Apartment living. This is my first go-round at it.

I went from my parents’  home as a child to a college dorm (that made some interesting decorating) to my Dad’s house that was for sale and only had my sparse just-graduated-from-college furniture (Dad was in Atlanta at this point and I was holding down the unsold fort) then to the house with Eric and now to my happy place apartment.

Yes, that’s a strange order of homes to live in, but it’s my journey, and I’m embracing every funny little turn it takes. Which brings me back to my apartment decorating.

I always think that a room looks more finished when something is on the walls. I also think it brings warmth, character, and personality to the home. So my bare walls weren’t really cutting it for me. However, as this is a transitional stage for me, I didn’t want to have to deal with patching a constellation of holes when I moved out.

Hence my challenge to myself in this apartment: to see how I can decorate these walls hole free.

My first step in this challenge has been completed with large-scale engineering prints. Engineering prints are something that I have been ogling all over the internet. They’re everywhere because they are a great, cost-efficient idea.

Engineering prints are black and white large-scale prints. It’s not a high quality print job (as witnessed above) since it is made for printing engineering plats and plans (I work for an engineer in my day job and we have an engineering department at work so I’m definitely becoming more aware of what engineers do and their terminology).

However, you can print out anything as an engineering print. Just send the file to your local print shop, specify you want an engineering print, and $4-$8 later (based on the size) you have a huge black and white image!

I decided to give this a try for impact in my apartment and without any measuring I just went with the idea that bigger is better.

It’s bigger for sure (four feet by three feet to be exact). Maybe I should have measured but I’m liking the huge in-your-face statement my new artwork is making. It just took a minute of, “Oh wow, what have I done.”

The prints I chose were pictures from my travels around the world. I wanted my living room/kitchen area to have beautiful images that inspire me and remind me of beautiful, captivating, profound, and thought provoking moments in my life. Those are feelings I want to embrace daily.

The two above the couch are from my few days in Paris. I went with one of my best friends from college between our sophomore and junior year. Not only is she an amazing, well-traveled friend, but she is fluent in French. Such an easy way to explore France.

We spent the days visiting museums, eating cheese, bread, and crepes from carts on the street while sitting on benches in parks and cute streets, picnicking under the Eiffel Tower, running up stairs to catch the Eiffel Tower in its glorious light show, drinking hot chocolate in cute cafes, and generally enjoying the absolute luxury that was our summer vacation as 20 year olds in Paris. I recognize the HUGE blessing and luxury and gift that trip was.

These prints are just memories of beautiful days. But also reminders about how beautiful and sweet life is – and that we can choose to make our life a beautiful blessing and gift daily.

The picture over the table is taken from a rain forest in Australia; I spent eight weeks abroad Down Under with an amazing group of students and teachers. This picture reminds me of the absolute raw beauty of nature. Nature inspires me every day. I feel most alive, creative, and spiritual when surrounded by nature. It also reminds us of the beauty in everything – even fungus!

Finally, to round off the inspiration in these engineering prints, I printed a free download from the Caravan Shoppe (an online store specializing in art/inspiring graphics for engineering prints). I loved the idea of putting something so inspirational in my designated creative space. I love this little corner of comfort and happiness.

Ding ding! Round one is officially finished of creating artfully decorated walls without holes in this little ole apartment of mine. Now excuse me while I hunker down with a blanket, chai tea, and enjoy this cozy home of mine during the last few cold days of winter (hopefully!).

  • Hillary

    ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️!!!!!
    Bold, creative, thoughtful … a project just like you!ReplyCancel

  • They look awesome!!! What a great way to make a huge impact with not a lot of money. Since they are inexpensive, you can change them out for different photographs when you get tired of these. I’ve always wanted to try this. Who printed yours?ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Paula! I love how inexpensive they are so I feel okay changing them out. It’s such a nice option! I printed mine at Staples for about $8. You should definitely give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • love that last one! did you print at staples?ReplyCancel

    • I love the last one too! I can’t get enough inspirational artwork! I had them printed at Staples for around $8.ReplyCancel

Remember in high school when almost everything was potentially embarrassing? Like, oh my goodness, one hair is out of place or I stuttered when the teacher called on me?! The horror right?! Well, one time I had one of those moments with a dryer sheet at a football game – when you are supposed to be at your absolute coolest.

