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4 inexpensive ways to have fun in college with your roommate

Freshman students may seem uninteresting at first; they are shy, don’t know much about college life and play cautious when it comes to interacting with peers. Instead of adding to their anxiety, you could take the initiative yourself, be open, try to know your roomie, and maybe the awkward situation will turn into a beautiful friendship.

Party bus in Santa Barbara CaliforniaFirst thing when getting to know your roommate, inquire about his hobbies and favorite pastimes. Perhaps you’ll discover you have things in common and you’ll be able to have fun together. If you’re both socialites trying to meet new people, think about throwing a party yourselves or joining one off-campus. It’s no secret that these bashes are the best way to experience college life and meet people in relaxed environments.

Plan a photography expedition. No matter where you live, I’m sure there are plenty of charismatic places to admire and go to. Why not make it a memorable day and capture everything on camera. You’ll appreciate it even more over the years when you’ll have the pictures to remind you of those awesome college times.

Playing board games is not just for kids. They can be really entertaining if you’re in the mood for a quiet night in. So pull out that Monopoly from the closet and let the fun begin. Life, Pictionary or Settlers of Catan are also extremely engaging. And they’ve made quite a comeback recently. So you’re safe, still on the cool side.

Start a working-out routine. Besides strengthening bonds, this activity will keep you fit and healthy. You can either work out in your dorm room, there are easy exercises that don’t require a lot of space like push-ups or sit-ups, or you can head out to a local gym, park or swimming pool. Any kind of sport is good. You know what they say: a sound mind in a healthy body.

Or you could have a movie marathon. This is one of the most inexpensive and enjoyable ways to burn a lazy afternoon and evening with your buddies. Or even a whole weekend with the Lord of The Rings Trilogy accompanied by The Hobbit. It doesn’t cost a dime and you can keep the party going with some snacks and nice music.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in College life, Lifestyle, Roommates

 

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Despre balcon si gradina: cateva idei de amenajare si improspatare

Viata la apartament are multe beneficii; multi dintre noi am ales o locuinta urbana datorita pragmatismului, convenientei, si atractiei unui stil de viata modern. Cand esti mai mereu in miscare, fie catre munca, la intalniri cu prietenii, in parc cu copiii sau alergand sa rezolvi diverse treburi, e bine sa locuiesti undeva de unde sa-ti fie comod sa manevrezi toate acest aspecte. Si de multe ori, din cauza ca alegem sa locuim in zone dinamice, in apropiere de mijloace de transport public sau in vecinatatea unor centre comerciale, abandonam sau cel putin amanam visele de case spatioase.

Insa asta nu inseamna ca trebuie sa renuntam la ideea de gradina inmiresmata care sa ne transmita o stare de bine dupa o zi lunga de munca. Poate nu la fel de bogate ca si o gradina in adevaratul sens al cuvantului dar balcoanele sau terasele de la bloc se pot transforma in oaze de linsite si relaxare. Cu putin efort si creativitate. Noi ne-am gandit sa va dam cateva idei de plante si amenajari care sa aduca frumusetea naturii putin mai aproape de casa voastra.

  • Verdele inseamna energie. Asa ca incercati sa aduceti cat mai multe plante cu colorit puternic, mini arbuşti ornamentali, thuja, brăduti sau butuci de trandafir. Instant, balconul vostru va capata un aer de prospetime.

Balcon plin cu flori: muscate, petunii, iedera, lavanda, trandafiri

La fel de fermecatoare vor fi si varietati de plante cu flori, muscate englezesti, petunii, trandafiri pitici in diverse culori, fuchsia cea frumos unduitoare, lavanda spectaculoasa sau gardenii albe elegante.

Lavanda pe balcon

Lavanda pe balcon

Peretele blocului se poate imbraca frumos in iedera cataratoare care, pe langa ca poate transforma cu usurinţa un zid apasator intr-o mantie verde, energizanta, are si proprietaţi benefice. La fel ca alte plante precum anthuriumul, ficusul plangător sau limba soacrei, iedera curata aerul de diferitele substante daunatoare eliminate de vopsele, mobilier, materiale de constructie sau chiar fum de ţigară.

