Monday, May 20, 2024

Cool and Colorful Crafts You Can Make With Paint Swatches

The next time you find yourself admiring the colorful aisle of paint swatches at your local hardware store, grab a few favorites and bring them home with you. Even if you’re not planning on painting anytime soon, these affordable swatches make the base of a number of adorable DIY projects. Here are three that will help to get you started.

DIY Paint Swatch Chandelier [heygorg.com]
Dress up a dinner party or even the tables at a wedding with this simple chandelier. All it takes is a paper punch and a few simple crafting supplies, and because you can choose the colors in the swatches, it’s perfect for coordinating with the rest of a color scheme.

Paint Sample Bookmarks [melissasbargains.com]
If you’re looking for a fun DIY project to do with the kids, this one is great for a budding bookworm. The shape of a strip of paint swatches already makes it a great bookmark, so all you’ll have to do is add a few fun decorations.

DIY Paint Chip Animal Friends [handmadecharlotte.com]
Craft 3D animal figurines out of colorful paint chips and create a tiny zoo for your little ones. This unique tutorial even includes downloadable templates for each animal, so all you’ll have to do is trace, cut, and assemble.

Want to Decorate Your Apartment Without Emptying Your Wallet? Here’s Where to Shop!

Want your apartment at Christiana Reserve to look like something out a home design blog? If know the right places to shop, you can transform your rental into the home of your dreams — without emptying your bank account! Here are three great stores where you can buy stylish home decorations for less.

Pier 1 Imports
Pier 1 Imports isn’t exactly a budget store, but with its frequent sales and affordable versions of designer pieces, it can save you a great deal anyway. Shop here if you’re looking for a gold metallic side table, plush faux fur pillows, or luxurious frames for dressing up your walls. Don't miss the clearance section for even deeper discounts!

H&M Home
That’s right: the trendy clothing store now offers an equally affordable selection of home decor items, and they’re just as stylish as you might expect. From bedding sets for less than $50 to funky shower curtains and even marble print kitchenware, this is the perfect place to find all of the hottest decorating trends.

Z Gallerie
If your style is a bit more luxe, you’ll love the upscale touches without the upscale price tags that Z Gallerie has to offer. This popular home goods store is well known for its ornate wall mirrors and elegant tableware, but you’ll even find sofas, sectionals, and other affordable furniture pieces.

3 Interior Decorator Secrets Everyone Should Know

So you’re not an interior decorator by trade? No sweat! When it comes to decorating your rental, all it takes are a few tricks from the professionals to make your home look like it belongs on the pages of a design magazine. Here are a few secrets that interior decorators don’t mind sharing.

  1. Arrange furniture in the way that makes the most sense. If you’re constantly tripping over furniture or struggling to reach things on shelves, you likely don’t have your room arranged in the most functional way. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the room until it works — or even to get rid of pieces that you don’t really need.
  2. Add good lighting. If you’re lucky enough to have lots of windows in your apartment, play up the natural light with sheer curtains or neutral-colored blinds. If you don’t have much natural light, fake it with daylight-imitating light bulbs.
  3. Use light or neutral colors. Choose furnishings in light or neutral colors to create an airy, open feeling.
  4. Add art. Adding framed art to every wall is a great way to decorate your apartment without taking up precious space. Create an eclectic gallery wall or add a series of three large frames to create the illusion of depth. Don't forget to add mirrors!

11 Foolproof Decorating Tips [This Old House]
20 Decorating Secrets [House Beautiful]
9 Interior Decorator Secrets [Woman’s Day]

Where to Shop Double-Duty Furniture Pieces That Won’t Break the Bank

Adding furniture pieces that can play double-duty with multiple uses is one of the best ways to maximize space in a rental, but these types of versatile, multipurpose items can be difficult to find if you’re on a limited budget. Here are a few great places where you can shop multipurpose furniture items that won’t break the bank!

Beds from IKEA
The Swedish design staple is consistently a go-to for smart, functional furniture that’s still really stylish. If you’re looking for a bed with a built-in dresser, a comfy futon with hidden blanket storage, or even trundle beds for when unexpected guests stop by for the weekend, you’ll find it all for affordable prices at IKEA.

Wayfair’s Storage Ottomans
Add a chic storage ottoman to get your living room mess under control when you shop the vast selection from Wayfair. You’ll find small, round ottomans with hidden storage compartments that are perfect for studio apartments, as well as spacious storage benches that are better suited for larger living areas.

Wayfair’s Apartment Storage Solutions
From lift-top coffee tables that double as desks to multipurpose room dividers with decorative shelving on the sides, Wayfair is home to a number of creative apartment storage solutions that you might not have even considered.

Deliciously Easy Meatloaf Recipes That Taste Anything But Basic

If your earliest memories of meatloaf are dry, bland, and boring, this post is for you. These three meatloaf recipes turn the old fashioned favorite upside down, but they’re still just as easy to make.

Paula Deen’s Old Fashioned Meatloaf [foodnetwork.com]
Don’t be fooled by the name; this perfectly moist, endlessly flavorful meatloaf recipe is a world away from the outdated dinner entree. Quick-cooking oats create a hearty base for the beef, while simple seasonings and some all-American condiments enable you to make a delicious sauce from things you already have in the fridge.

