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Forget About Work-Life Balance and Try This Instead
The pressure to do it all, have it all, be it all, and still have a perfect home to throw Pinterest parties in is pervasive and leads inexorably to talk of multitasking and time management. Balance, to me, is finding a way to spin all the plates on all our appendages. But if minimalism is a counterpoise to physical excess, then taking things out of our schedules must be the antidote to busyness and the key to being present. Here are some ways to practice presence in your daily life.
Sep 20, 2015
Does Making the Bed Really Make You Happier? I Found Out
We tell you all the time about the importance of making your bed — the one task that will make you happier, healthier, permanently stress-free and rich beyond your wildest dreams (or something along those lines). But against my own advice — I know, I’m a hypocrite — I rarely make my bed. Mornings are always such a scramble that it never seemed like much of a priority.
Aug 26, 2015
3 Secrets of People Who Know How To Say “No”
For such a small word, it sure is hard for some people to say no, even when they really, really want to. So how do some people breezily refuse an invitation while others begrudgingly accept? How do they pull if off? Like this! Here’s the deal: even though it doesn’t feel like it, saying no is your right. If you choose that path, you don’t need to explain yourself. That’s not to say you need to be rude.
Aug 23, 2015
9 of the Very Best Things About Living Alone
Living with roommates — or with a partner — can be pretty fun. But there are certain joys that can only be tasted by those who live alone. Here are nine of the very best things about living solo. Singing out loud. This is one of my favorites. It doesn’t matter what you sing, or how loudly, or how badly, because your only audience is you. (And maybe your neighbors, if your walls are especially thin.) Watching whatever you want to watch.
Aug 18, 2015
The Awkward Files: 3 Things to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say About Someone’s Decor
Who likes keeping their friends? Me! So what do you do when your friend proudly shows off his new apartment and, well, you don’t love it. You won’t need to lie if you keep these responses at the ready. You can always find at least one thing you like! Sincerely complimenting one specific thing is so much better than hemming and hawing and offering a half-hearted, “Wow, what a great place…” generality.
Aug 13, 2015
5 Things I Love About My (Imperfect) Home & Why You Should Make This List, Too
We recently renewed the lease on our small apartment and while, in my heart of hearts, I knew all along that we’d be staying here at least another year, the months leading up to re-signing included many hours looking at apartments online and even a few in person. For a time, all I could focus on were the things about our apartment that drive me nuts (a “shotgun” layout, need I say more?
Jul 15, 2015
Flirting with Minimalism or Downsizing? These TED Talks May Just Talk You Into It
It remains to be seen whether downsizing and minimalism are going to be a cultural shift or just a cultural fad, but these ideas are certainly in the air and on a lot of minds. If you’re feeling a tug toward simplicity and paring down, here are some excellent TED Talks to watch on these topics from people who are already “walking the walk.” With one exception, these TED Talks come from Tedx events – TED-sanctioned but independently run events.
Jul 4, 2015
11 Simple Ways You Can Keep Cool at Night During a Heat Wave
If you're spending The Great Heat Wave of 2019 tossing, turning, and throwing off damp sheets with an angry flourish, here are a few ways to make those hot summer nights a bit cooler.
Jul 1, 2015
20 Things You Can Do to Make Mondays Suck Less
Ahhh… Mondays. For most of us, they’re the start of the work week, bringing with them a bleak realization that the weekend is definitely over. But if you want to live a happy life, you’ve got to start looking on the bright side of things! Monday is just another day, with tons of opportunity to live, laugh, and explore. Changing your outlook on Mondays isn’t hard, it just requires a few small tweaks to your routine.
Jun 28, 2015
This is Real: The Baby Cage
1930’s London wasn’t known for its plentiful fresh air or sunshine but for a quick minute, these babies got to soak up as much as they could of both…while dangling high above the city streets in a wire cage. Guess that’s one way to get your kid to play outside. This incredible invention was brought to our attention courtesy of an hilariously tongue-in-cheek recent Gothamist article.
