Monday, May 25, 2020

Sew Cute Home: Closet Office Progress Tour



This post has been asked for quite a bit! Today I wanted to share my progress on my office in my new apartment. Sadly with COVID going on there are a few things I am planning on getting that I just can't get at the moment. I am planning a large IKEA PAK system for the empty wall to complete the "cloffice" feel. But, so many of you wanted to see things ASAP so I am sharing a little progress update! Once the PAK system is in the space I'll finish hanging decor and give a final tour. 



For now I wanted to share what is done! Or at least pretty much done. First up is my desk space. Even not during a pandemic I work from home. So it was important to me to have a space to do work. Normally I work on the couch or something which I know is probably not the best. I've been trying to work at my desk most of the time! I got a comfy chair so it makes it way easier. This desk is from IKEA and I've had it for a while. It is around $100 which is such a good deal. It has a ton of storage and can be customized. You can pick different desk tops and legs based on your preferences. 



If you follow me on Instagram you know I am a planner girl. I love my planners, pens, and stationery. So, as you can see my desk reflects that! I have all of my current and future planners displayed on my desk. The main planners I use are Simplified Planner and Erin Condren planners. 



My pens are very coveted. Ask my co-workers because I get very mad when my pens go missing! I've collected pens for so long. I have a ton of pens from Disney trips, London, and all of my travels. Plus I have a ton of functional pens that I use in my planners and a ton of highlighters of course. I've linked my pen storage and some of my pens below. My Mildliners are probably my favorite highlighter I own! They come in a great set and they are perfect for school or planning. A while back my boyfriend took a trip to Asia and brought me back a TON of pens. So I have all of those displayed and organized as well. 



I ordered some super cute roses from Saaya Rose. They last 365 days so they are a great gift idea or decor option if you want flowers in your space! Plus you can customize the color of the rose and box to make it perfect just for you. My Beauty and the Beast notebook is from the parks. But, I've linked a similar option on ShopDisney. I believe they still have these available in the parks though!  


 

I reuse a lot of decor that I've had for years. But I will do my best to link what I can still find. An example of something I've had is this little picture display rope. It hangs on the wall and comes with cute gold clips to hang photos. Here I used it to display my Disney post card prints. I collected a bunch of little postcards to use as decor during my past few trips. I found a bulk of them at Disneyland!  This helps save money because normally prints at Disney are $100+. Where the postcards are about $5-10 each. I also displayed a cute old Stoney Clover postcard and a card from a local PA shop featuring Jim from The Office! 


I love these pin boards! They were a heart shape bullet board from the Target dollar spot years ago. As you can see they make the perfect pin display board! I have a good chunk of my pins displayed here. Some of my more limited edition pins I have kept with the packaging for safe keeping. But these boards are fun to display the pins from my childhood! Most of the pins on the bottom board I've had for years. 


I've got a lot of stuff, can't you tell? I always see so many bloggers with spotless spaces without any clutter. That just isn't me friends. I have a lot of keepsakes, gifts I've been given, and just memories! Pretty much every knick knack in my space has a story. Naturally I had to stay true to myself and include all of these items in my office! On the left you can see two post cards I framed that I got while I was studying abroad. One is from London and the other is from Paris! I love adding touches like this to a space because it makes it super personal. 



Here is my custom clothing rack! My boyfriend actually made this for me out of pipes. Maybe he can make a tutorial if you guys are interested. But, he assembled everything then painted it white. The nice thing about making your own rack is you can customize the size, height, everything! Plus it is super sturdy, a lot better then some of the other pre made racks. Hey whatever works though! I love having a clothing rack to not only store clothes but display them. I've had a clothing rack in my room since college. Mostly because my dorm rooms never had enough closet space, oops. 



Chuck had to get in on the photoshoot! He sometimes hangs out in here while I work. There is usually always a toy laying around somewhere. 


Another view at my clothing rack. I plan on changing out these clothes seasonally! Right now there are a lot of pinks and bright colors for spring and summer. During Christmas I plan on showcasing tons of cute sparkly holiday dresses! While during fall it will be all of my cozy sweaters and Halloween pieces. That is the one fun thing about having your clothes on display. Even if you don't wear them everyday you can still look at them. 