Simple Meatloaf Recipe [southernfood.about.com]
Because this recipe requires more oven time than prep time, it leaves you with extra time to do whatever you please. Just top it with a blend of ketchup, mustard, and maple syrup once it’s all done.

Turkey Meatloaf [realsimple.com]
Save a few calories and grams of fat while still getting a hearty dose of protein by using ground turkey instead of the usual beef. Plus, this meatloaf is filled with herbs and spices for a truly flavorful taste and a wonderful aroma while it bakes in the oven. Serve it with some classic mashed potatoes for a delicious dinner just like mom used to make.

Pomegranate Is the Not-So-Secret Ingredient in These Unique Recipes

You’ve likely never thought of incorporating pomegranate into your savory recipes, but the addition of these tart, sweet seeds could be just what you need to add a bit of excitement to your meals. Here are a few great recipes that use pomegranate as the not-so-secret ingredient.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranate and Hazelnuts [foodnetwork.com]
Brussels sprouts are certainly having a moment in the culinary world, but then again, so are pomegranates. Combine the two into one healthy, delicious side dish that is positively filled with flavor with this unexpected recipe.

Pomegranate Parfait [pomegranates.org]
Forgo the usual cake or pie for tonight’s dessert in favor of something a bit lighter and more refreshing. These pomegranate parfaits are equal parts fruity, fresh, and fluffy, and they’re topped with whipped cream and chopped pistachios for a bit of added richness and nutty flavor.

Black Bean, Pomegranate and Avocado Salsa [twopeasandtheirpod.com]
Serve this fun and festive salsa at your next party or gathering. It’s just as flavorful as a traditional salsa, but instead of using the usual tomatoes, it incorporates savory black beans with the cool taste of avocado and pomegranate seeds. Serve it with tortilla chips, pitas, or even as a garnish for a fish or chicken dish.

How to Start Jogging — Safely!

You might not think of yourself as much of a runner, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start. Jogging is a great way to get outside, build your endurance, and maybe even drop a few pounds, and these expert tips will show you how to start doing it in a safe and enjoyable way.

  1. Check with your doctor. If you’re unsure about your health, it’s always smart to check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise plan. Tell your doctor about your plans for jogging and work together to create a safe, accessible workout routine.
  2. Wear the right clothes. Be sure to wear sturdy, well-fitting running shoes so that you don’t injure yourself while jogging. Stay cool and comfortable with loose shorts or pants, and stay warm in layers if the weather is chilly.
  3. Warm up. Warming up helps you to gradually increase your heart rate, so be sure to walk or slowly jog for at least 20 minutes before jogging.
  4. Stretch. Avoid cramping muscles and prevent injury by stretching your limbs before you set out, but after warming up. At this point, your muscles will be warmed up and stretch more easily.
  5. Cool down. Walk to cool down your muscles for at least five minutes after jogging to prevent lactic acid build-up in the legs.

How to Start Jogging If You Have Never Done It Before [Healthy Living]
Jogging for Beginners [FitDay]

Popular Shopping Sites for Stylish Apartment Decor

There’s no denying that modern furniture is having a major comeback, but the expensive price tags that often accompany those shell chairs or teak credenzas are often too much for the average shopper. If you want to furnish your home with mid-century modern-inspired furniture for an affordable cost, these three websites can help.

CB2
CB2, a smaller division of the pricey furniture store Crate & Barrel, carries equally high quality furniture and decor pieces with more modern styles and lower price points. Here you’ll find the low, rectangular sofas that modern furniture enthusiasts love, as well as other sleek furniture pieces, industrial-style lamps, and rugs, bedding, and textiles with geometric prints and patterns.

Design Within Reach
Design Within Reach carries all of the beloved modern furniture classics that you can’t find anywhere else, without the exclusivity of many private sellers. From Eames chairs to Herman Miller sofas, these are pieces that normally require extensive waitlists or knowing someone “in the business” in order to acquire them. This furniture selection is the real deal.

BluDot
If you prefer a minimalistic style with modern flair, BluDot is the place to shop online. These sofas, accent chairs, beds, and dining sets are all inspired by mid-century classics, but they’re readily available and much more affordable, even to budget shoppers.

Love the Thrill of Hiking? These Websites Are for You!

There’s a lot more that goes into hiking than just lacing up your sneakers and heading out into the woods. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just a beginner, you need to make sure that you’re prepared in order to avoid injury and make the most of your time outdoors. Here are two of the very best websites for hikers.

American Hiking Society
Created by one of the country’s largest authorities on hiking, the American Hiking Society website is a great resource for incorporating hiking regularly into your lifestyle. The site features information about hiking advocacy, events, and holidays and how to find hiking organizations in your area. The American Hiking Society website also offers tips for your next hike and a list of adventurous vacations all around the country.

GORP
GORP, or the Great Outdoor Recreation Pages, is a website dedicated to all types of outdoor activities, from hiking to camping to horseback riding. It offers a helpful search engine that enables users to locate national parks in any area of the country, and you can even narrow the search by the type of activity that you’d like to do. GORP is also a great resource for choosing hiking-related gear and apparel, featuring detailed reviews of a number of new products.

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Check back for helpful information about pop culture, recipes, health and fitness, and much more! Thanks!

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