Jun 23, 2015
10 Telltale Signs You May Be Living in a Grown Up Home
When you’re young and carefree, where you live is sometimes just a place to sleep between working and being a social butterfly. And that’s fine. That’s what being young is all about. But most of us, at some point or another, wake up, look around and realize that our home is no longer Dorm Room 2.0, but has the markings of a real, grown-up abode. If you think this might be happening to you, here are 10 signs to look for: Re-edited from a post originally published 6.16.
Jun 15, 2015
Secrets of People Who Don’t Stress Out When They Travel
Have some trips coming up (for business or pleasure)? Want to know how to glide through the airport, not break a sweat on a road trip and in general, enjoy the act of traveling — the actual getting from one place to another — a bit more? Take a page out of the notebook of travelers who never seem mussed or frustrated with these stress-less secrets.
May 5, 2015
4 Terrific Habits of Homebodies (That Anyone Can Do)
Everyone knows a homebody. (And if you don’t know one, you definitely are one.) Homebodies aren’t boring and they’re not necessarily shy. They just know hanging around the house can be pretty awesome. Here’s why… Homebodies love spending time at home and so they naturally put a lot of effort into making their home a great place to be. That might manifest through calming colors, lots of comfortable seating or even just plenty of snacks.
May 3, 2015
Why Modern Cities Are So Ugly…and What We Can Do to Fix Them
We tend to think of beauty as being mostly subjective. But if you were to ask a random sampling of 100 people what the most beautiful cities in the world are, you’d probably get a lot of very similar answers. A lot of people might name San Francisco, or Paris, or Prague. But you probably wouldn’t garner a lot of votes for Frankfurt, Germany, or Houston, Texas. What makes certain cities more beautiful than others? And why is it that newer cities often tend to be the ugliest of all?
Apr 22, 2015
The Breakup Guide: 4 Basics to Help You Get Your Home and Sanity Back
Nothing I can say here is gonna make your breakup not suck. Sorry. But there are some little tricks that will ease the sting and help you get back to normal (or better than normal!) faster. You already know this stuff in your heart, but you probably need to hear it anyway. If you’re living together, you need to stop. No excuses.
Apr 21, 2015
Working From Home? 10 Things You Can Do to Keep Work and Home Separate
Recently, Adrienne wrote a post on 10 Things to Do in 10 Minutes Before Work to Make Coming Home Much Nicer. As someone who works from home, I know that it can often be difficult to draw the work/home line. So if you work from home, here are 10 things that you can do to clearly delineate your time. 1. Keep set hours.
Apr 21, 2015
How Living in a Tiny Apartment Made Me Happier and Saner
In Houston I had a house that was almost 1,000 square feet, with two patios and a balcony off the bedroom and a washer and dryer and more closets than I knew what to do with. And then I sold it, and got rid of almost everything I owned, and moved into a 260 square foot apartment in Manhattan, the smallest place I’ve ever lived since I lived in a college dorm. And you know what? I’m a lot happier.
Apr 14, 2015
The 4 Qualities of All Successful Cities
I studied architecture in college but somehow managed to avoid reading that seminal work of city planning, Jane Jacobs’ Death and Life of Great American Cities. Until I moved to NYC, and a friend challenged me to read it for an impromptu book club, and I started taking Jane with me on the subway and suddenly the secrets of this great city, and of all great cities, were laid bare before my eyes.
Apr 13, 2015
11 Ways to Use & Display Vintage Metals
Have you inherited some vintage silver, brass or copper pieces and have no idea what to do with them or how to display them in your more modern space? If you have some sentimental pieces sitting in a box collecting dust, here’s how to incorporate them into your everyday decor. You’ll look at those old silver creamers at the thrift shop in a whole new light. TOP ROW: 1. Gather up a grouping of vintage creamers, cups etc.
Apr 8, 2015
Try This the Next Time You Get a Compliment on Your Home
You know that confidence is key when you’re getting dressed in the morning or giving a work presentation, so why do so many people lack confidence in the choices they’ve made in their homes? The next time someone admires your decor, try this. I’ve recently noticed that almost every time I give someone a compliment, they immediately start telling me what’s wrong with their space and what they plan to change. Whyyyyy?
