Monday, May 20, 2024

How to Shake (or Stir!) the Perfect Cocktail

If you think you need to venture to the bar to find a unique, tasty cocktail, think again. You can easily mix up your own creative cocktails and mocktails in the comfort of your own home. The most important part of a great drink is how long the flavor lingers in your mouth. You want to intrigue your taste buds and mind after the sip goes down. These tips are sure to leave a unique, lasting flavor on your tongue.

  • Choose a good quality base liquor or flavor of your cocktail.
  • Use a generous amount of the base spirit.
  • Mix in a tart or sweet ingredient such as lime juice, simple syrup, or liqueur. Remember to keep it simple and balanced, as this will make the flavors last in your mouth.
  • Add a few drops of bitters or a hydrosol, such as rosewater, to add aromatics to your drink.
  • A cocktail that contains delicate flavors or ingredients should be stirred. Be sure to shake any cocktail containing juice or egg whites.
  • To avoid diluting your drink, use larger ice cubes that will melt at a slower pace. In your glass, the ice should be visible about the alcohol line.
  • Take some time to make your cocktail look presentable. A simple lemon twist can add a touch of elegance to your drink.

From A Genius Mixologist: The Only Ratio You Need For Perfect Cocktails [Fast Company]
How to make cocktails: follow these 10 golden rules [The Guardian]
How to Make Perfect Cocktails [Williams-Sonoma Taste]

Update Your Wardrobe by Hosting a Clothing Swap at Christiana Reserve! Here’s How!

Wondering what to do with all of those clothes that you just don’t wear anymore? Many thrifty fashion lovers nowadays are starting to host clothing swaps, during which groups of friends get together to trade their gently worn clothes, shoes, and even accessories. Do something good for your budget and even for the environment by using these tips to host your own clothing swap at Christiana Reserve!

  1. Decide on the perfect group. Choose a manageable group that you can fit comfortably inside of your home. While you don’t want to go overboard with people, you’ll likely want to invite at least three or four friends to ensure ample swapping opportunities.
  2. Send out detailed invites. Be sure to describe how the swap will work and exactly how many items to bring in your invitation, email, or text message.
  3. Create a comfortable swapping area. Set up an area in your living room or other common space where you can set up chairs, snacks, and other essentials. Designate a spare room as a "changing room."
  4. Take the reins. Since many of your guests have likely never done a swap before, get things started by demonstrating how to browse the clothes and swap for items. You may even want to give people a limit on how many items they can take home.
  5. Bring refreshments. Once the swap is done, keep the mood light by socializing over snacks and drinks.

How to Hold a Fashion Swap Party [WikiHow]
10 Tips for Hosting a Successful Clothing Swap [Woman’s Day]
13 Rules for a Successful Clothing Swap [Oprah]

How to Style an Organize a Bookcase

Sure, bookcases are meant to hold your book collection, but that doesn’t mean that yours should look like a jumbled mess. Turn your overstuffed bookcase into a focal point in your home with these simple, designer-worthy decorating tips.

  1. Organize all of your books in an attractive way. Whether you organize them by color to create a rainbow effect or by height for a unique pattern, you should consider book placement before anything else—it is a bookshelf, after all!
  2. Add knickknacks. While knickknacks may make you think of a cluttered grandmother’s house, modern versions will add an artistic flair to your shelves. Hunt for vintage brass or ceramic objects at local thrift stores, pick up small sculptures on your travels, or simply place green plants throughout.
  3. Fill it with frames. For a personal touch, frame photos of your friends or family and place them upright on the shelves. Or, if you want to create a more unique effect, attach the frame with a small nail to the front of the bookshelf where a corner meets.
  4. Step back and admire your work. To ensure that your bookshelf looks as good from afar as it does up close, frequently back up and reconsider the placement of each item.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]
How-to Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]

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.

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