Apartment Plants: growth + care

Last year, right around this time, I did a little plant tour video to show some love for all of my plants. Well a lot can happen in a year and my plant family has nearly tripled in size. With all of my new additions to my plant family, I felt it was only necessary to share them with you. Since I’ve kept these babies alive for quite some time as well I feel a bit like a plant parent champion and therefore am competent enough to share my plant secrets.

Norfolk Pine –  A hearty plant but it isn’t actually a pine, it just resembles one. It’s actually from the orchid family and is a tropical island plant. Definitely my favorite house plant out there. Harry knows me well and was my Valentine’s day “flowers” last year. It needs bright indirect light and I find that watering it every two weeks is best.

Cactus – My cactus is my only plant that has a name, Chubby. I keep it in a spot with bright indirect light and water it once a month.

Air plants – I love these and even made my own plant stands for them, you can check that out here. These can live where ever. Mine get bright indirect light and I water them every 3 weeks or so.

Golden Pothos – This plant has been tricky. It didn’t start growing until recently and I don’t know why. I water it about twice a week now and it has started growing a lot faster. Bright indirect sun is also great for this one.

Aloe Vera – Another resilient one. Bright indirect sunlight and water about every other week.

Rubber Tree Plant – Lots of bright indirect light and water every 9 days or so. This one can be tricky but just remember to dust the leaves off so it get’s adequate sun light.

Pencil Cactus – I have two of these, one baby and one big one. The baby one was my Valentine’s day “flowers” from Harry this year. Lots of bright light and water once a month. It’s very low maintenance so, don’t over think it.

Monstera –  A beautiful fast growing plant. Bright indirect light, shocker. Water once a week.

Dracaena – Moderate indirect light and water every two weeks.

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Coffee Kit

There is NOTHING better than making a perfect cup of coffee at home. That’s why I’ve curated my coffee kit over the past 2 years. Investing a lot of time in gathering some of the best coffee making products, I’ve definitely mastered this art of coffee making at home. Harry and I are crazy about coffee and it’s the one thing we will never quit.

However, the one thing I would like to add to this in the future is a burr coffee grinder. We really just don’t have room for one right now. For now we just grind our beans when we buy them at the store or cafe.

Bonavita 1.0L Gooseneck Electric Kettle – This is a staple for pour over. But with its quick boil time and simplicity, it’s very multipurpose.

Bonavita Programmable Glass Carafe Coffee Brewer with Warming Plate – 8 Cup – This is one of the greatest automatic coffee makers out there. Especially with the glass carafe; the coffee is never bitter. The taste of the coffee that this makes is a lot like a pour over but much smoother and balanced. 10/10 would recommend.

The Basic. Coffee Pour Over Stand – It’s just so cool. The glass, again, creates a coffee that’s never bitter. Quick and easy to use, especially with the Bonavita kettle.

French Press – Oh so classic. I had these growing up and I’ll probably use one for the rest of my life. A very bold and creamy coffee, simply the best.

Pantone Percolator – For a good espresso at home, get a percolator. Cost effective and easy to use. Great for making lattes and other coffee drinks.

HAY Clip Clip – I just love this so much. I got it in Oslo at the HAY store but you can get it at other retailers in the US. It has a clip on the reverse that serves as a clip for your bag of coffee, genius.

So, how do you like to make your coffee?

Note: I didn’t picture our handheld milk frother but I do love using it. It was a bit of an after thought because I use it mostly in fall/winter for making lattes at home. But this is the one we have.