Jan 23, 2015
Resolution Remedies: 10 Do’s & Don’ts to Keep You On Track This Year
It’s about time to get your resolutions in order — if only so you can have a quick answer to the only question you’ll be asked after New Year’s Eve. Once you’ve identified your big goal this year, make it last with these tips to keep you positive and on track. Start right now this minute — Whatever your resolution is, there’s no sense in binging on your bad habit prior to beginning your “good” behavior.
Jan 4, 2015
5 Habits to Adopt in the New Year for More Happiness at Home
This post isn’t about embracing habits that affect the cleanliness or order of your home like making your bed or taking your shoes off. In fact, it’s not about making your home better, it’s about making yourself better through time spent at home. Read through and see which ideas appeal to you, which are realistic, and which ones spark different ideas you can pursue. 1. Have one daily ritual that is just for you.
Jan 2, 2015
On Breaking a Homebody Habit (And Why You Sometimes Should)
I love to walk into my home and see all the color and pattern I’ve stuffed into every corner. I love drowning in my stacks of books. Seeing the art I’ve collected over the years, a visual record of my evolving tastes. I love the way my couch hugs my back when I cuddle up with my cat and throw blankets. It’s my most favorite place in the whole world. But as an introvert, my home can sometimes be more than just a retreat.
Nov 8, 2014
The Truths Returning from Vacation Reveals About Your Home
October was a month full of travel for me; I think I only spent one or two nights at home at a time. It was equal parts exciting and exhausting, but I’m happy to be back home—for good this time. Funny enough, an extended vacation away from your apartment can actually teach you a lot about how you live your life at home. Here are three things you’ll only discover once you’ve spent some time away.
Nov 5, 2014
DIY Halloween: 17 Awesome Costumes You Can Make from Stuff Around the House
There’s just something about making your kids’ Halloween costumes. Growing up my mom always made ours (out of necessity — not because she enjoyed it!) and looking back at those photos, our costumes always just felt special. They weren’t always complicated — one year my mom bought a giant box of Tide, cut out holes for my sister’s head, arms, and legs, and called it a day. It wasn’t the fanciest costume in the neighborhood, but it was one of a kind.
Oct 8, 2014
Trouble Leaving Work at Work? 5 Ways to Truly Disconnect at Home
As more and more of us work more, work from home and are more connected to work than ever before, plenty of us are finding it difficult to truly disconnect from work. We find ourselves checking in just in case. Trying to get ahead when we find some free time — instead of doing a hobby. We find ourselves letting work worries cloud our non-work time. If you’re one of the many who has trouble disconnecting from work on the weekends and in the evenings, try one of these tips today. 1.
Sep 20, 2014
Improve Your Mood: How Your Home Can Cheer You Up
You may not be able to control the grumps at your job, or all that traffic during your commute, but you absolutely can tweak your home so it’s a mood-boosting machine. Make some strategic choices with your decor to help you bounce back after a rough day. We found five things to adjust. 1. Light — Natural light is an amazing antidote to the blues.
Sep 1, 2014
9 Home Truths We Tend to Forget (That Are Worth Remembering)
Home — and what makes it one — is different for all of us. But there are some universal truths that when taken to heart (and kept in mind), make the home we do have that much more enjoyable. These nine truths about home — how to make one and love the one you have — are the kind of simple truths that sometimes slip our busy minds. But they’re lessons worth returning to and remembering. 1.
Aug 3, 2014
What to Do If You Find Yourself Falling Out of Love With Your Home, Neighborhood or City
We think about the relationships with our family, our loved ones and our friends often enough, but we tend to forget about the other big relationship we have in our lives: Where we live. The house or apartment, the neighborhood, the city. It’s a relationship that requires upkeep and tenderness, like all others. And when it’s suffering, it can cause a whole lot of suffering in your life. Here’s what to do if you find yourself falling out of love with your home.
Aug 2, 2014
Nobody Wants to Be the Noisy Neighbor: Tips for Keeping Your Sound Down
If there’s anything worse than having a noisy neighbor, it’s realizing that you are the noisy neighbor. Nobody goes around intending to be overheard by strangers, but then one day a neighbor knocks on your door and complains about the sound of your footsteps on his ceiling or says he can hear you singing to your cat, and then there’s nothing to do but tiptoe around in socks and worry that all your neighbors hate you.
