July 23, 2014

A Peek Into Our Home

Hello there! This view look familiar?

Even though we've been living in Apt. 52 for almost 2 months now, I've barely let you in past the front door so far. Whoops...but can you blame me? We have been up to our ears in boxes, and I didn't want to start showing anything off until we had things a little more pulled together. 

Well, friends? Today is the day. Come on in ;)

I cleaned up for you all, but only a little. I want you to feel like you're really friends here, and you never deep-clean for your true friends - right? Right. 

We live in 900 square feet of urban glory. The space isn't the newest or nicest, but we are right in the middle of the city and we love it. You've seen the kitchen before and that's where our apartment starts, so let's go right to the dining room.

...Oh, what the heck. Here's the kitchen again.

And nowwww to the dining room. Our table is a little bigger than normal right now because of the company that we had on Saturday. We kind of like how  roomy it is, though, so it might stay like this!

Here's the view from my seat at the table - bonus points if you can spot the family pet or the blue dishes!

When you're in the kitchen or at the far end of the living room, you can see all the way through - it's three small spaces! I love that each one flows into the next. There's a little hallway where that white door is that goes to the guest room and the laundry, and the door to our room is right behind where we're standing now.

Oh, and let me point something out in case you missed it - 

 That's right - the apartment originally had a little glass shelf over the fireplace that we didn't have a lot of confidence in, so Steve and his dad made it a weekend project to replace it! I love the mantle that he designed and built - it's gorgeous! Also love living somewhere where the owners have given us permission to make a few small changes.

Here's another view of that room you're standing in right now. Surprise - we have a patio! We haven't started cleaning up that area yet or adding furniture, but I can already tell you that it's one of my favorite spots. We'll have to wait till later for pictures of that...or you'll just have to come and visit us! Deal?

I've loved having you over today, friends! I know it's always fun for me to see little pieces of where people live, so I'm glad that I got to share our new space with you too.


July 21, 2014

On My Mind

1. Remember that time I said I wanted to make cinnamon ice cream? I found something better.

The Blue Dishes may be many things, but the hope of this baby becoming a food blog is becoming smaller and smaller. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'm pretty sure you can't write recipes where you just go to Target and buy whatever you're craving.

And since you're wondering...yes. It's delicious.

2. Our apartment is CLEAN!  I know you've gotten a sneak peak of our living room before, but here it is again. If you had seen it last week with the boxes piled high...well, friend, you would be SO impressed right now.

We accidentally invited a few friends over on Saturday night, and then realized that we still had a looong road of cleaning/unpacking/settling. Yikes. This turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise, though, because a little company + a rainy day resulted in our apartment getting almost completely unpacked, and we finally feel settled in. Anyone want a virtual tour?

3. We have this newlywed tradition of eating pizza and watching netflix every Sunday night. Last week, we broke tradition by eating Chinese food instead of pizza. Last night, we broke tradition again by watching the Lego Movie instead of our standard Scandal. Steve said it was his favorite movie that he's ever seen. That's all.

4. Are you guys familiar with Sole Society? They have gorgeous shoes, bags, and accessories - with free shipping and easy returns! I've been looking through their bags but can't decide for the life of me. A little help, please?

I'm looking for a little bit of an oversized bag that could hold a computer and notebook, but isn't too big to be a day-to-day purse. Check out them online: A, B, and C. If you'd like to do some shopping of your own, use my invite! I haven't bought much from them, but their sale section might have me hunting around a little more. 

5. Last thing for today - If you haven't filled out the survey, you have one more chance. So far the readers of this little blog are 99% women and 1% my husband, so gentlemen: this is your chance to shine. Let your voice be heard.

You can fill out the survey HERE. If you've already filled it out, thanks! You rock!

How was your weekend, friends? Did you have a lazy cleaning/movie watching/ice cream eating weekend like us? Fill me in!


July 16, 2014

Organizing a Small Kitchen

I've already told you a little about our apartment, and you know that it's a work in progress. I posted about some of the projects that are on our list a little while ago, but today is your first update!

We went apartment shopping a few months before the wedding - my lease ended in May and Steve's ended in June, so our window was pretty ideal! It was fun and exciting to look around for the first place that we would live together. We narrowed it down by neighborhood, but other than that we only had a few requirements -
  1. Close to the middle of the city - the neighborhoods right in the middle of Charlotte were the best for us because of where we work, but we also love being 'city people.' 
  2. Guest room if possible We wanted a little extra space, and we also want people to come visit us!
  3. Kitchen. It wasn't a deal breaker, but we cook too much to not think about it. Storage space, counter space, and layout were all important.

Did we end up in an apartment that was right in the middle of the city? Yes. Love it. Did we get a guest room? Yes again - we're on a roll!

Did we get a spacious, open kitchen with a warm-but-modern style and copious amounts of counter space?

Well...not quite.

We are young and newlyweds and all "who needs a big kitchen anyway?", though, so this wasn't a dealbreaker for us, and we decided that the small kitchen was worth the perfect location/great rent/adorable everything else.

That being said, one of our first projects to tackle was getting this space as organized as possible. The biggest thing we did? Add a bookcase.

It sounds a little crazy, right? You would think that all my kitchen organization tips-and-tricks would be happening inside the kitchen, but when we saw this beauty at Target we knew it could solve a few problems for us.

The living space in our apartment - kitchen, dining room, and living room - are all right in a row and only separated by partial walls. The kitchen flows naturally into the dining room, which flows naturally into the living room. So, after we brought the bookcase home from Target and put it together, we moved it right into the dining room so that it could help our with our kitchen issues! We were most worried about the counter space and storage space in our kitchen, and this bookcase was the perfect solution for both of those.

The little bit of counter space that we had was pretty chopped up by the sink/stove/fridge, and when we moved in there was a microwave sitting on some primo real estate in that back left corner. We set up a powerstrip under the bookcase and moved the microwave to the back corner of the top surface, and then let our coffee equipment take over the rest of that space.

We loved this piece of furniture because of the price ($139.99 from Target), but also because it didn't look particularly bookcase-y, and fit really well into our dining room. The next thing we did was pick out everything that wasn't used as often from our kitchen - or that was more likely to be used just in the dining room, like placemats - and arrange it on the seven shelves that we had left to play with.

The result? Things like mugs and place mats were still easy to access, and we opened up one cabinet and two drawers that would have been used up in the kitchen otherwise! Plus, I've seen coffee bars allllll over pinterest...and being the coffee-drinkers that we are, it's kind of fun to have one of our own.

Kitchen organized? Check! We have a few improvements to make here-and-there and we still need to overhaul our pantry, but the bookcase was a huge help! Our kitchen feels cleaner and more streamlined, and is already much easier to cook in. And if you live with someone that can really really cook?

Well, then streamlining the kitchen is absolutely, 100% worth it.


Did you fill out the survey on Monday? If not, I'd love your input! Let me know how to make the Blue Dishes better - click here.