This lamp is old from Target on top of a really old side table from IKEA! I love re-using old pieces I've had in other spaces. You don't necessarily have to buy all new stuff each time you move. Re-use your stuff and make it new! 



I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak at my office! This is just a first draft if you will so stay tuned for the final product. That will be whenever IKEA decides to open up or I can get a curbside pickup time slot! Until then I am loving my cute little space. Shop more details of my office below. 
XOXO
Miranda 


Friday, May 22, 2020

Tie Dye Round-Up


Tie dye for spring? So not ground breaking but I am so here for it. Legit everyone is going insane for tie dye. I'm not sure who started this trend but it is amazing. I am loving all the rainbow pastel goodness. I've rounded up some cute tie dye styles at all price points. Some are as low as $30! Such a good deal. While others are custom made on Etsy or higher end. I even found a cool tie dye mask because friends don't let friends wear ugly boring masks. 

Are you on board with the tie dye trend? Let me know in the comments! 
XOXO 
Miranda 


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Sale of the Week: Memorial Day Sales


It is memorial day weekend! Just when we thought the sales couldn't get any better, they do. I've listed a ton of sales going on this weekend. I will update this as I find more good deals throughout the weekend! 

CONTAINER STORE | I've gotten so many things from the container store for the new place. I've linked some of my favorites below. A ton of stuff is on sale!
large clear drawer | charcoal bins | multi purpose bins we use them in our pantry | fridge bins | fridge water bottle organizer

MICHAELS CRAFT STORE | Get 20% off select full price items! Great time to stock up on craft supplies for quarantine.
crystal glass seed beads | pastel round beads | coral dye for tie dye | letter and pony bead set | rainbow letter beads

BAUBLEBAR | So many cute jewelry pieces up to 70% off. Lots of great layering bracelets to create your stack!
cute beaded braceletheart rainbow beaded bracelet | blush rhinestone headband 

BLOOMINGDALES | Get an extra 50% off select items + a ton of great markdowns on awesome brands.
Barbour x Alexa Chung jacket | Lele Sadoughi hair bow for $13 | I picked up this purple Lele headband | MZ Wallace tote

AERIE | Buy one get one free swimsuit top and bottoms. Great to stock up for summer. I pretty much only wear Aerie swimsuits now!
biker shorts come in a ton of colors | my go to bra | cute swim suit top

NORDSTROM | Tons of items are currently on sale at Nordstrom.
Loveshackfancy dress |  Lele Sadoughi earrings | MZ Wallace tote | pearl hoops | Superga platform sneakers 

ANN TAYLOR | Extra 60-70% off sale styles + 50-70% off full price items. Such a good sale!
extra 70% off these bow shorts | tortoise shell earrings | cute smocked top 

WAYFAIR | We've gotten most of our furniture for our apartment from Wayfair! They are running a ton of promotions this weekend. Great time to refresh your home now that we are spending some much time there!

SUPERGA | 40% off site wide including Loveshackfancy x Superga sneakers!
the LSF pair I own | purple pastel floral pair | bow platform sneakers | classic white sneakers

REBECCA MINKOFF | Up to 65% off Rebecca Minkoff!
their classic black mini mac is under $100! | love this gold metallic bag 

BOXLUNCH | Get an extra 40% off clearance & 30% off Star Wars items!
Spongebob tee | Frozen tumbler | Haunted Mansion tee | Loungefly camo Mickey backpack | Ariel tee 

RED DRESS | Get up to 50% off in their sale section! So many cute pieces. Free shipping on orders over $75.
Disney tee | white layered dress | rainbow dress | white dress for $25! | red baby doll dress 

*Updated as of 4:20pm 5/22*
Are you shopping over the weekend? Let me know in the comments! 
XOXO 
Miranda 


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

In My Amazon Cart



Currently in my Amazon cart! I've been shopping for a lot of home items plus I am getting into making bracelets. My whole life I've been a crafty person so I love this new bracelet trend. I am working on creating some of my own just for personal use. But, I also love supporting small shops that make bracelets too. 