Bonavita Kettle/ Bonavita Coffee Maker/ Pour Over Stand/ Bodum French Press/ Pantone Percolator/ HAY Clip Clip

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 

My journey with a Capsule Wardrobe started almost a year ago already. Time has really flown by but I have definitely learned a lot about my style, clothing and consumerism over the past year. I have to say that I really do believe that a Capsule Wardrobe is the best way to organize your life and also force you to realize exactly what goes into the clothes you wear. How they are made, where they are made, who made them…etc. My journey for this next year is going to involve supporting ethically sourced, made and produced clothing including eco-friendly made clothing. Consuming less is inherently eco-friendly but I would still like to strive to push my ethical and ecological backbone even further. For now though, here are just some ways I’ve worked with my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

Using accessories has become critical during the winter months. Most days I wear a chunky sweater and jeans so layering with scarves, jewelry and bags has definitely been a focus of my spending for my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

My sweater collection was big enough from my Fall Capsule Wardrobe that I didn’t really need to purchase any sweaters. So I bought a new pair of jeans because I wanted to get a pair that would last and be versatile throughout the changing of trends. They still have ripped hems though; I don’t think I’ll ever get over that trend.

Exhibit A: stacking on the jewelry. This is actually a bit excessive for me but, case in point. Jewelry can change a minimal Winter Capsule Wardrobe in so many ways.

Some how I lucked out this year. It hasn’t been nearly as cold as it normally is so I haven’t purchased a warmer winter coat. I’m still wearing this teddy bear one from last year but it’s warm enough and I feel comfortable in it so there’s no need to change it.

It’s even been warm enough on some days to just wear my leather jacket which astounds me. Also I’m clearly not over the cami over tee ensemble. So 90’s, so understated ‘cool’.

Keep an eye out for my future Capsule Wardrobe post because I will most certainly be including some ethical brands that I am supporting for 2017.

DIY Air Plant Stands

After playing with polyclay for the DIY Wall Charms post last fall, I have wanted to come back to it and see what else I could create. I got the inspiration for these small plant stands at a local plant shop that carries small wooden ones. It took a few tries to get the perfect method for getting these somewhat polished and clean-lined air plant stands but the end result was worth it.

The process isn’t too difficult, the most important ingredient is patience because working with polyclay can be difficult. It’s hard to smooth out to be honest, which proves difficult when trying to make a bowl shaped object. Start with half of a 2oz package of polymer clay, work it in your hands to warm it up and use any objects you have around (i.e. rolling pin, glass bottle, chunky highlighter pen?) to roll the clay flat, smooth and even on a smooth surface like a cutting board or table. I rolled mine to about 1/4 in thick. The clay for my largest plant stand was rolled out to about 5 inches in diameter and the smallest to about 3 inches.

Find bowl shaped object that you have lying around (i.e. ramekin, sugar bowl, small drinking class?) that will function as a mold for your clay to bake on so make sure it’s safe to use in the oven. Carefully lift the clay off your rolling surface and lay it over the center of the bottom of your bowl shaped object. Gradually wrap the clay around the curve of the bowl shaped object.

Make the legs for your stand by rolling out 3 cylindrical objects that are the same size. Then attach them to the bottom of the clay bowl-shaped object that you just created. First line them up so they are all equidistant from each other then gently press the legs into the base of the air plant stand. The clay should fairly easily meld together. Before you bake, make sure the legs are still all the same length.

Once you’ve done that place your clay wrapped mold on to a baking sheet and follow the baking directions that are provided on the packaging of the polyclay (they usually differ from brand to brand).

Take out of the oven, let cool and fill with an air plant. These fun-sized plant stands make a great gift, even for Valentine’s Day in lieu of a bouquet of roses. Or have a Galentine’s Day get-together and create these with your gal pals. Or just make one for yourself. Either way, share with me what you make!

Closet Organization 

When I started my capsule wardrobe journey almost a year ago, I didn’t really know what it would entail. I knew it followed the philosophy “less is more” and that by having less clothing, that are still versatile, in the end you have more options. This really appealed to me as a way to stay organized and have one less thing to always worry about.

A few months ago I decided that part of having a capsule wardrobe is having an organized physical wardrobe. We have two closets, one huge one that could probably double as an office or spare bedroom and one smaller one that we use to store seasonal items and household tools, etc. The bigger closet, because of it’s size has a tendency to get cluttered quickly. There wasn’t much organization to the space and nothing really had a home. So I took it into my hands and devised an organized closet that would suit my capsule wardrobe needs.

