How to Use Color to Brighten Your Home at Windsor at Mariners

It’s not uncommon for renters to have restrictions when it comes to making changes to the look of the unit; however, there are a number of other ways to brighten up your space without the use of paint. Here are just a few!

  1. Add a pop of color in the kitchen by mixing and matching brightly hued chairs with a neutral table. Paint your existing set in a bright yellow, rich navy blue, or trendy turquoise.
  2. Set out vases of fresh flowers throughout your home for an all-natural burst of color. Think daisies, hydrangeas, and tulips in equally colorful vases.
  3. Top your bed and sofa with a variety of mismatched throw pillows in complementary hues. While they don’t all have to match completely, choosing one color scheme will help you to keep things looking stylish.
  4. Add artwork from local thrift stores and home decor shops housed in painted frames. You can also try a “dipped” look by painting the entire bottom half of the painting and frame in one bright shade.
  5. Add removable wallpaper that you can easily peel off when your lease is up. Use a floral or striped style on one accent wall for a magazine-worthy look.

20 Ways to Add Color to Your Home Without Painting [Brit + Co]
Top 10 Tips for Adding Color to Your Space [HGTV]
7 Ways to Add Color to Your Dining Room [Dwell]

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

Even if you drink tea every day, you may not be brewing it properly. Don’t sweat it, however; simply read up on these simple tips for brewing the perfect cuppa.

  • For hot teas, such as black tea, you’ll want to first bring cold, filtered water to a boil to ensure the best possible taste. Add the tea bag to the cup first, and then gently pour the now-boiling water on top of it, using wide circular motions. Let the tea brew for three to five minutes, no more, and then serve with milk, sugar or by itself.
  • For large batches of iced teas, bring one quart of cold water to a rolling boil in a pot or kettle. Remove it from the stove and add eight to ten tea bags, depending on how dark you like your tea. Let it brew for three to five minutes, and then immediately pour it over a large quantity of ice cubes. You’ll also want to pop the whole thing in the refrigerator to get it completely cold.
  • For green tea, there is an entirely unique process. Because this tea is much more delicate, it can easily burn. Once the water starts boiling, you’ll want to let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool off. Then, pour it over the tea bag and let it brew for just one minute before serving.

How to Steep Hot Tea [The Republic of Tea]
Tea 101 [Teavana]
Brewing Tea [Tea Association]
Make a Perfect Brew [UK Tea & Infusions]

No Green Thumb? No Problem! Grow These Houseplants at Windsor at Mariners!

Even if you haven’t had the best luck with plants in the past, that’s no reason to give up on having a greenery-filled home. While certain houseplants are very finicky and seem to die as soon as you glance in their direction, others are hearty, resilient and made for people whose thumbs aren't exactly green. Here are just a few.

  1. Succulents. The desert native succulent plant is beloved by many for its very sparse watering schedule. Because it only needs watering once a month or so, this trendy houseplant is perfect for forgetful owners.
  2. Aloe plants. The unique looking aloe plant is another one that doesn’t need much watering (or even much sunlight). Simply give it a bit of water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  3. Cast-iron plant. There’s a reason this great plant has a name that’s tough as nails: the cast-iron plant can tolerate everything from low light to changes in the atmosphere like a champ.
  4. Snake plant. The high-reaching snake plant (sometimes called mother-in-law’s tongue) not only offers a stylish, impactful look, it can also survive in low light and with sporadic waterings.
  5. Jade plant. This gorgeous plant will live for years without much care at all, eventually growing into a small tree with a large enough pot.

Houseplants for People Who Can't Grow Houseplants [This Old House]
How To Choose the Right Houseplant [Bayer Advanced]
Houseplants for the Forgetful Gardener [Better Homes & Gardens]

Essential Kitchen Items Any Aspiring Home Chef Should Own

Stocking your kitchen with cooking utensils may seem daunting, and one look at the price tag on a new set of knives will make it seem even more so. When it comes to creating a functional home kitchen, however, all it takes are a few key items to help you make just about any recipe under the sun. Take this list of essential kitchen tools with you to the store and leave with your budget still in tact.