A home item I am eyeing is this gold towel rack. Our bathrooms don't have a hand towel hooks so I desperately need something like this! Plus it's gold so it fits the aesthetic of course. I've also linked our new black out curtains. They work great and have made a huge difference in our bedroom. Also eyeing these cute pink bins! I'm always looking for new ways to get organized so for sure eyeing that! 

What is in your Amazon cart? Let me know in the comments! 
XOXO 
Miranda 


Monday, May 18, 2020

Stoney Clover Tropical Customization Ideas



Customizing Stoney Clover bags is one of my favorite parts of the brand! You can really create whatever you want. From letters, destinations, to symbols they have it all. I've created a few super cute combinations for you to gain some inspiration for your next SCL purchase. From backpacks, to duffles, to pouches I've created some samples of designs I'd create! 

Currently I am really feeling the ombre monochromatic letters. I created this on the purple acai duffle and the hibiscus clear flat pouch. So cute right? I am kind of obsessed. I am also loving this mango backpack with the rainbow letters! Such a cute combo. 

As always Stoney Clover has great quality and has super cute travel accessories. You can stock up and get excited for your next future trip post quarantine. I think we could all use a little trip after all of this blows over. 

What is your favorite combination? Let me know in the comments! 
XOXO 
Miranda 


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Loveshackfancy x Stoney Clover Lane Launch!


A new Stoney Clover launch is here! This time it is a gorgeous collab with one of my new obsessions Loveshackfancy. They created pretty dainty hand painted prints for this collection. I picked up this super cute backpack with the plane patch and bunny patch. Then a pencil pouch and luggage tag. Are you picking up anything from the collection? You can see more details on the Stoney Clover brand on my recent post Stoney Clover Shopping Guide

Happy shopping! Let me know if you pick up anything in the comments. 
XOXO 
Miranda 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sew Cute Home: How we found our apartment!


Hello everyone! In today's Sew Cute Home post I am going over how we found our apartment. I want to preface this post by saying we apartment hunted during the Coronavirus. So our challenges may be different compared to you if you are referencing this post later! We for sure had some additional obstacles due to the crisis. But, we still managed to find a great place so I wanted to share our tips and tricks to finding our apartment.   

APPS 
Apps and websites are a major resource when finding apartments now and days. The main websites and apps we referenced were Apartments.com, Apartment List, and Zillow. When we were looking for our Chicago apartment in 2018 we mainly used Zillow because we weren't looking for larger buildings or complexes. In Chicago most listings are on Zillow as they are individual property owners or smaller three flat buildings. For our current apartment we were looking in the Chicago suburbs which mainly has buildings and complexes which are listed on more apartment focused sites like Apartments.com and Apartment List. 

My personal favorite app I used was Apartment List. This app is essentially Tinder for apartments. You can heart apartments, give it a thumbs up which is a maybe, or thumbs it down and rule out that property. Fare warning though, when you heart an apartment it sends your contact information to that building. I did not know this ahead of time! So I was bombarded with calls and emails from these properties. I'm sure there is a way to change this in the settings but I wanted to throw that out there as that was a mistake I made! The great thing about this app is though all of the details you get. It tells you pretty much everything about the property! What units are available, prices of the units, amenities, additional monthly fees like parking, and more. In my opinion it gave the most well rounded info of all of the resources we used. It also gave me a super easy place to check out the buildings on our list. The app also allows you to basically create a wishlist. Then it shows you perfect matches and matches that you may have to compromise on certain features. This allows you to see what's in your price range and meets everything on your list! 

Apartments.com is also a great website to reference! You can map out an area you want to search on a map which I found super helpful. We were considering multiple cities so this was a great way to search without having to individually search each city. 



PROS & CONS SPREADSHEET 
To help keep our thoughts organized my boyfriend and I created a Google Doc spreadsheet. If you know me I am a very organized person. I am all about charts, lists, and planning. This spreadsheet was actually super helpful to us! I've removed the information for privacy reasons, but this can show you how you can track all of your prospect buildings you are considering. We wanted one place to see all of our options and see the total costs for move in fees plus our monthly cost. Essentially this helped us budget to know how much each property would cost per month. Then it also helped us compare features, space, and other factors while making our decision. Another great advantage to creating a sheet like this is everyone can edit and see it! If you are moving in with roommates or a significant other everyone can add and work on it. Then everyone is on the same page and can weigh out all of your options. 