A group of my friends were all goofing around, I’m sure trying to be cool and impress people – like you do in high school. I had on a hoodie  – because what else do you wear in high school and college, right? Suddenly, I felt a something slightly amiss with my sweatshirt. Things weren’t laying right and I was feeling a little itchy.

I investigated and – horror of horrors – I pulled out a dryer sheet from under my sweatshirt.

I frantically looked around. Did anyone see me pull that out of my sweatshirt? How embarrassing. I don’t know what to do! So (and HUGE shame on me) I quickly just throw it on the ground (ahh it still pains me to realize that I LITTERED) and walk away.

Suddenly, someone from my group of friends picks it up and holds it in the air. “What is this? Why the heck is this on the ground? Weird!”

I furtively look around. Did anyone see me? Is my super pale skin that has suddenly turned fire engine red giving me away? Few. No one is pointing at me and laughing. (Teenage) crisis avoided.

Not that it has haunted me forever, but I’ve never really been a fan of the static sheets over the years. Sometimes I feel like they are a waste of money, don’t work, and just add to the landfill. However, I have had some major static moments recently with my new sheets (that are more like blankets and are ahhhmazing) so I thought I would try something a little bit different – and a little more eco-friendly.

Homemade Reusable Dryer Sheets

What you need:

  • A plastic container
  • Sponges, cut in half
  • Fabric softener
  • Water
  • Optional: pretty paper, Mod Podge, paint brush, x-acto knife

What you need to do:

1. Before we get to the actual making of the reusable dryer sheets, you can choose to pretty up your container by cutting a piece of paper to fit the top and Mod Podging it on (one coat under and one coat over). Just because everything needs to be a little prettier, right?:)

2. Mix together a 2 to 1 ratio of water to laundry softener, filling the container about 2/3 full. I used regular water and store this in the refrigerator because some people have said they were worried about mold. However, I also heard if you used distilled water you shouldn’t have to worry about mold storing it out of the refrigerator.

3. Cut the sponges in half. Submerge in mixture. Close top and you’re done!

4. To use: Wring out two sponges and pop into the dryer with your wet laundry. Dry as normal.

5. When your laundry is done it should come out smelling wonderful, feeling soft, and being static free! The sponges will be dry so just pop into the container again and reuse next load!

I’ve been using these for a while now and LOVE them. This mixture will last a long time and I feel the difference in my laundry. The smell, the softness, and the non static cling in my sheets!

[Thank you to The Mamas Girls for this inspiration.]

I use this in combination with my no-grate homemade laundry detergent and love how much cheaper and eco-friendly my laundering is these days!

  • I am laughing at your dryer sheet humiliation. Sometimes I’ll find a dryer sheet in an odd place, too!

    Your sponge tip is a good one. After I finish the box of dryer sheets that I’m working through, I’ll give it a try. (I make my dryer sheets last longer by cutting them in half.)ReplyCancel

    • Haha. I’m glad you found my story funny! It’s odd the things that stick out to you when you’re young. But the dryer sheets sure do find sneaky places to hide! Not these sponges though! :) Let me know how you like the sponges when you try them!ReplyCancel

As I sit here penning these words the smallest of snowflakes are furiously falling adrift on my windowsill and forming beautiful alabaster piles of fluff. It is a perfect time to curl up with a blanket on my bed and lazily peruse my favorite art prints on Minted. [It also doesn’t hurt that the scent of chocolate is in the air as the healthy chocolate cake that I made cools in the kitchen.]

Minted is a beautiful and creative website that offers artwork, personalized printing services, stationary, and home decor items. It really is a fun site to explore whether you are looking to fill your walls or friends mailboxes.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite art prints that are on the site now. I am working on curating a special collection of artwork for my home so this was the perfect opportunity to add another piece or two that is really special to me.

Hopefully you will pop over there to and check it out because you have the chance to win $50 to spend at Minted (details at the end)! Also, make sure when you are browsing to hit the little heart when you hover above your favorites. It collects them into one place so you can narrow down your favorites!

Here are some of my favorites:

Inspirational

Love is an Adventure

Don’t Quit Your Daydream

Let’s Get Lost

Be Humble Be Smart and Rule the World

Photography

D’Office – Malta

Morning Light

Seaside

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

California Dreams

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Pining for Pineapple

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Lone Sunbather on the Dunes

Foil

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Virginia Map

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Magnifique

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Some Things Take Time

Art

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Waiting, Malibu 2012

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Naked Penguin

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Beauty Reflects Beauty

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Down Under the Brooklyn Bridge

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Seven Wonders

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Sail

While on Minted I also checked out some of the save-the-date cards for 2015. My sister is graduating law school in May and one of these designs could work letting people know about her big event (see – date-the-dates aren’t just for weddings)!