  • Elemente naturale. Pentru ca o terasa să fie cu adevarat energizanta, ar trebui sa îmbine mai multe tipuri de materiale, de preferat naturale. Puteti imbraca terasa in lemn natural, pardoseli de tip decking, si chiar in piatră naturala care, in combinatie cu verdele plantelor, va crea un ambient placut.
Balcon cu piatra naturala DIY

Terasa placata cu piatra naturala si ghiveci lemn DIY

Pentru un plus de naturalete, puteti adauga elemente de lemn, pergole, suporturi de flori, cadre de lemn, pe care putei aranja specii de plante precum wisteria sau glicina mov, o incantare pentru priviri atunci cand e inflorita (nu uitati ca are nevoie de expunere directa la razele soarelui cat mai mult timp).

Wisteria pe Balcon

Wisteria sau Glicina Mov

O alta planta cataratoare care da bine pe pergole de lemn sau balcoane este caprifoiul (numit si Mâna Maicii Domnului). Pe langa latura estetica deosebita, caprifoiul are si o mireasma imbietoare, astfel incat imaginea unei gradini relaxante sa fie completa.

Caprifoi

Caprifoi

  • Imbinand frumosul cu utilul. Daca doriti sa imbinanti utilul cu placutul in proiectarea gradinii voastre urbane, puteti opta pentru plantarea unor butasi de vita de vie. Adaugati o masa din fier forjat şi cateva scaune, ori un sezlong din paleti si un cocktail racoritor, si lasati-va purtati de vise in paradisul vietii simple si imbucuratoare.
Balcon cu flori

Oaza urbana de relaxare

 

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Add warmth and confidence to your abode with Radiant Orchid hues

Color is the best way to breathe new life into an apartment scene. It’s also the easiest way to make a statement of style and beauty, or to create a soothing retreat for you and your loved ones.

Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014, would be an inspired choice if you want to add zing to your home. This bold hue can magically freshen up your interiors, with its surprising gracefulness and warmth.

Purple Phalaenopsis Orchid

“An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

We’ve collected a few ideas of purple – patterned home accessories that you can easily mix and incorporate into your home décor, without having to dig too deep into your pockets.

Purple drapery, wall art, vases, or frames would all make perfect additions to a home, especially if you’re aiming for a dazzling pop of color. A few accent pieces in this vivid shade and your décor will gain a plus of character, maybe even that “wow” factor that will impress your guests as soon as they step inside your quarters.

Purple draperies

As a more inexpensive option, think of bringing in spring blooms, such as peonies, lilac, roses or tulips, in lively hues of purple, lavender, pink, fuchsia or any other bright color that might add a plus of cheerfulness to your day.

Gorgeous Roses in Modern Vase

According to color experts at Pantone, Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows. Likewise, the vibrant color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe.

If you want to give a boost of energy to your living room, go with purple decorations and accessories. A vivacious blanket thrown on the living room sofa, a brightly colored lampshade enhancing your reading nook, a refreshing flower arrangement or an entire wall painted purple could make all the difference in terms of stylish design.

Plum. Darker, reddish purples are warm and sophisticated.

 

As the one place offering respite from a busy lifestyle, the bedroom could really benefit from a little warmth and coziness. And introducing purple accents into your bedroom’s design scheme is one way to do it. Soft linens complemented by plush pillows, bedspreads or throws in this energetic hue that symbolizes la “joie de vivre” will add a playful feel to your retreat.

Purple pillow cases via etsy

For creating a more inviting ambiance and making your kitchen sparkle with emotion, go with Radiant Orchid colored appliances, wallpaper or even cabinets painted in this enamoring hue. Your kitchen will get an exotic vibe all of a sudden, and maybe even add a little more flavor to your cooking.

Kitchen remodel featuring purple cabinetry
 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Design ideas

 

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Do you have what it takes to live with a roommate?

Living with a roommate is not as easy as one might think. While it’s a must-have experience in college as it’s got many perks attached to it – including weekend shindigs and sleepless nights -, sharing personal space with somebody else other than your partner (which at times might turn out difficult as well) might lose some of its appeal after graduation.

Living with a roommateI think every student dreams at some point of having the bathroom all to himself or listening to the same song on repeat without anyone shouting how irritating it is. On the other hand, living on your own requires much more responsibility on your part and not having somebody to talk to can be extremely demoralizing, especially if you’re a sociable, chatty person. So how does one choose right? Well, it actually depends on your personality and lifestyle; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Here are a few things to consider before deciding one way or the other.

