Tis the Season for Decoration!

Happy December everyone! Hopefully you're getting into the spirit of the holidays! I've had my Christmas tree up for a couple of weeks now and it just adds so much warmth to my tiny apartment. I had to buy a new tree as its my first Christmas in a new place. I was scouting for the perfect tree that was small enough for my small condo but also substantial enough to look like a regular tree. I found it and you won't believe the bargain it was!IMG_3742

If you need a tree of my description, go to Target. This tree is six feet tall and forty inches wide. It fits perfectly in the tight space but is really hardy too. It came with 275 lights on it that glow ever so nicely! And it was only $30! That's with tax and everything included. It was $60 originally, then went down to $35 and I had a coupon for 20% off. It's the deal of the year. I'm so happy with it, and to be honest, I don't think it looks like a $30 tree.

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(Don't mind my yucky paper blinds! Since I will be on break very soon, I will finally have time to go pick out my blinds!)IMG_3597IMG_3610IMG_3601

Let me know what you think of my tree! More holiday decor posts to follow!

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Thanksgiving Yumminess

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hopefully you all enjoyed yourselves and your tummies did too! (I know I did) My long weekend consisted of parties, family time, birthday time, and lots of food! The food is obviously the most important part of Thanksgiving, aside from your family! To make a foolproof and easier meal for yourself, start ahead of time. My mom is the turkey master! She cooked the turkey the night before with loads of butter, beer, and wine among other things. After cooking, she sliced it up and let it rest overnight in its own juices. Next day, she heated it up for lunch and it was a hit! We served the turkey with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, corn, cranberry sauce, gravy, salad, and some brisket. We also had gnocchi and lasagna to start (we're Italian okay?).

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After lunch we had cheese and fruit. I made a cheese platter that included brie, grand padano and asiago with nuts, dried fruit, and crackers. I had also olive tapanade, red pepper jelly, and apricot jam. The fruit was all seasonal. IMG_2940

And after all of that food, we had dessert! Homemade tirasmu cake, vegan and gluten free pumpkin pie, apple pie, and my homemade birthday cake!

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Also, make the table look special while not spending very much. Set your table with the best you have, make it look coordinated, and add some candles, flowers or pumpkins as a centrepiece! Inexpensive and makes a huge difference! IMG_2843

Keep all of this in mind when planning your next holiday at your house, and remember, easy and simple is always better when hosting. More posts coming soon!

 

Happy Autumn!

Autumn is definitely my favourite season and all around time of year! The crispness of the air, the colours of the leaves, thanksgiving, and my birthday all add up to a lovely time for me. This is just a general post for the seasonal things that I've prepared so far. I used a rainy saturday morning to pickle some veggies. I pickled radishes, cabbage, carrots, and red onions. For a general pickle, you use 2 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt. I added coriander seeds as well. You can boil the water before you make the mixture for food safety.

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I made my own pumpkin spice latte from scratch, and I have to admit it was pretty delicious! Make coffee or espresso. In a pot combine 3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée (just the canned stuff) with about 3/4 cup of milk, brown sugar, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Let it heat up and add it to a mug with your coffee! I topped it with more pumpkin pie spice to make it the ultimate latte!

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I have multiple pretty pumpkins around my condo now, and they just add such a wonderful sparkle and piece of autumn. IMG_2193.JPG

 

This best shows my autumn mornings: Bingley, sleeping on my bed, being cute and cuddly. I'm so lucky to have this little guy! IMG_2189.JPG

Apartment Series: Gallery Wall

Hello my fellow InBetweeners! I apologize for not posting in a while, getting things done before school really bogged me down. But in this business, I managed to put up my gallery wall! It's not elaborate by any means, and showcases my own architectural photography. The white and silver frames are from Ikea. The large (8x10) silver frames were $9.99 each, while the smaller (4x6 and 5x7) white frames were $4.99 each. The tiny silver frames were $1.99 each. I love these ones the best since they almost look like shadow boxes! In the middle of the photography, I added an "M" (for Melody!) which I got from Indigo for $8.99 on sale.

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The gallery wall certainly adds interest in my apartment, and fills up the wall space between a shelf and pantry that looked pretty bare before.

In my front hall, basically right beside the door, I added a canvas on one side (very cute!) and a mirror with a tiny bird on the top. Both of these were from Homesense and were steals!

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Hopefully these posts have been giving you some inspiration for your own decor. Please let me know whether you like this series or not, and if you'd like to see any other types of posts from me! Will be posting again soon!