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Floral

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Rose Garden

My Favorite Minted Art Prints | www.rhapsodyinrooms.com

Gold Foil

Now that you have been subjected to my favorite eye candy from Minted make sure to hop on over to check out your favorite!

Giveaway Closed

The Winner is Cassie!

An even bigger NOW – the giveaway! Enter to win a $50 credit to Minted! Just comment below with your favorite print or item from Minted to be entered to win this prize! A winner will be chosen using random.org from the comments below. Giveaway ends on Monday, February 23rd at midnight! One entry per person. Good luck!

I received credit to Minted for this post but all opinions and thoughts are all my own! 

  • The Frosted Barn print is the first thing that spoke to me on Minted.

    Hope you are having a snow day today and didn’t have to travel.ReplyCancel

    • Ohh that sounds pretty – and appropriate! Thankfully I didn’t have to work today. Hope you are enjoying your snow day too!ReplyCancel

  • Love Minted, and the prints you highlighted are gorgeous! I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the site when we were working on all of our wedding stationery. I have my eye on their baby-themed thank you cards — I’m starting to gather them for the exciting baby-splosion I’ll be experiencing in a few months!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks Meg!It sounds like you will have SO much fun using their items for the baby-splosion!ReplyCancel

  • Rocky

    I like the morning light photo the most from your selection. Pretty colors and I like the soft, washed-out look of it.
    The site has a great selection of foil stationary that I really like too!ReplyCancel

    • The morning light one I think I will order! I agree that the washed-out look is so appealing.ReplyCancel

  • Liz

    I love the Beauty Reflects Beauty print!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    I love the destination wedding save the dates!ReplyCancel

    • Aren’t those pretty? And doesn’t a destination anywhere for anything sound SO nice right about now?!ReplyCancel

  • i am digging the leo print! sawyer and i are both leos!ReplyCancel

  • Laura P

    I love their save the dates, my wedding is in August and we ordered ours from there! This would help us order our invitations!ReplyCancel

  • I like the D’Office print, I visited Malta last year and LOVED it.ReplyCancel

    • That is so neat Lyka! That would be the perfect print for you!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa

    Oh I love that “Sail” print! I also love heart snapshot mix. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney

    Love is an adventure is adorable… how cute!

    Fingers crossed for the Minted Giveaway!! It’d help a lot for my save the dates :DReplyCancel

    • That would be so fun to use for your save the dates! I love that the Love is an Adventure print is customizable! So cute!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Koelmel

    I LOVE their wild rabbit watercolor!ReplyCancel

  • Arjay V

    Love the save the dates.. its what we used for our save the dates and we plan on using minted for more stationary needs for our wedding. we could definitely use this!!ReplyCancel

  • Ellyse

    I love minted! What a great post!!ReplyCancel

Hi all! Wow – this weekend was like a sneak peek of spring. It definitely put a bounce in my step (except for those couple of miles when I went on a mostly uphill run – ugh – not much bouncing). I also fit in a little twirling this weekend too. That is mostly because I was having so much fun trying on new clothes (one being a dress that definitely deserved a good twirl).

See, I bit the bullet and subscribed to Stitch Fix.

I’ve been hearing about it quite a bit but really wasn’t sure it was for me. I’ve always loved fashion and shopping. So much so that I would just go to stores without the intent to buy just to see the new fashions.

However, I outlined earlier that this is the year of less stuff, and I have pretty much stopped going to stores except for the grocery store. I don’t want to feel the pull to buy something. Plus, you can get a rush out of buying something and then get home and realize that you don’t need it or it was an impulse purchase. I don’t want that to be my life.

Enter my more intentional shopping with Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service. You fill out a style profile (which is very detailed and you can request certain pieces/styles), pick a date you want to receive a box, and then you receive five items picked out for you by a stylist. They send you a personal note explaining their choices and each piece of clothing gets a suggestion card that shows two ways to wear that piece.

Once received you have three days to try it on at home and see how it actually fits into your wardrobe (this is so helpful!). Plus, you can send pictures of it to your friends and ask for opinions on what to keep (I did this…a lot).

