Posted in Home & Living

Turning your apartment into a sanctuary during these frigid winter months

While this winter is projected to bring freezing temperatures, simple changes can be made to your apartment to make you never want to leave.

Candles

During these frigid winter months, students can find themselves longing the warmth of a crackling fireplace. Unfortunately, almost none of the apartment complexes around Harrisonburg offer this amenity. Fortunately, lighting a bunch of candles can create the same effect. I bought this candle from T.J. Maxx for only $7.99 and it has a wooden wick so it crackles just like a real fireplace.

Buy one from Amazon for $22.34

Curtains

Hanging up curtains can make a bedroom feel much cozier. Choosing a sheer fabric allows as much sunlight in as possible during the day, which is sparse during these winter months. The fabric also acts as an extra layer of insulation between the window and your bedroom, which gives you the opportunity to save a little money on your heating bill.

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Buy a pair at Target for $4.49

Throw blankets/pillows

Adding throw blankets and pillows to a couch can make it appear much cozier and welcoming. It’s likely you and your roommates will opt for movie nights to avoid going out in the cold. Throw blankets and throw pillows will make your couches much more inviting and enjoyable.

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Buy this cable knit throw blanket from Target for $26.99

String lights

Hanging string lights allows you to avoid using the harsh overhead light fixtures in your bedroom. Overheard lights are often very bright and fluorescent which make the room appear cold. White string lights give off a warm glow which make your bedroom feel much more inviting and relaxing.

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Buy a 50-ct set from Target for $2.49

 

 

By: Caroline Jansen

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Posted in Home & Living

Must-Have Cleaning Products for Apartment Living

Being on your own for the first time can be intimidating-especially when it comes to cleaning more than just your side of a dorm room. But having a few key essentials can help make the task of cleaning a little easier and little less of a chore.

1. Disinfectant Wipes

The all-around best tools to have in an apartment. From quickly wiping down a bathroom counter to cleaning off doorknobs to prevent the flu, these things always come in handy. Plus, they’re great for cleaning in a flash.

3-pack of Disinfectant Wipes

2. Paper Towels

The universal mess-cleaner, napkin, tissue, or whatever you need them to be at the moment. The list of uses for paper towels is never ending. You can even buy them in bulk packs, which is great if you’re like me and use at least 20 sheets a day. I make a lot of messes, okay?

Bulk Pack of Paper Towels

3. Swiffer Mop

For me personally, I’ve never even used one of those mops with a bundle of strings attached to the end that you ring out every time you go over the kitchen floor. A Swiffer mop is easy to use, easy to store, and gets the job done quickly and efficiently each and every time. Overall, an essential to keeping a clean apartment.

Swiffer Sweeper Mop for under $15

4. All-purpose Surface Cleaner

I think it goes without saying that this is an apartment staple. For cleaning off the counter after a Friday night meal at home or wiping off the dust from the desk that might not have been touched in a while… this stuff takes the dread out of cleaning (at least a little bit).

All-Purpose Surface Cleaner for under $3

5. Vacuum

If you’re anything like me, vacuuming is a chore that you like to put off for as long as possible. But if you’re tired of walking around on a layer of crumbs and strands of hair, a vacuum is the best cleaning tool to have. Even small ones do the trick. Just a few quick trips around the floor and your apartment will look as good as new in no time.

Dirt Devil Vacuum

Check out this similar post to see more apartment cleaning essentials!

No one likes cleaning, but keeping just a few key items on hand can help make the dreaded task a little less dreadful! Happy cleaning, everyone!

Hannah Long

Posted in Home & Living

3 Ways To Use Your Kitchen Appliances That You Probably Don’t Know

As a person who lives in an apartment away from parents, dealing with our own meal could be the most pleasant thing to do in the world or the least (!?)

Since we wrote an article about 5 kitchen must-haves last week and keep saying cooking by yourself is always a good idea, I figure today I can share some of my “technique for common kitchen appliance/ tools” that will make cooking for you at home a lot easier.