  1. Chef’s knife. This do-everything knife can replace almost an entire set if you’re trying to save space (or money). Choose one with an 8- or 9-inch blade and a sturdy handle.
  2. Tongs. Metal or rubber tongs can be used for flipping meats and veggies, removing hot garlic bread from a pan, and everything in between.
  3. Ladle. This is one of those items that you just can’t replicate. Instead of making a mess with too-small serving spoons, add an affordable ladle to your utensil collection.
  4. Rubber spatula. There’s nothing better for removing batters, sauces, and the last bit of peanut butter from the bottom of the jar.
  5. Measuring cups and spoons. They don’t have to be expensive, but they are necessary.
  6. Vegetable peeler. If you’re cooking from scratch, this will make your life a whole lot easier.
  7. Cutting board. A sturdy wooden or plastic cutting board will keep your counters safe.

The Kitchn's Guide to Essential Prep Tools & Utensils [The Kitchn]
Essential Kitchen Tools Checklist [Real Simple]
Stock Your Kitchen With These 12 Essential Kitchen Tools [Cooking Light]

Cheese, Please! How to Make a Memorable Cheese Plate

For the avid foodie, there are few things in life more beautiful than a good cheese plate. If you want to create a truly gourmet quality cheese plate for your next dinner party or holiday gathering at Windsor at Mariners, use these simple tips for assembling the perfect spread.

  1. Consider the basics. Before beginning, consider how many people you’ll be serving and what other types of food you’ll have. This will help you to determine how much cheese to buy.
  2. Determine quantity. For an hors d’oeuvre, your cheese plate should include one to two ounces of cheese per person. If you plan on serving it after the main meal, pare it down to just one ounce per person.
  3. Choose the perfect serving platter. Invest in a sturdy cutting board, a marble cheese platter, or an attractive slate slab.
  4. Choose the cheeses. Lighter options, like goat cheese and fresh mozzarella, are great options for before dinner, while fuller bodied cheeses include cheddar, aged gouda and bleu cheese.
  5. Create a theme. If you’re still unsure of which cheeses to choose, create a theme. Pick cheeses from one specific region of the world, or opt for cheeses that are all made from goat’s milk.
  6. Organize. Spread your cheeses out on the platter for easy cutting, and be sure to offer a different knife with each kind. You’ll also want to serve complementary breads and crackers alongside.

The Perfect Cheese Platter [Real Simple]
How to Set Up a Cheese Platter [Food Network]
Creating the Perfect Cheese Plate [Food and Wine]

Allergic to Eggs? These 3 Webpages Provide Info About Egg Substitutions

Vegans and those with egg allergies may think that certain foods are off limits, but thanks to egg substitutes, you can still enjoy things like cakes, breads, and other baked goods. These helpful websites are full of tips for using egg substitutes to help you create egg-free dishes that taste just as good as the originals.

PETA
Though this website is tailored toward vegans, its tips are helpful for anyone who wants to remove eggs from their diet. The Egg Replacements page features information about all of the different types of egg substitutes, including silken tofu, potato starch, ground flax seed, and canned pumpkin. There’s also a list full of tips about egg substitutions.

The Kitchn
The Kitchn’s Vegan Egg Substitutes page helps you to choose the perfect egg substitute for any dish. It offers full descriptions of everything from tofu to applesauce, and it also provides information about the best brands of commercial egg replacers.

About.com
The vegetarian section of About.com is a wonderful resource to learn more about egg substitutes. It answers readers’ most pressing questions about cooking without eggs, and it also describes which egg substitutes work best in different types of recipes.

Cool and Unusual Uses for Fabric Softener Sheets

While you likely already know that you can use fabric softener sheets for, well, making your fabrics softer, you may not know that there are a number of other uses for these handy household items. Here are just a few smart and surprising things to do with your dryer sheets.

