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Style Upgrade: DIY Decorations

Now that life has slowed down a bit since graduation weekend, I’m finally feeling “at home.” I guess I underestimated the mental exhaustion that comes with moving, starting a new full-time job, and getting back into full on workouts (which means 5:00am gym sessions!) I also squeezed in a Mother’s Day celebration, a baseball game with my dad, and a much-needed trip to the salon. By Thursday, my brain was in a fog and I felt totally off. About twelve hours of sleep the next night seemed to hit the “reset” button and by Saturday I felt rested again :)

Just 9 months ago, I was blogging about my bright and newly-decorated apartment in Flagstaff. I will miss that room….paying a little bit extra for the master bedroom, private bath and walk-in closet was one of the best decisions of senior year. Hah! I’ve moved out and moved on, and decided that my “style” should mature with my personality. Out with the clothespin collage and $8 Target mirror! Ellie, my 22-year old stuffed elephant, is here to stay though.

Style Upgrade  my grown up room  Stronglikemycoffee.comSo far, post-grad life is pretty sweet :) I started my full-time job on Tuesday, and I am so lucky and grateful to be working for a company that has been flexible with my schedule. If you are a long-time reader, you know I have been traveling to New York several times each year for treatments on my venous malformation. I am able to take time off of work for my New York trips as well as a couple other summer vacations I have planned, but I’m also able to work remotely from my company laptop if I choose.

Since the stress of finals week is over, that means I’ve also pumped the exercise back up. Man it feels good to run! I love running for the fun of it and especially when the weather is as gloomy as it has been. I’m savoring the overcast days since I know I’ll be craving them in the next couple of months! In addition to regular running/gym sessions, my mom and I downloaded the Alexa Jean Fitness Sore to the Core guide. It’s a 30-day guide with ab exercises in a HIIT format. This morning’s workout killed (burpees, planks, jackknives, flutters, whew!) and we’re only on Day 8….excited to see some improvement!

All of this was a long round-about way to share my new room decor with you. As promised, this blog has expanded to include more “domesticated” content. My mom surprised me with some beautiful decorations for my room, which are pretty dang Pinterest-worthy if you ask me!  I absolutely love the pieces she added, from the handmade Scrabble letter coasters to the glitter-dipped vases.

Simple Country Bedroom decor | Stronglikemycoffee.comThat watering can! For the gold glitter-dipped vases, she wrapped painters tape around middle of the glass. Next, use a paint brush to brush on Modge Podge. Roll or dip the vase in fine glitter, then paint Modge Podge over the glitter again. Remove the painters tape, fill with sand, and stick in your flowers.

Scrabble Letter Coasters and Candle  Stronglikemycoffee.comThe coasters require sacrificing a Scrabble game. We happened to have three so no real loss there.

Buy pre-formed square cork pads and plan out 4 four-letter words for each coaster. First, glue the sides of the letters together with super glue. Then glue the backs of the letters on to the cork padding. Lastly, cover the letters with Modge Podge

Inside an antique-looking birdcage, she staged three candles with little platforms so the heights vary. It looks very “country” and feminine which fits my style. The matching picture frame is filled with an Etsy design of a quote I love: “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.”

Birdcage decoration candle centerpiece | Stronglikemycoffee.com

Candle and picture frame with quote | Stronglikemycoffee.comAs you can tell, I’m addicted to candles. My two roommates in the Flagstaff apartment loved to fry up sausage, bacon and eggs every day. Needless to say, my window was permanently open and candles were constantly burning. My favorite flavors are the subtle nature ones like pine, lemon, and jasmine. My next project is to spruce up my book cases. I just boxed up about 75 books to donate to clear up space for more…..but the picture below is after I “cleared space” so it looks like I better work a little more on that ;)

Bookshelf and room decor | Stronglikemycoffee.comAnd now time for another favorite summer treat….reading new novels!

XOXO Kenz

Stylizing the Senior Year Apartment

Today brings…a lil’ sneak peek inside my casa. I’ve been working so hard to make my personality shine through! I’m very happy with how bright and fun everything has turned out. :)

Stylizing the Apartment DIY (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

My thoughts on decorating: Invest some money to make yourself happy and comfortable with your living space! Just because you are a “college student” doesn’t mean your style has to suffer. By the time you are in your 20’s, you might want to replace the thumb-tacked posters and beer bottle tower with actual items like, you know..flowers, candles, pictures in frames, books.

