Entries Tagged as 'At Home'

beautiful utility: rug update in our kitchen

Posted on: Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hello friends! I’ve shared photos of my apartment on my blog before and often on Instagram (#aesfnest), but one room I don’t share a ton of photos of is our kitchen. The main apartment areas, our bedroom and living room, get really nice natural light and are fairly spacious, but our kitchen is…small. Tight, slightly crammed, poor lighting. Oh, and rental life means we, of course, didn’t get our choice in finishes and appliances (seriously, our stove and porch are miniature and way too small for tall people like E 😂).

Wayfair recently challenged me to add some beauty to a “utility” space in my home with a rug from the ELLE Décor Home Dynamix collaboration and I gladly accepted! Our kitchen, while the least perfectly styled or “beautiful” area in our apartment, gets a TON of use almost all day, every day. We both like to cook, so one or both of us are often in there making breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have a little coffee station in there, as well as a wine fridge – two areas that are frequently visited. ☕️🍷 Jack’s food and water bowls are also in the kitchen, which automatically makes that area 100000x messier than other areas of the apartment.

I selected this rug from the collaboration’s Lyncrest collection . Previously, we had a thin throw rug in the kitchen that we purchased in Tulum and while I LOVED the pattern and color, it would get so dirty and it didn’t hold up at all when washed. Washing it was probably a massive mistake because it never looked the same after that. 😬 My new ELLE Décor Home Dynamix rug is machine-washable and has non-skid backings, so definitely holds up to the regular life wear and tear that happens in our kitchen. And, the rug is fade and stain resistant! The colors are muted blues/grays and white and the pattern is forgiving meaning we can spill all the things without it getting ruined immediately. I’m sure we’ll appreciate both of those practical and functional features even more when our little baby is here and crawling around, too!

Our kitchen primarily serves as a (very) utilitarian space in apartment, but I love that this new rug makes the room look nice, while still being super functional. We also try to spruce up the way the kitchen’s overall aesthetic by having some framed art above our coffee cart, displaying pretty marble platters and bowls on the counter, having plants hanging on the wall by the window and arranging succulents on the windowsill. PLANTS ARE MY #1 WAY TO MAKE ANY ROOM LOOK BETTER AND MORE ALIVE! 🌿🌵

Thanks to Wayfair for sponsoring this post and for the challenge to spruce up our kitchen with a new rug!

bar cart styling tips

Posted on: Monday, July 31, 2017

A few years ago, a friend gifted us with a rectangular gold bar cart and since, I’ve been obsessed with decorating the bar cart in different ways and moving it around in different areas of our apartment. Today, I wanted to show you the newest bar cart in our little nest and share a few bar car styling tips.

Recently, I received this cylinder gold bar cart from wayfair and I’m now having fun with the new decor challenge of styling this one in a different way. I moved the rectangular one into our kitchen, but might integrate into the bedroom in some way. For this new cylinder one, I placed it in our living room under our hanging shelves and next to a gold plant stand and big plant. In terms of what I’ve put on the bar cart, I’ve had to pair down the items since it’s much smaller! I like how this one is smaller so makes this particular corner in our living room a *little* less crowded, plus I like that each of the two tiers are mirrored.

So without further ado, here’s some of my bar cart styling tips and tricks!

Put the bottles with pretty labels front and center. My husband E has some really good bottles of whisky, but they didn’t make the bar cart cut this time because the bottle itself or label is just a little meh. Obviously, the whisky will still be enjoyed, but for now, the not-so-pretty bottles of booze are being stored in other spots rather than on this smaller bar cart. Interesting or pretty bottles of wine and liquor will make the cut! 🍷

And/or, get a decanter. That leads me to my next point – one way you can display booze is in a unique or pretty decanter. There are tons of options from Wayfair, but the one I have pictured here is just from a flea market (another great place to find bar cart swag). Decanters are a great way to not only store your liquor, but also add some personality and quirk to your bar cart, depending on the shape or size.