I started by taking down the existing clothes rail because it was just too much rail and we were never able to fill the space up. So I added an “auxiliary” rail from Ikea that I knew would be the perfect sized to house all of our clothes that need to be hung up. This in-turn left enough room to stack our dressers and add in more shelving space. Less rail equals more room for other useful organization.

So we stacked up our dressers which are the Malm dressers from Ikea. This gave us room to add two more shelves and room for a shoe rack. I really wanted more shelves so that I could have room for my jewelry and accessories to be displayed. We also store our sweaters and pants in storage bins (which are from Ikea and Target) and we needed more space for those as well. I also recycled an old belt and attached them to the dresser drawers with some gold nails to function as drawer pulls.

I even snuck a bit of storage space underneath the clothing rack. A few of my favorite shoes and a storage bin full of extra bedding and sheets.

I love having my jewelry displayed on the shelves. One: because it’s beautiful and two: because it reminds me to put it on in the morning. All of our trays and catchalls are from either The Container Store or from Target.

I have to say that this one of the best things that we’ve done in our apartment. It was the only spot that had a tendency to get messy; it always felt like a catastrophe whenever it was even slightly messy. It has taught me that it’s important to use your space in a way that is best suited for you, especially when you’re blessed with more than adequate closet space. Feel free to share any of your closet organizing tips with me below in the comments!

Hosting a Holiday Gathering

I will take any excuse to pretend that I’m Ina Garten. Holiday gatherings or just cooking up a lavish meal on a Sunday, you name it and I’ll switch on my Ina Garten alter-ego.

I’m sure that none of us can do it quite as easily as Ina though. Holiday gatherings can be stressful. When was the last time any of us cooked for 6+ people? I’ve learned a few things from this years Friendsgiving that make hosting a much easier task and also make it easier to focus on the real task at hand, spending time with loved-ones and making good memories.

The table setting was easy for me, because that’s just who I am. But it was Harrison’s idea to typewrite everyone a little note on their place setting. How adorable is he?

Refine your menu.

You don’t have to do it all. Limit yourself to 2 or 3 main dishes. I was lucky and got a friend to make the turkey and one to make the desserts so all I needed to do was make the sides. So I stuck with some simple recipes: carrots and mashed potatoes. Ending the dinner with a cheese course is probably the easiest thing you could do. Pick up some cheeses and bread and put them on a platter and there you go. Simplicity is your best friend.

Plan ahead.

Start thinking about your party well ahead of time. Make a concise shopping list and then when it comes time to do the shopping you can get it done and be on your merry way. Trust me, this is much better than scurrying to figure it all out the day before.

Ask for help.

Ask your invitees to give you a hand with the cooking, the drinks, the decor, anything! If you are willing to put work into the gathering then friends and family should be more than willing to help out a bit. Time and energy saved there.

These three little tips really helped me out this year as I planned a little Friendsgiving for all my pals. Happy holidays from me and I hope your holiday gatherings are filled with happiness and cheer!

DIY Beaded Plant Hanger

I’ve been experimenting with plant hangers recently and I came up with a very simple and easy plant hanger design that anyone can do with just a little time. The main idea behind this plant hanger is a simple criss-cross pattern with beads. The easiest way to show this was through video, so I decided to create a video showing you how to make this beaded plant hanger. Let’s get started.

First you are going to need:

  • a tape measure
  • 5 strands of 7.5ft hemp cord
  • 15 fairly large beads (mine were wooden)
  • scissors
  • a key ring
  • a medium potted plant

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you start:

  • The criss-cross pattern is achieved by making knots with two strings. Each string will be knotted with the string that is directly to the right of it (or left depending on which way you work).
  • Leave the outside strings until you have made all of the knots in the middle then knot the two outside strings together.
  • The beads should be about 5-6 inches away from each other.
  • You may need to knot several times depending on what size string you use in order for the bead to stay in place.
  • The longer you cut your string the better. I started with 7.5ft strings but longer than that would work too. Don’t go any shorter than that, unless you want a mini plant hanger.

If you try this DIY, share a photo on Instagram and tag me in it! I would love to see it!