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How To Decorate Your Rental Home & Apartment, In 7 Quick Tips

Today we've got another awesome post brought to you guys by Alexandria Wade, you can see her previous post, 5 simple tips to create a better life here. Newer to the blog and curious to see my previous rental? You can see that HERE. I recently found the photos of my previous rentals (think like, 10 years back) and it's sort of ridiculous-- my style hasn't changed almost at all. Prints on prints. Flowers everywhere. And with the exception of this rental in the photo above, plants everywhere too. And hey, at one point I had a 4x4 foot weaving loom instead of a dining table. Crazy, right? #themoreyouknow. ANYWAY, hope you're having an amazing day! Onto Alex's post------

So you just moved in to your new apartment? And maybe all your thinking about is how limited you feel? Well, guess what – you can still make your house a home! It may be a challenge, but at least it’s a fun one!

When looking for a place to live (even when temporary), it’s always smart to look for good natural lighting.  It’s a natural, easy, and cheap mood booster. If you’re already living somewhere dim, use mirrors to enhance lighting and give an open feeling.

ASK! Some landlords don’t mind as long as the color is neutral or if you paint it back to the original color when you move out. Otherwise, paint pieces of décor that you can, like chairs, tables, etc.

Determine your style: 
Figure out your style of décor and main colors. This will help when you are picking pieces for your home. Have a plan so you make purchases that go together and mix well in the home you’ve been given.

Plants: Seriously, these green babies will be your best friend. They add color and life to any home in the simplest way.

Alternate hanging options: 
There’s lots of magical new inventions – like command strips – which allow you to hang on walls without using nails. Take advantage of technology! If hanging isn’t working out, sit pictures and decor against the wall on the floor or table. Think beyond the walls:  It’s easy to look at walls that are the wrong color or feel limited by what you can put on your walls but there are always other areas to decorate!  Use rugs, fun table décor, knick-knacks, good curtains, pillows, and even wastebaskets!

Think beyond the walls:
It’s easy to look at walls that are the wrong color or feel limited by what you can put on your walls but there are always other areas to decorate!  Use rugs, fun table décor, knick-knacks, good curtains, pillows, and even wastebaskets!

Unique Décor:
Going with thinking beyond your walls, think about using daily items as décor. Stack books along the wall or sit your vinyls in a crate.

You may need to think out of the box, but it can be done. Regardless of how temporary your home might be, it can still be beautiful and feel like you. So go get ‘em kid!

Alex is the owner of Midland Reach. She resides in Springfield, MO, where she graduated from Evangel University with a business degree. She's been working with creatives since interning at A Beautiful Mess. Between working on a décor team in college and my internship, she realized how much she loves working with creatives and developing strategies in business and marketing. It then led to her own little blog and business helping creatives, bloggers, and small businesses in general. If you need help with creating building a sponsorship program or managing your marketing, reach out to her! :) 

Find more life how to's here

1st, 3rd, and 4th photo by ohdeardrea. post by alexandria wade for ohdeardrea

An Instagram Takeover

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I'm not sure if I had the chance to mention it here (if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this), but I got to takeover Carnival's instagram feed while we were away on our cruise! This has now been the third instagram takeover I've done--- and I really love them! It's nice to throw my own style of photos into someone else's feed :)

If you guys missed our other Carnival posts, you should def. check them out. So much color, light, beautiful ocean, and fun--- and I'd like to think the photos I posted on their instagram show a bit of that too :)

You can see our photos on board the ship: HERE
Our photos at our port destinations: HERE
The food we ate: HERE
And a Caribbean recipe I put together pre-trip: HERE :)

Here are the instagram photos I shared just in case you missed them!
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French fries forever.
We're big french fry lovers around here. It's our main guilty pleasure. I grew up eating them as a special treat with my mom and it's good to do it with my kiddo and friends too. We ate a few more fries than usual on the cruise... because we'd be crazy not to :) 
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Magens Bay -- St. Thomas
We have beautiful beaches here in South Florida, but this beach was by far one of the most beautiful ones I had seen in a long time. And calm enough for me to even venture into it, haha. 
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staring down at the ship's dance floor. Marlowe was OBSESSED.
It’s funny, but not entirely surprising that this one was of Marlowe’s favorite things to do. The four year old is still in love with ballet and dance after all. So she asked practically every night if we could go watch people dance :) 
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A GORGEOUS night view of St. Thomas from our balcony!
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Us in Antigua--- our favorite stop!
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And a view like this-- of nothing but ocean, is something I'd like to experience every single day. Nothing can compare. Sunrise, midday, sunset, it was all perfect. Experiencing this view again: it's on the bucket list.

find my instagram HERE & Carnival's HERE :)
I hope you're all having a fabulous week!

*this post was created as part of our collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

India, Here I Come!

Hey guys! I'm off to india tomorrow! I've got a fair amount of emotions going through me--- ups and downs and fears and joys-- but lately, well, it's been mostly a lot of upcoming plane anxiety! I  actually found out today, the plane is a two decker! I've made an uncountable number of trips in my lifetime, but I've got to say, a plane with stairs is a first for me! Everything is all packed--- with the exception of this computer, and a few peanut butter sandwiches I plan to make in the morning--- I figure, they're pretty easy to carry, easy on the stomach, and filling enough to last me until I make it there--- at which point I'll either crash into a drowsy delirious sleep or be so high on emotions and anxiety that I proclaim, food and party now! Though, I believe I'm arriving at 3 am india time? To be completely honest, I don't even know what time I'm supposed to arrive though. Ooof. All I know is I'm ready for bed--- and that I'm going to breathe these emotions in and out until I make it there, because that's all I can do!