Put pretty glassware on display. Since we tend to drink wine mostly, I have wine glasses on the top shelf of the bar cart for easy access. I have some pretty patterned gold champagne glasses on display too. If you’re more of a cocktail fan, I would recommend getting cool glassware, like short and tall glasses or cocktail mugs. 🍸

Add some greenery/florals. This advice isn’t exactly limited to the bar cart, because I always recommend more plants and flowers in all areas of the home. But, I definitely like when our bar cart has a small plant or some pretty blooms on display. 🌿

Mix in some non-bar related accessories: I like to have some non-bar related accessories on the bar cart so it’s not just screaming BOOZE and instead, feels like an integrated piece in the larger space. On the larger bar cart I had, I had a globe on the bottom shelf which I think added a bit of whimsy and tied into other areas of the apartment (as we have travel photos, maps, etc. on display). You could also do a stack of pretty books, a candle or other home goods that aren’t bar/drinking related.

And, here’s a few more ideas just in case!

Incorporate framed art. if this bar cart were a little bigger, I would add some framed art to the top shelf. I had a print in a gold frame from our wedding on the bar cart earlier that looked really good with the gold bar cart, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit on this one!

Display cocktail making accessories – if you want to make your bar cart a little more functional (vs. more decorative like mine), you could add cocktail making accessories/gear like a shaker, jigger, ice bucket, strainer, muddler, etc. I would recommend storing these in a cute cup or bowl so they aren’t just haphazardly placed onto the bar cart. 😉

Store those “etc.” items. the bar cart is a great place to store coasters, fun cocktail napkins, a container of colorful or patterned straws, etc.

Why not display fresh fruit? if you’re hosting a cocktail party anytime soon, why not put a small bowl of lemons or limes on display on the bar cart? It’s a fun (and again, functional) way to add a pop of color to the bar cart.

As mentioned, this cylinder gold bar cart is much smaller than some other bar carts, so of course, I couldn’t incorporate all of the ideas I shared above. But, hopefully they give you some ideas on how you might style a bar cart in your own apartment or house. Thank you for reading and thank you wayfair for partnering with me on this post!

Photos by Lisha Wang

Spinach & Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

I’ve always loved smoothies and more recently, have jumped on the oh-so-popular smoothie bowl trend. When Wayfair reached out and asked if I would share a smoothie recipe, alongside 16 other bloggers, I jumped on the opportunity! I was excited to share one of my favorites, plus to discover other smoothie recipes from some fabulous ladies.

I decided to create a smoothie bowl for this little challenge because I really like 1.) the contrast in textures between the creamy smoothie and crunchy toppings and 2.) they feel fancy and pretty. And since I typically work from home and wear not-so-fancy clothes all day, I like spicing up the day with something sort of fancy(ish).

The main / only “tool” you need to make an epic smoothie is a blender. I am a HUGE fan of my Vitamix, but this one is more affordable and v highly rated and I’m intrigued/kind of want to get a hand/immersion blender as well.

I’m a classic strawberry and banana smoothie kind of girl, but right now I’m on a pineapple kick and also wanted to incorporate some greens. Spinach is a really easy and tasty green to add to smoothies, especially if you’re new to the green smoothie train.

Spinach + Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl recipe below!

Smoothie Bowl Ingredients:
A handful spinach
2 stalks celery, cut in half
3 spears pineapple (from Trader Joes, but you could also get adventurous and cut your own pineapple. I would recommend a half cup or so!)
1 date, pit removed
2 tablespoons nonfat Greek Yogurt
Splash of unsweetened almond milk
Fresh ginger (1 small knob, peeled)

Optional Substitutions:
If you’re looking for dairy-free option, swap Greek yogurt for half of an avocado to get that creamy texture. I would have added it if I had one, with or without the yogurt! || If the sweetness from the pineapple and the date isn’t enough, add some honey. Or opt for more sweetness from your toppings! || Protein powders are also a good option, as well as chia seeds (either blended directly with smoothie ingredients or used as a topping).