  • Wipe up fine, powdery spills like flour or makeup using dryer sheets, because the anti-static properties help to pick up these hard-to-scoop messes.
  • Likewise, dryer sheets also make great DIY dusters for shelves, television screens, and baseboards.
  • Freshen up musty places by placing dryer sheets inside of your smelly winter boots, gym bag, or in a musty closet.
  • Remove pet hair from just about any surface (including your clothing) by wrapping a dryer sheet around your hand and gently running it over the surface.
  • In the summertime, stuff dryer sheets in your pockets to repel mosquitos.
  • Remove hard water stains from faucets and the door of a shower by running a dry dryer sheet over the surface.
  • End static on your hair and clothing in the winter by running a dryer sheet all over yourself.

10 New Uses for Dryer Sheets [Real Simple]
20 Household Uses for Used (Yes, Used) Dryer Sheets [Apartment Therapy]
25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Softener Dryer Sheets [Curbly]

Dependable Virtual Destinations for Apartment Decor and Accessories

It’s no secret that shopping online often yields affordable results, and the same goes if you’re looking for home décor items and accessories for your apartment. Any renter on a budget will love to browse those finishing touches that really make a house a home, and these are some of the best places to find them.

Urban Outfitters
While you may already shop at the trendy clothing retailer for all of your favorite T-shirts, Urban Outfitters also offers a great selection of stylish home goods. From eclectic art prints to colorful duvet covers and even mid-century modern inspired furnishings, you’ll find a number of great items on the convenient website.

Wayfair
If your home décor style is classic with a touch of modern, Wayfair is just the place to shop online. Here you’ll find chevron print area rugs, gold metallic picture frames, and antique-inspired clocks to hang on the wall.

CB2
For those who prefer sleek, minimal décor and bold pops of color, CB2 is a great option. Discover things like low-profile sofas, interesting throw pillows, and industrial bar stools, or browse the limited edition art selection to find affordable pieces from some of the biggest up-and-coming artists in the art world today.

How to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

With all of the gift buying, cookie baking, and crowded homes filled with out-of-town visitors, you may forget that the holidays are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Here are a few smart tips that will help you to take the stress out of the holidays and better appreciate time spent with family.

  1. Ask for a wish list. Instead of stressing out about buying the perfect gift for a loved one, just ask for his or her wish list. There’s no shame in asking what everyone wants to ensure that you feel confident about your purchases.
  2. Create a budget—and stick to it. Although it’s easy to overspend when you want to spoil your friends and family members, it will only leave you feeling more stressed afterward. It’s entirely possible to purchase thoughtful gifts within your means, provided that you set a budget for your gifts.
  3. Say “no.” You don’t have to attend every holiday party, volunteer to bring a side to every family dinner or even host the festivities at your own home. Carefully consider which things you’ll actually have time for, and say no to everything else.
  4. Keep things simple. Instead of trying to make your holiday celebrations the best on the block, focus on simply spending time with the family over a delicious meal. The rest will work itself out.

Peggy's Top Five for Stress-Free Gift Giving [Emily Post]
Our Stress-Less Holiday Guide [She Knows]
10 Steps to a Less Stressful Holiday [Parents]

Think Beyond the Salsa With These Cilantro-Centric Recipes

When you think of salsa, you likely think of the zesty flavor added by cilantro. Cilantro is also a great addition to many other dishes, however, even those outside of Mexican cuisine. These three recipes will have you rethinking the way you view cilantro in the most delicious ways possible!

Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cilantro [Martha Stewart]
Instead of the usual Southwestern cuisines, try cilantro in an Asian-cuisine-inspired dish for a change. This noodle salad requires no cooking at all to create a fresh, interesting meal with a traditional Vietnamese sauce. Top it with cucumber and cilantro for a bit of added flavor.

Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce [The Kitchn]
There are so many delicious flavors in this taco dish, your taste buds will hardly know where to begin. Tender sweet potatoes covered in a miso and maple syrup glaze take the place of the usual taco meat, and avocado, cilantro, and toasted pepitas make a tasty garnish. The cilantro comes in at the end, when it’s blended with coconut to create a uniquely flavorful sauce for topping.

Zesty Quinoa Salad [AllRecipes]
If you want to eat healthily without sacrificing taste, you’ll absolutely love this quinoa salad. Fresh vegetables and black beans make it bright and nutritious, while cilantro and black pepper add major flavor.

Pin It on Pinterest