DIY and apartment decorating on the blog! (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

My mom and I found this elephant shelf in Sedona last spring, which I use to hang my costume jewelry. The hardest part about decorating was finding simple and inexpensive ways to fill up so much empty wall space! Target, Wal Mart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and most other home decorating stores have simple canvases with pictures and quotes to spruce up a bare wall, and I found several to play up the blank spaces in my room.

Elephant Shelf from Sedona (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

DIY and Decorating (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

Pinterest craft #7345: Map boxes. My room majorly lacks STORAGE for odds and ends like cords, chargers, random papers, loose change. Solution: I used empty shoe boxes wrapped in maps like Christmas presents! The boxes are displayed on my book shelf and storage bins. Little does anyone know that they contain 3 Target receipts, a stack of post-its, a pack of pens, some gum, chapstick, hair ties, paper clips and my electricity bill. ;)

Map-covered boxes and exercise shelf (stronglikemycoffee.com)And of course I have an “exercise shelf” ;)

Clothes Pin pictures are also all over the Pinterest page (what would I do without that site?) and I made my own version to fill up some wall space. It reminds me of a mobile, since it’s vertically oriented. But this is the spot where I lay out my zebra-print yoga mat to stretch out after a good long run and I love looking over at my favorite pictures of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Arizona, New York and SoCal. Having a ton of pictures around the room is also really fun for when new people come visit. Sometimes there’s an awkward lull in conversation, but pictures tend to bring up stories. Instant conversation starters. :)

Clothespin picture display (stronglikemycoffee.com)

My dining room is the second most used room in the apartment, because I like doing my homework and work there. I bought this table and assembled the set (50 minutes each chair = not my favorite day) but I’m proud of it now. The beautiful wildflowers outside of our unit will serve as the centerpiece until winter kills them off and then I’m sure a pumpkin-something-or-other will replace them.

Upgrading apartment style // dining room and coffee cart (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The picture on the right is my coffee cart. Another awesome way to clear up counter space and fill up space in the empty room. I haven’t decided yet how to use the bottom two shelves or the hooks on the sides but something tells me Pinterest will solve that problem fairly soon.

So that is a glimpse into my home. It feels good to be here. Mostly I just feel like living here has made me feel like an adult when I’ve felt like a kid thus far. (I installed my own door knob! HGTV here I come!)

DIY and Apartment Stlye (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

My point with all of this? It’s 100% worth it to invest at least a little extra in your living space, whether that be a shared dorm room, a new apartment or your first house. Your room is a representation of YOU and your whole mood will improve if you create a positive place reflective of your personality. Just my thoughts :)

P.S. I considered making this a true “Cribs” experience with the what’s-in-my-fridge segment, but you guys already see enough of what I eat ;) Ha!

Stronglikemycoffee.comI love that my evening walks around the apartment lead me to views like this. Senior year is so drastically different than my previous three years of college…..and I like it. :)

Dorm Sweet Dorm

It’s been almost a month since I moved back to school, but only a week with my new roommate, Fernanda. She moved in last weekend after we met at the start of this semester, and we seemed like more compatible roommates. We both share a love for organization and tidiness but our room was a little plain with the big blank white walls.  I wanted some fun and some color:

First, I had 8 of my favorite photographs printed in black and white – 4 vertical and 4 horizontal. I posted them above my bed. Since my room colors are black, white, red and gray, these circular designs for wall art were a perfect find!

Then on Wednesday, I was feeling suddenly inspired. I wanted some “art” for the walls, and I’ve always wanted to try painting. I’ve never actually painted a picture since finger painting in elementary school, but I bought myself some 8×10 canvases, 10 different color paints and 4 different paint brushes.

Since I only have one class on Fridays, I spent the afternoon making two original paintings to hang above my bed. I am totally an amateur and have no painting experience, so of course they are a little cartoon-y and silly but now I have two things I LOVE decorating my walls…Coffee and Elephants :D

Ellie <3

I came up with what I wanted in my head, penciled the outline of the elephant and just had fun with the rest. The coffee I completely free-handed because that one was a little bit easier. It was a fun project to work on and now my room is a little less plain. Starting to feel a little more like home <3

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