Monday, September 30, 2013

Color Wheel: Charcoal Grey

Charcoal grey is becoming the go to neutral for many designers. It looks fabulous in both fashion and decor. It conveys a sense of sophistication and looks good on everyone. The psychology behind grey tells us that it represents peace and balance.  It's calm, subtle, and a reliable color for any occasion.  But just because grey is a safe color doesn't mean it's plain. 

Grey as a neutral can mean something different to everyone.  It can be dressed up for sophistication or casually comfortable.  Light shades of grey have a more feminine feel, while dark bold grey is more masculine.  Like any neutral, there is a massive range of undertones grey comes in.  They can range anywhere from pink, blue, lavender, or even green.  Blue or green tinted grey reminds us of the sea while pink or taupe undertones give off a warmer feel.  If you're thinking about painting your home grey do some research and test spots.  Colors change dramatically through out the day depending on your light source.  Our advise is to try out a few and see how they compare in the morning and night. 

When you decorate with grey consider the textures you're working with.  It's important to keep your room interesting by layering different shades and incorporating interesting textures or patterns. There's something for everyone when it comes to grey.  This color is a chameleon and can be tailored to any style.  Modern, traditional, minimal, classic, contemporary, you name it!  Find your perfect hue and break out of the everyday boring neutral. 

 Grey is the perfect background color.  With a range between white and black you have so many options to find what best fits your space. Grey is much richer that it's neutral counterparts. White, beige, and tan are common place in homes these days and tend to look cookie cutter.  Bringing grey into your home gives it dimension and a creative flare.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

15 Ways to Decorate for Fall

Fall is officially here, it's time to pull out the pumpkins and indian corn! We all love cozy fall decor, so here's a list of great fall DIYs. If you're used to the same seasonal decor, try spicing up your style with a Autumn wreath or cinnamon candles.  You can find this list and other great DIY and decor ideas at The 36th Avenue blog.
DIY Sign and Fall Decor at Simply Giani

DIY Burlap Acorns by Life Is A Party

 Color Block Candy Corn Pillows at Positively Splendid

Fall Wreath at Shanty 2 Chic

Dollar Store Hot Pads Makeover at The 36th Avenue

DIY Fall Napkin Ring at The 36th Avenue

DIY Burlap Utensil Holder at I Heart Nap Time

Fall Garland at A Beautiful Mess

 Fall Leaf Initial Wreath at The Thrifty Abode

Pinecone Wreath at The Shady Porch

Book pages paper mats and table name tags at The 36th Avenue

Chevron Pumpkin Tutorial at My Sweet Savannah

Fall wreath at Tattered & Inked

 Rustic Twig Leaf Tutorial at The Kim Six Fix

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Need to Know: Renters Insurance

Renter’s Insurance…we’ve all heard the term but what does that really mean? We all insure our cars, electronics, and even our health. But when it comes to rental insurance many people are in the dark. We’re here to break it down for you and give a little insight.

Isn’t my Landlord responsible? 
Your landlord is responsible for damages to the structure, not your belongings inside of it. They may even have coverage for damages caused by a tenant. However this doesn’t extend to your personal rental space. If a kitchen fire were to start in your apartment, it’s all on you.

Isn’t it expensive? No, not really.
Actually it’s quite affordable. On average a renter’s insurance policy cost between $15 and $30 per month. Personally mine is only $12, I think that’s pretty manageable. Replacing all of your belongings in the case of a disaster will cost you much more. Better to be on the safe side.

I don’t have anything worth insuring.
Unless you live in a shell of an apartment you definitely have things worth saving. The average renter pays $200 a year in insurance. Your computer alone probably cost more than that. Accidents happen and renters insurance can cover anything from clothes to electronics. Your possessions add up fast.

What about liability?
Yes, renter’s insurance can come with liability coverage. That means if someone is seriously injured on your property you wont be stuck paying medical bills. If you have pets, like a dog, it’s wise to look into liability coverage that will also cover your pet.  Accidents like this don’t happen frequently but when they do the expenses pile up fast.