Jul 22, 2014
Positive Ways To Deal with Other People’s Negative Opinions (About Your Home)
There are a lot of opinions flying around in the world, and if you’re not careful, a well-aimed one can smack you upside the head. Family members think they know best, friends always pipe up, and today’s media provides ample opportunity for even strangers to give feedback on photos you post online. In the face of all that, how to do you deal with other peoples’ opinions about your purchases, decor, or home choices?
Jul 10, 2014
12 Things You Only Do at Home When Alone
Home alone time is a precious commodity, and scarce for many of us. With your roommate, kids, or partner out of town, you suddenly find yourself in your house or apartment with nothing but the sweet, sweet sound of silence. After you stop grinning from ear to ear, get busy doing the stuff that makes you feel good, for no other reason than it makes you feel good. Take full advantage. Walk Around Naked: Unless you grew up in a non-naked family, this is at the top of most people’s lists.
Jun 23, 2014
Basics of a Household Budget that Works
Getting a handle on your finances is extremely satisfying. I’d even say it’s downright freeing. No more anxiety about where the money is going and can I afford this and how much should we be paying for that. Here are a few overarching principles and practical points from my own household budget, considerations that I think apply to any budget. 1. Pay off debt.
Mar 17, 2014
Break the Ice: 8 Tips for Creating a Chattier, Cozier, Comfier Living Room
How do you create a room that encourages conversation when you entertain guests? By spending time crafting a sitting area that maximizes comfort, feels cozy and welcoming and puts guests at ease so they can be their charming and witty selves. We’ve got ideas on how to increase conversation and coziness in your living room and seating areas — even some tips you can easily try this weekend. So what sort of gatherings will these tips prove most beneficial for? Well, not a big party.
Mar 16, 2014
How Many Clocks Should I Have and Where Should I Put Them?
Time management, of course, aims to help us make the most of our time. As the cornerstone of time management, clocks can help us stay in control of our time. Let’s take a closer look at how you can place clocks in your home most strategically. How Many Clocks Should You Have?
Mar 10, 2014
Practice Positive: 3 Things to Stop Saying to Your Home’s Visitors
I’ve had two guests come to my new apartment since moving in a couple of weeks ago, and before they had the chance to compliment the space on its many positive attributes, I apologized (because it wasn’t fully furnished yet — ridiculous, I know). It’s a bad home habit I’ve cultivated over time, and one I’d finally like to break this year.
Feb 9, 2014
Are You From a Naked Family?
Imagine this scenario: you are hanging out one night with a group of friends, and someone suggests you all hop in the hot tub together — naked. Would you strip down at the drop of a hat? Or would you rather string yourself up by your toenails and be forced to watch Carrie Underwood’s live version of The Sound of Music? Your comfort level —whatever it may be — probably has its roots in your childhood.
Jan 9, 2014
How To Start Making Your Own Holiday Traditions Right Now
This year, I’ve been asking myself, “What are you waiting for?”. A lot of people my age get stressed out at the holidays because either we’re not where we thought we would be by now, or we’re not where our parents thought we would be.
Dec 11, 2013
5 Ways To Burglar-Proof Your Front Door
There’s been a small wave of burglaries and petty theft around our neighborhood the last few months, several happening right through the front door of local homes.
Aug 29, 2013
Building Community: 5 Great Ways to Meet Your Neighbors
It’s been only a few weeks since I made the big move south to Atlanta and meeting new people and making friends with the neighbors is very high on my list of things to do. I’ve just moved from a city I love, where I had a circle of friends who lived within 5 blocks, so to put it bluntly, I’m having a difficult time adjusting. I’m struggling with making new friends and meeting my neighbors.
Aug 28, 2013
How To Truly Relax While Traveling
How many times have you returned home from a fantastic vacation, only to hear yourself telling someone that you’re so exhausted you need another one to recover? The pace of modern life is making it increasingly difficult for us to switch off, and time away from home can end up being just as stressful, albeit more fun, than our everyday lives. Read on for some tips on how to really unwind on your vacation.