As mentioned, this blog will still be updated daily. I've got some good posts lined up for you--- all sitting there, pretty, ready to go ;) Of course I wont know what my internet situation is truly like until I'm there, but I do hope to be posting a bit of my realtime travel photos--- and thoughts along the way :) And of course, always posting all the colorful tidbits on instagram too :)

To the ladies joining me on this trip--- I'm excited to set everything up before you arrive and of course, I can't wait to see you all there!

I hope you're all having a great start to your week! Kindly send warm, floating, loving thoughts of an easy journey my way ;) Happy tuesday!

photo source: elise hanna.

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things

these pretty things again

they look good with these pretty things

this pretty thing photobombed by two dogs. 

lazy snuggle sessions. 

texts from my mom. sorry massachusetts. 

marlowe asks to vacuum for the first time ever. super exciting, obviously. 

this night was ridiculous--- in a good way.

so much love for this photo. and giant pom moms! (bedding and moroccan wedding pillow

late night kid picnics. 

hung up some art from our new orleans trip (finally!) 

plantain toast forever. 

clean up.

snuggle bunny. 

Find Hylee!

So I'm sure a lot of you guys know this by now, but I used to manage a health food store way back when. Juices, vitamins, cleanses, homeopathic goods--- you guys can image the place I'm sure (they're all similar, aren't they?!). At this point in time, I began to learn a bit more about all the homeopathic options out there. I was already vegan, and mostly healthy, but I never gave much of a second thought to the homeopathic options of the world until this point. I remember pretty clearly the customers coming in-- and singing many, many praises about Hyland's-- which, admittedly, may have been the start in my research on these homeopathic options. 

Years and years later, when Marlowe started teething (again, forever ago), it was no question that I would give Hylands a try :) I had already been a big fan for myself and was then able to give some extra natural relief to the kiddo as well. Hyland's is completely benzocaine and paraben free and contains no artificial colors or dyes--- A win all around! We obviously have no teething babies around here (with the exception of my favorite niece, baby Trudy), but nonetheless, I'm excited to team up with Hyland's to share a bit on this brand we used ourselves and to offer you guys the chance to win some pretty great prizes for your own home :)

Want to win a bunch of amazing Hyland's products? Here's how:
You've got to find Hylee--- the baby tooth fairy ;) Hylee is hiding Hyland's social media pages and website! Starting Monday the 23rd (9AM EST), check the Hyland's social media pages (Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram), find Hylee, and let Hyland's know where you found her!

So how do you tell Hyland's you've found Hylee? 
Simply click THIS LINK daily (starting at 9am EST) and tell us where you've found her hiding that day! There you'll find a questionnaire to answer (or a few hints to help you find her if you haven't).  Every single time, you're entered for a chance to win 1 of 500 Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets! Easy, right? 

Keep up with Hyland's to be sure you don't miss out:

That's not all! 
Be sure to keep up with my instagram this weekend (I mean, you guys always do anyway, right? nudge nudge. hint hint), because I'll be sharing my own Hylee picture for you guys to enter to win an additional Hyland's baby gift pack with a bunch of homeopathic products for your kiddos! Simply comment on my instagram photo with the #findhylee hashtag to enter :)

TADA! An easy and fun way to win a bunch of natural products for your kiddos and home :) Have a great weekend, friends. Find that tooth fairy ;) 

How To Cut & Peel Plantains

Plantains. Do you love them? Do you hate them? I actually love them--- even though I loathe bananas. I didn't love them growing up, but they weren't a regular item in our house either. I mean, I had definetely been introduced to them, passed, and then moved on. We eat plantains pretty often around here--- and even though it's incredibly easy to prep them, I figured I should mention it here--- just in case-- because it's like one of those things, that are easy to be confused by if you were never taught (like cutting a mango or prepping an artichoke). If you've never actually cut one or watched someone do it, theres a good chance you're going to make it more complicated than it needs to be. So tada, a simple how to to bring a bit of summer to your winter---- sort of perfect for all you people in the snow and perfect for today here, on this incredibly grey and rainy day: how to cut and peel plantains :)

you'll need: 
-One incredibly ripe plantain. The blacker, the better.
-A sharp knife.

how to:
1. cut the tip off your plantain.
2. carefully insert the very tip of a sharp knife into the peel of your plantain--- just enough to the the skin and not so that it cuts through the flesh.
3. make your cut through the skin of the plantain from the very top, all the way to the bottom.
4. carefully peel plantain. if the plantain was very ripe, there's a good chance it's going to be super mushy, thats good! just don't squeeze it ;)
5. remove skin completely.
6. slice plantain on a bias*, about 1/2 inch thick slices.

tada! now you have a plantain ready for cooking! You can fry these bad boys up for ultimate crispiness, bake them, use em in stews, whatever!

*So why do you want to cut the plantain on a bias and not as rounds? Well, because when you cook your slices, the edges become extra crispy this way! And the crispy part is the best part ;) 

see more food how to's HERE.

Happy plantain eating! Happy wednesday! Happy spring is coming!