Is all insurance the same?
Renter’s insurance comes in all shapes and sizes. Consider where you live and what kinds of things you need coverage for. Live in a flood plane? Might be a good idea to have plenty of coverage. Your premium in in part determined by your zip code, but you can choose how much insurance you want past that.  This way you can make it as inexpensive as possible while still being covered.

Next time your landlord hands you an insurance pamphlet don’t sigh and think of it as “just another cost”.  Word to the wise, get insurance before the worst happens.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Living Alone: Best & Worst Things

Making the decision to live alone can be a tough one. Maybe you’ve had bad roommates in the past or just want to fly solo. Either way there’s a lot to think about.  Living alone doesn’t mean you are alone, but it’s a big change of pace.  If you’re on the fence about living alone here are a few things to think about.

Pro – No one to annoy or be annoyed by you
Con – Living alone can be lonely

Pro – You don’t have to pick up after other people
Con – All of that mess is yours

Pro – No roommate to steal your clothes
Con – No roommates to steal clothes from

Pro – No one to share the shower with
Con – No one to split the bills with

Pro – You can stay up as late as you want
Con – Living alone can be creepy

Pro – You can eat whatever you want whenever you want
Con – Cooking for one means lots of leftovers

Pro – You can decorate you space however you want
Con – You have to buy all of that furniture yourself

 Tips to Living Alone

Find an Apartment where you can live by yourself.
Get a place that will be manageable to pay for and take care of single handedly. I might also be a good idea to live in proximity to community areas and activities. This makes it easier for you to get out of the house once and a while.

Schedule your time.

It’s easy to get into bad habits when you live alone. We recommend making a schedule for weekly activities and chores.  Plan time for you to clean you apartment so you don’t end up with a mess you can’t handle.

Learn to shop for one.

It can be difficult to shop for only one person. Have an understanding of what foods and products you go through quickest and which you can stock up.  Don’t over buy food you wont eat, it’s a waste of time and money.

Keep a healthy lifestyle.

It’s easy to let things go when you live alone.  Try to keep you space clean and tidy. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Learn to entertain yourself.

It’s important to learn to enjoy your alone time.  Living alone is what you wanted so act like it! Pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read.  Start a list of classic films to watch. Have fun and enjoy your down time.

Don’t forget the people who raised you.

Just because you live by yourself doesn’t mean everyone else fell off the face of the earth.  It’s important to keep in touch with friends and family. Make time to get together and get out of the house for a bit.

Enjoy it!

Now that you live alone you can play by your own rules. If you want to listen to Taylor Swift on repeat DO IT! Nobody else has to know you’re feeling 22. Now that you’re all grown up don’t forget to have fun.

Do  you have any advise for living solo? Let us know! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

20 Game Day Ideas!

Photo from Tatertots and Jello
It's football season once again and the battle of the birds is coming up this Saturday! Whether you're a Cyclone, Hawkeye, Panther or anything in between, it's Iowa tradition to tune into this game. That's why we've got a few great ideas to get you ready for game day. You can find this list at Tatertots and Jello , visit their site here to find more.
uMason Jar Football Cutlery Holder @ The Cards We Drew

Custom Bottle Hang Tags @ Design, Dining + Diapers

Football Push Pops @ Smart School House

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread @ Today’s Creative Blog

Game Day Printables @ Balancing Home

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip @ Couponing & Cooking

Loaded Reese’s Peanut Butter Bar @ Lemon Tree Dwelling

Cheesecake in a Jar @ Chase the Star

Dirty Dr. Pepper Cake @ I Heart Eating

Simple Chili Mac @ Balancing Home

Football Mantel @ The Happier Homemaker

Oatmeal Snickerdoodles @ Ashley’s Dandelion Wishes

Apple Berry Crumble @ Cooking with Curls

Cookie Dough Filled Chocolate Cookies @ Will Cook for Smiles

Bacon Cheddar Scones @ The Cards We Drew

Reform School Brownies @ Made by Nicole

Red Velvet Brownies @ Simply Suzanne’s

Chocolate Cinnamon Cheesecake Cupcakes @ A Night Owl

Apple Cake Crumble @ Kleinworth & Co.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hot Spot: Joe's Pizza and Pasta

This week's Hot Spot is Joe's Pizza and Pasta in Ames! Located at 4518 Mortensen Rd
Ste 104, Joe's is the perfect place to wind down on the weekend. Use your Fun Money to get authentic New York style pizza. Check out their website here for the latest deals. Not to mention they do take out AND delivery! 