Being able to keep the pieces for three days lets you shop with intention. You have three days to really marinate on what to keep and what to send back. Your thrill of a new buy wears out and you get more time to really understand if you love the piece or it was just the pull of wanting to buy something new. After those three days keep what you want and return the others in a prepaid bag. Boom. That easy (and awesome).

Ok, enough words, right? It’s time to check out the clothes!!

Donna Morgan Frank Polka Dot Dress

Let’s start with this bold polka dot dress.

 

I specifically asked for them not to send any dresses or skirts that were above the knee because I can’t wear them to work. If I can’t wear it to work, I’m probably not going to get a lot of wear from it. They totally nailed it with the length – and the waistline with the cute belt. I wasn’t sure if I was thrilled with the boxy neckline, large scale polka dots, and volume on the bottom. However, the fit was perfect (the zipper went up like a dream). The dress really put me in a twirling mood but the proportions just weren’t working well.

Returned

DL 1961 Ember Straight Leg Jean (Coco Curvy) 

Let’s start with these jeans.

Can we pretty much all unite that jeans (and pant shopping in general) can be the hardest shopping challenge ever? I’ve been looking for new jeans for months. Months I tell you! So when I saw these I rolled my eyes. There was no way they were going to work. But lo and behold, I slid these babies on and it was magical. MAGICAL! These are the most amazing jeans I have ever worn. Seriously. They fit like a glove, are long enough, and have this amazing stretch technology where they will never sag or bag (tested – no sagging or bagging on this girl).

KEPT

Market & Spruce Cordelia Striped Boat Neck Sweater

I was so on the fence with this sweater. I was keeping it. I was returning it. It was so snuggly and cozy that I wanted to keep it. But it was really after looking at these pictures that I decided to return it. It wasn’t a special piece, nor was it the most flattering with the oversized style and horizontal stripes.

Returned

Bay to Baubles Patricia Gemstone Statement Necklace

If you know anything about me, you know that I love the bling. So you know this necklace spoke to me. I am always a sucker for beautiful jewelry but usually just buy cheap costume jewelry. However, whenever I see girls rocking the statement jewelry, I love the look. When this arrived in my box, I knew it was time to take the plunge. Plus, this is a statement necklace that is more neutral so I can pair it with more outfits.

KEPT

Collective Concepts Susie Metallic Sleeveless Blouse 

Lastly, there is this oh-so sparkly top. I know there will be many of you who will be saying “WHAT? You – of all people – didn’t keep this?!” I may be one of those people at times too! However – look closely and you will see that it is sparkly snakeskin print. I’m not an animal print person. Plus, the fit wasn’t perfect. The arm holes were a little look big and it tended to be more racer back style (read: hard to wear with a normal bra). I didn’t think it was practical enough for me.

Returned

There is a review of my first Fix – and I’m in love! It really is a great service to help you build a wardrobe full of unique pieces. Plus, they are quality pieces too. I’m already planning my next Fix before I visit my sister in California for her law school graduation! I’m definitely thinking I will be requesting a new dress!

If you’re interested, please check it out using my referral link. I would be forever grateful! However, no part of this post is sponsored – I just had so much fun with it I thought it would be fun to share!

What do you think I should have kept/returned?

  • Lots of fun pieces! I’ve gone on Stitch Fix hiatus during my pregnancy, but I’m already planning to treat myself to a fix post-baby (after, you know, I’ve had time to recommit to healthy eating!). The jeans look great, and I love the necklace! I’m not one to wear flashy jewelry, but I’ve been thinking I need a statement piece or two. They really change up an outfit!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Meg! Thank you!! And you totally deserve a Stitch Fix after you have your baby. That sounds like such a nice present for yourself. You should definitely get a statement necklace (NOW!) since you can wear it whether you are pregnant or not!ReplyCancel

  • those jeans are totally amazing on you! nice legs! are you a runner? ;)ReplyCancel

    • Hahaha Cassie. You’re my favorite. I may dabble in running…ReplyCancel

  • I really like what you kept. I’ve been getting monthly “fixes” since August of 2013 and love the service. My wardrobe is slowly becoming primarily Stitch Fix pieces.

    Wasn’t it exciting to open up that box? I still get excited when mine comes!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you Paula! I didn’t know you are getting monthly fixes! That’s awesome! I already am planning my next one but and trying to tell myself I need to wait a while…but I don’t want to! I think it is the best way to build a really fashionable and quality wardrobe!

