos during our travels. I mostly photograph architecture but occasionally I get really great photos of hubby (left). I love printing these photos and putting them in various frames I’ve picked up while shopping. This is probably my favorite wall in our apartment. When studying gets to be too much (and feels like it’ll never end) I love having this reminder of all the fun places we’ve been to and that we’ll continue to do so. I still have to pick up a couple more frames to add shots from our trip to Northern California last week. The letters were used at my bridal shower and I painted the two letters a couple months ago (same paint that I used for the cork boards in a previous post!).
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DIY: gettin’ corky 

I’ve recently been more interested in DIY projects to make our home homier. We’ve been in this apartment for just over a year but I’m still constantly moving things around/adding things. I’ll be doing a post soon on home decor with photos of where we’re at now and tips on how to work on your home while on a budget.

Doing arts/crafts is such a great study break and I love envisioning projects and seeing how they turn out. It’s definitely nice to use the right side of my brain every so often because it’s pretty neglected and as our learning coach once said to me ‘you need an outlet for your creative side’ so here we are!

In college, I had cork boards above my bed with photos, concert tickets, movie stubs, event flyers, etc. but doing that in my ‘grown up’ apartment just felt a little immature so I wanted to do something to class it up. I had this matte teal acrylic paint leftover from a previous project and the cork boards from my college apartment so of course I started painting them during study breaks while I watched TV. Most of the furniture in our apartment is a dark chocolaty brown and I love how the teal looks against it. It compliments the brown really well and also makes the apartment brighter with a pop of color.

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july favorites

When I first started watching beauty gurus on YouTube, my favorite videos to watch were monthly favorites. It’s pretty much how I learned about new products that I wanted to try and they usually worked out for me. So I thought it would be cool if I did the same on the blog. I’m probably not going to do this every month because I mostly use the same products so it’d be pretty redundant but I’ll probably do them every so often.

Beauty Favorites – I have oily combination skin so keep that in mind when reading the reviews of these products!

  • Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Oil Free in Light/Medium – This product is a bit of a misnomer because the ‘cream’ has a relatively runny consistency and feels more like liquid foundation. The packaging isn’t the greatest – it would probably be better off with a pump style container. BUT I’ve been using this BB cream as my go-to casual ‘foundation’ for years now, pretty much since I started using make up regularly, and I absolutely love it. It gives me the perfect amount of coverage and is extremely light so it’s perfect for every day use. I use it throughout the year and it can be a bit drying during the winter so I’m a bit more generous with my moisturizer (below) during those months.
  • Botanics Shine Away Mattifying Day Cream SPF 15 – I had literally been searching for a moisturizer for my strange oily but not oily skin for yeaaaars until I stumbled upon this jar of goodness at Target. This is probably the product I’ve repurchased the most in my life (I’m pretty sure I’m on my seventh or eighth jar at the moment). I have to say that I don’t think this moisturizer is actually mattifying BUT after using various moisturizers for years, I’m happy to finally have a product that doesn’t leave my skin even oilier.
  • Essie Matte Topcoat “Matte About You” – I’ve stepped up my nail game recently and I have this weird thing where, despite having many colors to choose from, I stick to the same three or four nail polishes. So I’ve been in this in between stage of being bored with my favorites but also not wanting to try something new – perfect solution: matte topcoat, makes things different but not too different. I picked up the NYC matte topcoat a few years ago but it never really did the trick so I decided to purchase this Essie one. This topcoat is absolutely perfect! It goes well over any color and dries almost immediately. I’ve been playing with my nails all week because I’m obsessed!

Fashion Favorites

  • LOFT Jumpsuit – This jumpsuit has definitely been one of my favorites this summer. It’s such an easy outfit to ‘put together’ because you literally just put on shoes and you’re done. I love the color and that the fabric is super airy. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available on the website but I did see them in a couple Loft stores in the past few weeks so check it out if you have the chance!
  • H&M Booties – These booties have been getting a lot of love this summer too! I love pairing them with leggings and oversized shirts (that’s exactly what I wore today…). It’s such an easy way to make any casual outfit a bit dressier and I know it sounds weird but I actually like wearing these in the summer. The California sun has definitely done it’s number on my feet over the years and wearing these booties helps protect them from further damage.

Random Favorites

  • Necklace stand – Until recently I thought of myself as someone who didn’t really wear jewelry much until I realized that I’m actually just really lazy. Ever since we moved to this apartment, my jewelry has been stashed away in a box under the sink where I never give it a second thought. I realized that I would actually wear it somewhat regularly if I actually remembered it existed… so I purchased this lovely necklace stand for my necklaces. Most of my necklaces are quite long so this tall stand was perfect and it goes really well with the stand I recently purchased for my bracelets. I’ll be doing a post on home decor/organization some time in the future so I’ll share more on those things in the future.

I hope you all enjoyed a bit on some of my favorite products this summer! We’ll be leaving on vacation in a few days and then I’ll start second year as soon as we’re back so things will probably slow down a bit around the blog. I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s joined me this summer and I hope that you all stick around for the long haul! As usual, if there are any posts that you’d like to see specifically, please share!

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Hope you’re all enjoying your summers!