The available budget dictates most of our housing decisions. To keep things comfortable, make sure you don’t spend more than 30 percent of your monthly income on rent. With the rental rates going up and the high demand for urban living, getting a roommate might be a good idea and perhaps your only chance of living in a nice home while keeping household expenses at a decent level. Shelling out a few extra bucks will buy you a lot of privacy though, your choice.

Are you an only child? Then you’ll probably need more time to adjust to living with someone outside your family. Sharing may not come as natural to you as to people who had to deal with siblings their entire lives. Many only children are accustomed to having things done their way, go to bed when they want to, listen to the kind of music that they fancy or simply enjoy the silence when they feel like it. If you want to happily co-exist with a roomie you need to pay attention to what others want and need as well. Being considerate, respectful and polite is sometimes all that it takes to build a harmonious relationship. Maybe even get a friend for life out of it.

As you get ready to move out of your parents’ home, keep in mind one other thing. Home cooked meals may sound all fun and games in theory, but take hours in reality and never taste quite as good as your mom’s. On the plus side though, you’ll be able to keep calories under control and always know how much fat you’re actually ingesting.

One of the golden rules of living with a roommate is keeping your end of the bargain. Do your part when it comes to cleaning and shopping, and make sure you have your share of the rent at hand at the end of the month. Plus, you should remember that among roommates there’s a much appreciated sequence of doing things: it’s cook, eat, wash not cook, eat, watch TV, go out, sleep and then wonder why there aren’t any more clean dishes in the cabinet.

Roommates that have similar life philosophies and share common interests have every chance to succeed in mastering the art of sharing space. That means they understand each other and can relate to each other’s needs. The entire experience gets a lot more pleasant if there’s someone to hang out with after work, help out with the daily chores, feed your pet or water the plants while you’re away.

What do you think? Is it better to go solo or get a roommate?

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Lifestyle, Relationships, Roommates

 

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Invite spring into your home with blooming plants

Spring is finally here, and with it a craving for new beginnings. Whether it’s a new job, new relationship, a revamped interior, or a newly-discovered passion, they all have the ability to bring a plus of energy to our existence.

For me, it’s always flowers that do the trick. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than a garden in bloom, inviting to reverie and joyfulness.

Purple, pinnk and red tulips

My dream garden is filled with daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, roses, peonies and lilac.

Garden in bloom

And although I’m positive that I’ll get there someday, for now I have to settle for a small urban garden, pretty and refreshing nonetheless.

Plants in bloom: hyacinth, tulips, daffodils

 

If you’re looking for simple, low-cost projects to spruce up, add color or bring new life to your apartment as well, here are a few ideas to get you started.

First you need to find a good place for your plants to thrive, preferably a sunny balcony, terrace or outdoor flowerbed; window sills are also a good option to grow flowering plants, as well as other places around the apartment that benefit from natural light.

Houseplants

Phalaenopsis, White Gardenia, Rosa Rugosa

Orchids are my favorite when it comes to enhancing interior spaces. They always strike me with their beauty, so delicate yet totally impactful. I’ve collected quite a few varieties, including Oncidium, Vanda, Miltonia (scented), Cymbidium, and Paphiopedilum (or slipper orchid), and they are equally impressive.

Houseplants

Orchid varieties: Miltonia, Phalaenopsis, Yellow Oncidium; Potted plants: Fuchsia, Pansies and Petunias

Among the many commonly cultivated plants, Phalaenopsis hybrids are probably the easiest to care for. They enjoy the light behind curtains and window blinds so they are a perfect option for apartment gardening. Just keep in mind that orchids, Phalaenopsis included, are extremely sensitive to excessive watering; over-watering is frequently cited as the main reason leading to their demise, so place extra care when you feed your orchids water. The general rule of thumb for plants grown indoors is to water every 5 to 12 days, depending on the type of orchid, the temperature the plant is grown in, and the time of year.