      It is so exciting when it comes! I flew into my apartment to try things on when I saw it waiting for me by the door!ReplyCancel

  • Dorth

    Are you permitted to add the prices for each item? I really liked you in that sweater.ReplyCancel

    • Hi Dorth! I can add the prices if that would be helpful. I was on the fence as to whether to do it or not since budgets are such a personal thing.

      Off the top of my head the jeans were $98, the sweater mid $50s, the sparkly shirt high $40s, the necklace $44, and the dress $168. If you buy all five items you get a 25% discount which can be really helpful!

      The sweater was a definite for a while but then I decided against it. If the dress had been better and less expensive I would probably have kept all 5! My stylist did SUCH a good job!ReplyCancel

  • Christina

    If you like this, you should check out true & co. Same thing, but for bras!!! It’s pretty fantastic.ReplyCancel

    • Oh cool! I have never heard of it…and no one likes that kind of shopping. I will check it out now. Thanks, Christina!ReplyCancel

  • […] See the full post from Rhapsody In Rooms […]ReplyCancel

  • OMG! They have curvy style jeans now? I have asked for them to add curvy styles since September. So glad to see this change.

    Also, just to let you know, Kut From the Kloth jeans have worked wonders for me. I have 3 pairs in my drawer now from Stitch Fix and they fit ‘curvy’ me just wonderfully.

    Thanks for sharing your fix!ReplyCancel

    • Yes they do KJ! They are amazing!! Haha. But they are the only pair I’ve ever had… :) So good to know that Kut from the Kloth are similar!ReplyCancel

      • Not sure if you are like me, but I am typically one size larger in the hip area than the waist when it comes to pants fitting me properly. Kut From the Kloth has worked for me in a number of different styles.

        Hope you can try some out someday.ReplyCancel

        • Thanks so much for the suggestion! Pant shopping can be so difficult!ReplyCancel

The day of hearts, love, and CANDY (candy, candy, candy) is coming up in a few short days. While this is not a holiday that I regularly go all out for, I’ve teamed with Hometalk to round-up some simple and festive DIY projects you can do to make your home a little more fun for Valentine’s Day.

So grab your anticipatory candy whilst you peruse these delightful Valentine’s Day DIY projects. I tried to pick more simple, modern Valentine’s Day projects since I’m not a pink and frills girl myself (I’m more a teal and glitter girl — cause that’s so much less girly?!). Hope you find some inspiration in there that you can bring to your home too!

31 DIY Valentine

You can click the image above or follow this link to see my board that has all 31 projects for you to browse. I also wanted to pick out some of my super favs here too. Read on my friends. Read on!

I love this idea of adding a message to a globe! Use removable vinyl to make it easy to change the message.

31 DIY Valentine

This is another fun and inexpensive project you can customize with any pattern and color. White napkins and fabric markers combine to make adorable Valentine’s Day napkins!

31 DIY Valentine
How cute are these recycled poppers? Such a fun idea!

31 DIY Valentine

Okay, this mantel is an explosion of color and frills, which is usually not my style, but I am digging this! So bright and fun – and hey – why not?!

31 DIY Valentine

This wooden sign brings such a warmth  – to a room or your heart.

31 DIY Valentine

Can I just say CANDY BAR!?

31 DIY Valentine

Lastly, here is one of my favorite Valentine’s Day projects that I did using chalkboard scrapbook paper to make a runner!

Valentine

There are so many other good ones in that round-up so go on and check them all out!

PS – I’d love to hear any great Valentine’s Day stories you have! Let’s cheer everyone up with a little love, huh? I’ll start!

My friend from college who just got back from a couple months in India offered to come down and spend the V-Day weekend (plus a few more days) with me! Sometimes all a girl needs is her best friends.

Love comes in all different forms no matter if it’s a man, woman, mom, dad, sister, brother, dog, best friend, stranger with a kind face and caring heart, or a sweet thought that makes you feel filled up full with love.

The most important part of love? Loving yourself. So even if you don’t think you have anyone loving you, know you always  have you…and that’s pretty awesome.

  • So many great ideas! I like the pillow in the collage with “love” written all over it.

    Confession: My house has been bare since Christmas. I took Christmas down and never redecorated a single surface. I need a snow day!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you Paula! Isn’t that pillow adorable? And I think that is totally fine about bare spaces after Christmas! Sometimes that is so refreshing. I’m still hoping for a snow day for you though!ReplyCancel