I’m going to introduce some techniques on different common kitchen appliance/ tools that everyone should have easy access to it and teach you how to make the best used of it!

1.A Toaster Oven

I’m guessing that most of us have a toaster oven. We use it for toasting our morning bagels and heat up some cold bread. But do you actually know you can use that as a real “oven”!? You can preheat it and bake a cake or make your own cookie, it will be just as efficient as a normal oven but a lot smaller (means that you can save some electricity, and don’t need to clean up all the mess!). You can also use it to cook/ heat up your chicken, just in a smaller size. Another thing I usually do with toaster oven is to heat up my french fries! The benefit of using a toaster oven instead of a microwave to heat up fried stuff is it can not only make it warm again, but also crispy in the outside and soft in the inside.

2. Microwave

I don’t know about most of you, but to me, microwave is an essential to my life. We all know microwave for its heating function, but do you know you can actually use it to do more than that!? I cook and bake with my microwave as well! Just like most of the college students, I’m always racing against the time, and microwave really saves me A LOT of time and afford. I cook broccoli and egg with microwave the most. For broccoli, all we need to do is put chopped fresh broccoli, water and some salt in a microwavable box and put it in the microwave for 7 mins, and it’s cooked!! Same as the egg, mix all the ingredient in microwavable box (without water) and just microwave it 2-3 mins. You don’t even have to use the stove at all!! You can also bake with microwave. There are a lot of microwavable cupcake or brownie recipe online, they are all fairly easy and you don’t even need to preheat it! No baking technique is required.

3. Electric Kettle

I love hot water, hot tea and hot chocolate, especially in the winter. And please don’t think I am weird, there are actually studies show that drinking drinks hot is better to your body. Anyways, I love hot stuff and an electric kettle can do all of these! However, besides using it to make hot water, do you know you can also make soup, pasta and boiled egg with it as well!? You must be thinking I’m kidding, but I’m actually not! Use Electric Kettle the same way you use a pot. If you are cooking soup, put all of your ingredients in water and boiled it. When it’s fully boiled, put your soup powder in it and it’s done!! Same thing as making pasta. You put your noodles in the kettle and make the lid open (you also want to keep checking it). Put whatever souse you want in it when the noodle is fully cooked, and there’s your delicious pasta!!

Leave a common below, let me know what’s your secret techniques on using kitchen appliances!!

Posted in Home & Living

Holiday Decorating on a Budget

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This time of year tends to be everyones favorite time of year, but the dread of holiday decorating may come as a burden to you. During the holiday season, we tend to spend more money so it may be a good idea to be especially frugal during this time of year. Keeping your apartment festive is easier (and cheaper!) than you may think, and a few simple tips can transform your apartment into a winter wonderland.

1. No room for a tree? Buy a mini one.

Christmas trees can be anywhere from $50 to $100, and not to mention they can take up a lot of space in an apartment. You can still achieve the Christmas feel by substituting a full sized tree for a mini one. The one I have in my apartment comes pre-decorated so I don’t have to spend more time and money decorating the tree itself.

This one’s less than $20 from Walmart.

2. Construct simple DIY decorations.

DIY crafts have the ability to transform simple items into beautiful pieces of art. I have fooled around with plenty of DIY decorations during the holiday seasons, but some of my favorite most successful projects are down below.

DIY Candy Cane Vase

DIY Pinecone Wreath

3. Transform old wine bottles.

Don’t lie, I know you have some old wine bottles laying around from last weekend! I tried this craft and it was extremely successful. Just paint the wine bottles with whatever color you prefer and cut out shapes such as antlers or buttons to transform these old wine bottles into snowmen or reindeers!

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4. Upgrade your kitchen table with a few splashes of festive color.

Adding something as simple as red or green placemats is a cheap and simple way to add that festive touch to your apartment. The best part? Buy them once and you never have to buy them again–just store away until next year!

Pack of 4 Placemats from Amazon for Less than $20

The holidays are supposed to be a time of bliss so don’t let the stress of decorating get to you. I hope these tricks allow you to fully get into the Christmas spirit–without breaking the bank!