Apartment Series: The Bathroom

I think the bathroom is a pretty special place, especially when it has been transformed from a dirty & scary bathroom into a girly and clean one! I have only one bathroom in my apartment so it needs to contain all of my personal stuff while being the place for guests as well. I have tried to make it fun and affordably cute. The major changes to the bathroom has been painting the walls, a great deal of SUPER cleaning, changing the light and shower head, and a changing of the toilet. I used the same paint colour as the rest of the apartment just to keep it cohesive. There's some bobbles like the green (chia plant looking!) plant in the corner of my counter to add colour, which was $3.00 from Target. The soap is from Bath and Body Works (10 for $30 deal!). My toothbrush and toothpaste are being held in a french porcelain container that I got from Homesense, and yes, it was on sale for $5! The q-tip porcupine I actually got from the AGO's gift shop. I love it for being so cute and it being $13! The porcelain bird contains cotton pads for my face, and is from Homesense ($6.50). The mirror is also from Homesense and was regularly priced $10.The shower curtain is from Homesense as well, and was $29.99. (I splurged!) On the opposing wall from the counter I put a mirrored portal, which has storage instead. I think it adds some interest and was $39.99 from Homesense (another splurge!).

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All in all, I love my bathroom. Its pretty small, but contains everything that I need. When I have guests over I always get compliments on my inexpensive decor. The moral of the story is you don't need to spend a lot to make a bathroom, or any room for that matter, look nice!

Apartment Series Introduction

Good morning everyone! Today I'm embarking on a new journey on my blog. I will officially be starting my apartment series. I recently just moved into a condo and it is quite small, but at the same time, so perfect!

I wish I could show you the before and after, but the before was just so scary (like excessive visible dirt scary!). However, I'll be listing all the things I changed to make it much less scary. Decorating and fixing an apartment certainly doesn't have to be pricey, just take your time and you'll find the right pieces at the right price.

The gnome cohabits with me in my front hall (haha), as you can see he's a cute protector! The lamp I got from Target, and I filled it with turquoise glass beads that I'm pretty sure my mom has had for twenty years. The little fox bowl, which now holds candy and treats, is actually a measuring cup that I picked up in a set from Winners. These three items sit on a white cabinet which was originally $350 from Winners and I snagged it for $50! So proud of that deal.

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And there's Mr. Bingley!

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The Best Shelf Ever...

This really is true. The EXPEDIT shelving unit from Ikea is so versatile, sturdy, and nice on the eyes. Right now, I own a total of four shelves simply because they are so awesome... and because I have a truckload of books! Sadly, Ikea no longer sells the "Expedit"; they have replaced it with the KALLAX. It is just as nice, comes in a wonderful slew of colours, and costs only $79.99 for a unit of eight cubes (it literally is identical to the former!)  I should also mention that they are super easy to put together! I have two of the double shelves on either side of the fireplace, which provides great storage and mimics built-ins at a fraction of the cost! In the corner of the room and beside one of the double shelves, I opted for a single to maximize storage usage.

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On these shelves I display my many books, cameras, and pieces I've collected from family members that are vintage. They're clean, and sturdy. I also use wicker baskets, which are made for both the Expedit and Kallax shelves and retail for $12.99 each. I use them to store office supplies, odds and ends, and dog toys for Mr. Bingley.

If I needed a room divider, I could have used the shelves as well. What I did need was immediate storage in a slender kitchen, and the Expedit fulfilled that need perfectly. I placed the double shelf horizontally, and opted for not adding feet because it was the perfect height. Ikea sells different finishes of feet as well. The shelf stores things like bread and nuts in the baskets, and holds some appliances on the top and inside. Its fully functional for kitchen use, especially when your kitchen is on the smaller side.

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I definitely recommend the new Kallax and old Expedit shelves to anyone who needs storage and purdy functionality at a great price.

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DIY Gallery Wall

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Hello my fellow InBetweeners! Today's post is about a gallery wall that my mom and I put up in our new house. It was a weekend project - from putting the photos into the frames to measuring on the wall to actually putting it up. It takes a little bit of patience, but it is definitely worth it in the end! We decided that 12 frames was a good number to have on our size wall. We did 3 frames that hold an 8x10'' photograph, and 9 frames that hold a 4x6''. The frames are sitting on slender wall shelves that allow for us to change them up from time to time. The shelves were $9.99 each from Ikea. The frames are Ikea RIBBA white frames. The larger ones were $9.99 each and the smaller ones were $4.99 each. At the end of it all, it was a little costly since we decided to do 12 frames, but was definitely worth it! (Think of it as an investment to your living room) Also, by putting in your own photos (that you can get printed by Blacks for a steal or print yourself), you'll save yourself a lot of money. My gallery wall features the photographs that are up for sale on my Etsy shop melodyanneprints.

Ultimately, art gives life to spaces, especially smaller spaces! Hopefully this can give you some inspiration for a gallery wall of your own, whether it is smaller or larger!

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