Orchids

Phalaenopsis Hybrids and Slipper Orchid

Balconies are the closest thing to a garden that most urban dwellers may hope for. Don’t let your outdoor space go to waste and start by adorning it with hanging baskets. You can easily turn your terrace into a lush oasis by placing a couple of blooming petunia plants, fuchsias or gardenias in hanging baskets or containers. Their superb verticality will add colorful depth to the space and surprise you with their cheerfulness every time you step out into your balcony. Plus, they will bloom all summer long with a bit of attention.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Design ideas, Outdoor living, Urban living

 

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Decorating ideas for a refreshing bathroom

Embarking on a remodeling project often means time and money flying out of our pockets with the swiftness of light. But if you possess a bit o imagination and you’re willing to put your creative skills to a test, the results may be spectacular.

To keep things simple, you might want to focus your redecorating efforts on a single nook of your home, and start with the bathroom since it involves a smaller footage. And we all know that sometimes a nice hot bath after a long day at work is all that it takes to invigorate body and spirit. The good news is that you don’t need mega-bucks to turn your bathroom into a soothing retreat.

Sedona-grey-hamper via CrateandBarrel

First thing if you live in a rental, check with your landlord what you can and cannot do with the space. Most landlords or property owners understand the renters’ need to make a few adjustments to the place for a more comfortable feel, and generally allow minor remodeling projects like changing a bulb or the wattage, applying a fresh coat of paint, hanging decorations to revive the walls, or updating window treatments.

Then take a moment and assess your daily adventures in the bathroom, especially your morning routine. Are there times when you can’t seem to find anything? This means clutter is your worst enemy so you must find a way to keep things organized.

If your bathroom is already furnished, think of bringing in a couple of pretty baskets, an over the door organizer (as pictured below) or dividers to retain your toiletries. The best part about these systems is that you can throw everything inside and your bathroom still looks neat and tidy.

Bamboo over the door organizer via west elm

Accessories are life-changing when it comes to enhancing bathroom space. For a classier look, install a sleek towel bar, a nice soap holder or lotion dispenser. Make sure you complement the décor with some bright fabrics that make a statement. If your bathroom is cloaked in neutrals, get some red towels or patterned shower curtains for a splash of color and energy.

Hardware is pretty expensive to replace, no need to go there. But the shower head is totally worth it and you’ll be able to take it with you once you get on the road again. Featuring innovative designs and appealing functions, high-quality shower heads can instantly transform a bathroom into a cool spa, inviting to relaxation and pampering treatments.

Some nice pieces of wall art can totally add appeal to a drab space. Even if you don’t have a lot to spend on artwork, you can still have some pictures printed out, fit them in a thrift store frame and hang them on the bathroom wall. The results will be stunning!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Design ideas

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May you find love and peace, and may your spirit stay forever young and vibrant!

I hope you’ve accomplished everything you’ve set your mind onto this past year; if not, you’re still in time. You’ve got a whole New Year ahead, with endless possibilities and new hopes of joy and peace.

Christmas tree

Don’t forget to smile, find compassion and sympathy, and share the joy with your acquaintances and loved ones!

Happy Holidays!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2013 in Holidays

 

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Inspiring home decor ideas for a cozy pad

I’ve always dreamed of having my own place, a home where I could re-paint partitions without asking the landlord’s permission or where home decorating wouldn’t feel like money wasting. Now when I’ve finally got there, I realize that there’s a purpose to everything.

On the plus side of my journey, I’ve discovered that home improvement doesn’t always call for loads of money; you just have to know where to look and put your creative skills to a test. Vintage shops, thrift stores and even yard sales are great places for finding unique pieces of décor that will add instant vitality to your quarters.

I must admit though, decorating on a budget is no easy thing.

Whenever you feel like trying something new, always find a starting point. Instead of giving your home a floor-to-ceiling remodel, focus on a single nook and make it as comfortable as possible. Foodies for example will love the idea of a welcoming booth and table corner inside their kitchens where they could indulge in homemade delicacies and luscious treats.

Book-lovers on the other hand will appreciate a comfy armchair near a window where they could meet their favorite characters and relish words on paper after a hard day’s work.

The secret to a cozy space is incorporating a few accessories that inspire positive thoughts; artsy elements, your favorite collection of minerals and rocks, hats or any other trinkets that could positively affect your state of mind just by being there.

If you have some nice pictures of your family at hand, select a few and get them up on a wall. They will put a big smile on your face every time you walk by. Additionally, you can get your hands on some nice vintage picture frames that will add even more oomph to the arrangement.