Jul 30, 2013
Can’t Buy Happiness: 5 Simple Ways to Turn Any House Into a Home You Love
What’s the difference between a house and a home? A house is a structure you live in that provides for your basic needs and safety. A home is a place that provides you mental and emotional support, a place you look forward to being in to get away from the outside world. Do you feel that way about your home?
Jul 3, 2013
What’s Your Criteria for Choosing a Roommate?
Taking the time to choose the right roommate could be the difference between a friend for life that you looking forward to seeing at the end of the day (or someone that keeps their distance and causes no trouble), and horror stories you will tell at dinner parties for years to come. Back in my college days, I unfortunately found myself in the last category, and let me tell you, it is not fun.
Mar 11, 2013
Making it Work: Working From Home With Kids
I love the way our world is changing. Gone are the days where you were either a work-outside-the-home mom or a stay-at-home mom, when rare was the woman who didn’t fit into one of those categories exclusively. With the integration of technology and innovation into our work and home lives, there are so many possible combinations of working environments for moms (and dads!).
Feb 19, 2013
Less Is More: 15 Pieces of Furniture You May Not Really Need
Minimalism certainly isn’t for everyone. In fact, it probably isn’t for most people. But in the words of Francine Jay, thinking like a minimalist can be “a fun little thought-experiment on what’s truly necessary.” If you want to play along, here’s her list of 15 pieces of furniture that you may be able to live without. Be forewarned: this list is probably going to strike you as extreme.
Aug 16, 2012
10 Reasons I Love Living in a Small Town
Sometimes small-town life can get you down. Everyone’s going to West Elm, or Anthropologie, or heck — even Target, and you can only dream about being close enough to one of those stores to be able to casually drop by. Well, I’m here to remind you of ten reasons why living in a small town can really rock.1. Trendy design is hard to find.
Jul 3, 2012
Saying Farewell to a Home
Today I’m saying goodbye to a house. It doesn’t know I’ll never see it again — it has no idea that this will be the last time I’ll walk within its walls. It doesn’t even recognize the sheer volume of memories it holds; how many tears and smiles and adventures it has seen. But I am here to say goodbye.
Mar 13, 2012
Ode to an Old Plaid Sofa
Dear Beaten-Up, Broken-Down, Ugly Old Plaid Couch: Thank you. As long as I’ve had a couch, you have been my couch. Your ugly, unmatchable plaid-ness has been my curse and my great joy. Now that the time has finally come to replace you, I find I can barely bring myself to do it. What will my living room be without you? What will I be without you? We’ve been through so much together. When my proud parents brought me home from the hospital, you were there.
Feb 29, 2012
How To Successfully Circulate a Neighborhood Petition
There is a major development being proposed right across the street from my house. Needless to say, I’m no happy camper. After going through stages of disbelief, anger, and sadness, I decided to get busy:How do you start a petition? It’s something I really didn’t know the answer to, but after leading a petition of my own, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s what I learned before hitting the pavement over the weekend: Get help.
Feb 21, 2012
You Can Do It: 100% Realistic Budgeting Tips & Resources
Budgeting is one my least favorite subjects. One, because I am one of those right brained people who avoids math and numbers at all costs and two, because I was never taught how to make a proper and realistic budget. But, whether or not it’s in our comfort zone, we inevitably hunker down and try to crunch numbers and make a plan.
Jan 13, 2012
Forget Kindling: Start Fires With Orange Peels
With the first day of Fall just around the corner, there are some parts of the country that have seen rather low nighttime temperatures. We’re always ready to bid Summer farewell and welcome Fall (and all that goes with it) with open arms. Time to light the first fire in the fireplace? If so, turn to citrus peels instead of kindling!Although you’ll probably need a little supplemental help from another source, orange peels are perfect fire starters!
Sep 19, 2011
How Can I Display My Sticker Collection?
Q: I’m looking for a great way to display the stickers I collected from the brands, bands and logos of my youth in the 80’s and 90’s. I would love to hear of a way to present them in mass, but not by sticking them on a large board, all over an old desk, the back of a door or fridge. How can I show these off like the pieces of art that they are and not have it look like it belongs in a frat house?
Jun 23, 2011