A category to note that was important to us was the level of finishes. Some buildings we looked at had three levels of apartments. Partially finished, standard unit, or fully renovated units were common at most of the buildings we considered. So it was important to us to add this to our sheet so we can compare what we are getting for our money. Are we getting a partially renovated unit for the same price as a fully renovated unit in another building? These are questions we asked ourselves while outweighing our options. 


OVERALL TIPS & TRICKS 
  • Go in having a prioritized list of what you are looking for. What are you willing to compromise on to get what you want? For us we really wanted a two bedroom so I could have an office. Some two bedrooms were out of our budget so those buildings were automatically out. Maybe you really want amenities or a certain location. Layout these deal breakers ahead of time so you know what to look for and what to pass on. 
  • Create to a budget and stick with it. At some points we wanted to extend that to get certain features, but in the end we found the best balance of price and features. I look at it as would you rather have extra money to maybe eat out or do other things in your budget OR have a really nice apartment and not be able to do anything extra. If you are okay without eating out, shopping, etc. that is totally cool! Personally I like having the flexibility of not overextending myself when it comes to monthly costs. 
  • Consider all of your monthly costs added to the rent. The rent may be lower at one building but are there a ton of hidden fees? Are you paying for parking, what utilities are included or not included, does that building require insurance, etc. We've found out that a lot of these places have hidden fees! For example the first unit we applied for said free parking. Turns out it was free parking for one car. We have two cars and were getting a two bedroom unit, in my mind that didn't make sense. Plus the parking was an outrageous monthly fee for being in the burbs! So we ended up passing on that unit. There were other problems that building I will get into below! 
  • Create some sort of spreadsheet or list to keep track of your favorite units. As shown above we created a spreadsheet and I thought it was super helpful. When apartment hunting you are looking at multiple sites and listings and it's hard to keep track. If you keep everything in one spot it is much easier to organize all in one document. 


WHAT WE LEARNED 

Thankfully we moved into our place and had no real issues! Prior to move in we physically were not in our unit. This was mainly due to the coronavirus. They were not giving in person tours to units. We did take a Facetime tour with the property manager which was super helpful. Prior to deciding on our current place we did apply for a different property. We were pretty set on this property, applied, and were ready to go. Once we got the lease we realized there were a ton of hidden fees we did not know about. The reviews said there was a trash concierge fee of $20 a month, so we asked the property manager about this when we spoke with them. She said the reviews were false and they didn't have that. Turns out the did have that fee and she pretty much lied to us. That really rubbed me the wrong way. We specifically asked a question and they lied about it. Then the property said there was free parking. Turns out there was free parking for one car, but we have two cars and were getting a two bedroom. When we asked why we had to pay for the additional car they went on a whole rant about how they are missing out on millions of dollars in parking because they don't charge you for one car. It was a very rude response in my opinion. To top it off during our application they raised prices in the rent. So we thought we were signing on at one price, but they raised the price in the middle of our application. That made the price go up for our unit. On their website it discloses they can raise prices daily. They for sure lived up to that! So be aware of those disclosures because rates are constantly changing at these larger complexes. Between the extra parking fee, the extra trash fee, and them raising their rates while we were applying we got a bad taste in our mouth. This is when we decided to walk away from the property.

Although we lost our application fees I think it was the right decision. I was already annoyed and I hadn't even moved in! From this I think we learned if it doesn't feel right you need to walk away. You don't want to be somewhere for 12+ months and be annoyed. Plus we kind of learned to trust some of these reviews. The reviews at the first place were half good and half not so good. But our current property most of the reviews were great! So far we've had a great experience.

Hopefully this post helped you a bit if you are currently or going to start looking for an apartment! It isn't an easy process but if you find a great place it is worth it. 
XOXO
Miranda