Joe's Weekly specials included: 

Monday - Buy a 12'' one topping pizza and a calzone or stromboli for only 16.95Tuesday - Buy two 18'' or more specialty Pilla and get a thrid 18'' one toppping for FREEWednesday - Buy any 2 pasta or sautee entree with salad and bread for only 19.95Thursday - Buy an 18'' specialty pizza, garlic cheese bread, and a 2 liter soda for only 21.95Friday - Buy two 18'' one topping pizzas for only 24.95Saturday - Buy any 18'' speciality pizza ad get a garlic cheese bread for FREE

Joe's Pizza and Pasta is getting seriously great reviews. This is just a few of the raving reviews they've been getting. 

Tonight,  for the first time since  moving here at the twilight of the disco era,  I had a pizza at a place a few blocks from home that is worthy of being compared with any New York corner pizzeria. Joe's pizza is flat out fantastic.  Astonishing as it was, I was eating a pizza that had the proper crust thickness, taste, and texture. The cheese was exactly right (not too stringy or mushy, with excellent flavor).  Perfect amount and seasoning in the sauce,  Each slice folds perfectly (New Yorkers will know how critical that is) with just a trifle of grease at the corner.Steve K.

I know this place has been open for a while but I've just discovered it in the past month. We've been there three times. In a month. The food is just really good and the service is great. Lindsay H.

Joe's was recommended to me by a colleague, who said it was genuine NY-quality pizza, and he was absolutely right. The pizza here is superb, and just like the kind I used to get growing up: a perfect, foldable slice, and is to my knowledge the very best pizza in central Iowa. Mark H.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Color Wheel: Orange

When I think of orange I can't help but think of beautiful Autumn leaves and the changing seasons. Let's just say I'm ready for falling leaves and pumpkin spice lattes! But as it turns out, orange is a very complicated color. It symbolizes warmth, creativity, and compassion; making it a great color to keep around your home. The article "Meaning of the Color Orange" by Jennifer Bourn from Bourn Creative gives great insight into this radiant color. Check out what she has to say below:

Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange is associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, freedom, expression, and fascination.
Orange is the color of joy and creativity. Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be shared, such as compassion, passion, and warmth. Orange will help a person recover from disappointments, a wounded heart, or a blow to one’s pride.
The meaning of the color orange is stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow.
Studies show that the orange color can create physical effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased socialization, boost in aspiration, stimulated mental activity, increased oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance. Orange also helps aid decision making, and enhances happiness, confidence, and understanding.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DIY Tissue Paper Poms

photo from HGTV
Tissue Paper Poms are a simple way to dress up your next event. They only take minutes to make and are the perfect decor for weddings, showers, or even just for fun. Take a look at this step by step tutorial from HGTV!  
Materials Needed:

colorful tissue paper

florist wire

photo from HGTV

Fold Tissue Paper
Layer six to 10 sheets of standard-sized tissue paper on a flat surface. Fold width wise in an accordion-fold pattern.

photo from HGTV

Cut Ends
Use sharp scissors to cut both ends of the folded tissue paper into a point. 
(rounded ends also look great!)

photo from HGTV

photo from HGTV
Secure Center

Bind the center of the tissue with florist wire. Tie a ribbon onto the wire so the finished pom-pom can be suspended.

photo from HGTV
Fluff Tissue

Gently pull apart layers of tissue and fluff them to form a sphere. Alternate between pink, lime green and white tissue to create a striped effect or choose paper in varying shades of the same color for a floral effect.

When you're done with your DIY Poms, try hanging them, or creating a floral like center piece.  There are so many ways to use these Poms so get creative!