If your bedroom doesn’t provide a healthy respite from the hustle and bustle of the day, then it definitely needs a revamp. Add more comfort and style with relaxing furnishings in earth tones, organic bedding, plush pillows or dreamy window treatments.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Design ideas

 

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Alternative Thanksgiving dinner ideas

I vote for a perpetual holiday atmosphere. It’s like the whole world puts on a new face, more cheerful, full of color and beautiful thoughts. It’s only fair that we let these positive vibes flood our homes as well, and more than anything, our family dinners. With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s time we put our minds to work and come up with a menu to delight senses and complement the holiday cheer.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional roasted turkey, I have come across some great recipes that involve less cooking and more celebrating.

My ‘untraditional’ Thanksgiving dinner will consist of turkey enchilada casserole, spinach and turkey salad, a scrumptious potato gratin with homemade gravy, and a delicious pumpkin pie.

This enchilada recipe is easy, but so delicious it will be the hit of your dinner party or potluck.

You will need:

2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
1 cup sour cream
2 tomatoes, chopped
24 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
4 boneless skinless marinated turkey breast halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter, shortening or cooking spray. Next, season the turkey breasts with garlic salt to taste. Put the turkey in the baking dish, cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the heated oven for 45 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and the juices run clear. Shred the turkey and let it aside. You can do this step ahead and refrigerate shredded turkey.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream and a pinch of salt.

Tear tortillas into fourths so that they absorb the sauce better and start assembling the casserole. Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 3 torn tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the turkey, 1/3 cheese mixture, 1/2 tomatoes. and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.

As for table decorating, here’s a wonderful idea that will add oomph to your Thanksgiving feast:

Thanksgiving table decor

It is fun to do something different for a change, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Feel free to share your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, we could all use some more inspiration!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Apartment living, Food, Holidays

 

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O mancarica rapida, pentru serile de dupa munca

Nu as putea sa ma consider gospodina, cu toate ca incerc din rasputeri. Imi place sa gatesc si mi-ar place si mai mult daca as avea timpul necesar sa pun in aplicare toate ideile nastrusnice peste care dau pe bloguri. Dintotdeauna am cautat sa aduc un plus de savoare meselor obisnuite in familie si mereu am cautat inspiratie, incepand cu cartea veche de bucate a mamei mele si sfaturile ei nepretuite, pana la rasfoirea revistei Practic in Bucatarie si mai de curand Pinterest-ul. De la teorie la practica e cale lunga, dar cateodata trebuie apreciata si calatoria nu doar rezultatul.

Pentru o mancare de weekend satioasa sau o cina rapida de dupa munca, va invit sa incercati o reteta simpla, pe care am pus-o in practica de curand si a fost chiar gustoasa: pui gratinat cu legume.

Aveti nevoie de:
1 piept pui
Mix de legume: morcovi, mazare, conopida, varza de bruxelles, brocoli, fasole verde
2 Feluri de branza razuite (eu am folosit mozzarela si feta)
4 Linguri de smantana
Condimente dupa gust

Puiul (fara piele si fara os) se taie in bucati, aproximativ 6, si se bat ca si pentru snitele. Dam bucatile cu putin ulei si condimentam cu sare, piper, boia si oregano. Ungem o tava cu ulei si asezam puiul, adaugand apa (pana la jumatatea bucatilor de pui) si putin vin alb. Dam totul la la cuptor 20 min la 180 – 200 grade. Intre timp, intr-un vas separat amestecam branzeturile razuite cu smantana.

Dupa 20 minute scoatem puiul din cuptor si adaugam jumatate din amestecul de branzeturi peste el. Reintroducem tava la cuptor pentru 20 min. Cand branza ia un aspect rocatiu, puiul este gata.

P1020553

Pentru garnitura, fierbem legumele (daca nu sunt deja fierte) si le asezam intr-o alta tava in straturi, incepand cu un strat de legume, un strat de branzeturi, si tot asa pana terminam amestecul.

Introducem vasul la cuptor aproximativ 15 minute si mancarea e gata.

Gratin de pui cu legume

Urmeaza in acest weekend sa incerc si un desert care mi se pare fantastic: somloi galuska.

somlói

Reteta o gasiti aici.

Pofta buna!

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Ganduri in romana, Viata de zi cu zi

 

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