Toppings (the fun part!):
Pomegranate seeds
Bare Snacks Organic Toasted Coconut Chips
Purely Elizabeth granola (my absolute fave – vegan, gluten-free and SO GOOD)

For a high speed blender like the Vitamix, I add the fruit and harder items like celery first, layer on the spinach, and top with the liquid.For regular blenders, often the recommendation is to add liquid first (to the bottom). Pinterest is a great resource for smoothie recipes and tips for using your type of blender or device.

Blend for about 2 minutes and pour/spoon into a bowl. Top the sh!t outta the smoothie with colorful, healthy and yummy stuff. I prefer a few crunchy toppings to contrast with the creaminess texture of the smoothie. Also contrasting colors between the toppings and the smoothie, like I did with the pom seeds, always makes for a pretty photo. 😉

Annnnd Jack clearly wanted to try the smoothie too! Here’s some smoothie recipes from other amazing bloggers. Thank you Wayfair for sponsoring this post!

1. Simple Green Smoothie by Bright Green Door
2. Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by Create and Babble
3. Layered Smoothie by Dans Le Lakehouse
4. Orange Carrot Smoothie by Divine Lifestyle
5. Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie by Embracing Homemaking
6. Peach Cobbler Smoothie by Endlessly Inspired
7. Tropical Green Smoothie by Harlem Lovebirds
8. Spinach and Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl by Lucky Andi
9. Simple Strawberry Smoothie by Only By Grace
10. Orange Carrot Ginger Whole Food Smoothie by Pretty Polished Perfect
11. Tropical Spinach Smoothie by Red Shutters
12. Chamomile, Blueberry, and Peach Smoothie by Vicki O’Dell
13. Pineapple Spinach Smoothie by The Honeycomb Home
14. Dreamy Lavender Smoothie by The Mom of the Year
15. Green Detox Smoothie by This Girl’s Life
16. Winter Citrus Smoothie by Two Places At Once
17. Chocolate Pea Protein Smoothie by We Know Stuff

#aesfnest: living room!

Posted on: Wednesday, November 30, 2016


hi friends! recently, our teeny tiny apartment was featured on the everygirl, one of my favorite lifestyle websites. my amazing friend tory shot all the photos and the feature included photos of the apartment and an interview about career, relationship, home decor and general life stuff. since not all of the photos made the final feature, i wanted to share a few more shots of our apartment on my blog. today, i’m sharing photos from our living room! on IG, i always tag photos of our apartment with #aesfnest if you want to see more photos!

our living room is accessed both by the hallway from the front door and from French doors connecting it the living room to the bedroom. the apartment is pretttttty small, but we do our best to make everything fit and make the most of the space. as you can see, I LOVE PLANTS and i’m always looking to add more greenery to the apartment. i think that’s my #1 home decor “tip” – adding plants or succulents instantly add life to a room and in my opinion, can really transform a space.

while we’d love to another couch in the room, it’s just not possible so we opted for furry stools and poufs as additional seating options.  the dining room table is also in the living room and we tend to spend a lot of time here – eating dinner, drinking coffee, hosting friends for dinner, and even getting work done, as the table acts as my work station most of the time. it’s not pictured, but behind one of the French doors is a really tall, wide mirror that makes the room feel a little bit bigger, plus is a great spot to do my makeup and hair when I don’t want to be crammed in our little bathroom! my favorite corner of the room is where our gold bar cart is, housing booze and glassware and a special globe that everyone signed at our wedding. above the bar cart are two shelves with more plants, books organized by color and some special trinkets/bookends from my mom.

all photos by tory putnam || check out the full everygirl tour + interview HERE!













Shop the Living Room:
Rug, Overstock
Gold Bar Cart, Target
Champagne Flutes, Nordstrom & Target
Coffee Table, West Elm
Console, West Elm
Side Table, Target
Fur Stools, Target (similar from West Elm or Target)
Leather Pouf, Wayfair
Mirror, IKEA
Arc Lamp, Amazon
Blanket, Pendleton
Sheepskin Throws, NuLOOM
Shelves, DIY (similar from West Elm)
Table Runner, Target
Throw Pillows, Amazon, Target, IKEA
Decanter, Vintage
Globe, Vintage
San Francisco Prints, Vintage
Magazine Holder, Urban Outfitters
Couch, Ashley Furniture

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