Thursday, November 15, 2012

Home Improvements & cheribundi Giveaway Winner

A giveaway winner has been selected! But first, some home improvement chatter...

Home Improvements
A few weeks ago, I got the urge to clean up our apartment and really start making it more "homey." Sourabh and I have been in Manhattan for 2 1/2 years now and yet we really haven't done much to make our string of apartments into a home. I think part of that is budget. Right now, we'd rather get IKEA furniture and enjoy some dinners out, save for school, etc. But another part is that I'm kind of terrible at decorating and always feel overwhelmed at the idea of figuring out .

After my burst of tidying (post-manicure... not the best timing, but the $15 manicure emerged unscathed! Win!), I have started decorating a bit more, checking out Michael's and Home Goods from time to time for some inexpensive decorations that will make our apartment feel more lived-in.

A few additions here: flowers in the vase (I had it lying around empty forever!) and a basket for keys and mail (that's Bea, I think she's nesting).

I'll let you know if an egg appears
One of my favorite new purchases was this $15 shoe rack from Amazon. As a student with a .edu address, you can get Amazon Prime free for one year and then for $35 after that, and given how cheap things are on Amazon in comparison to New York stores, it's a totally worthwhile investment for us. The amount we've saved on paper towels alone pays for the annual fee. There are also some streaming perks you get as a Prime member, but since we DVR everything I haven't checked that out. With Prime, two-day shipping is free and often items arrive the next day for NYC residents.

heels are on a hanging shelf since, as a 5'9" girl, I just don't wear them that much 
Ok, enough of my addiction to Amazon Prime. Previously, this closet was a jumble of shoes on top of each other (I forgot to take a before picture, oops). Now, they're nicely stacked and we can actually see our shoes! I think keeping things organized is one of the easiest ways to make things look nicer and more put together.

I picked up this fall-colored "faux" flower arrangement at 60% off for only $8 from Michael's the other day. You can see them right when you come in, so it's a nice welcome home.

faux sounds better than fake, right? 
This is actually an older purchase, but one I'm really happy about: a basket for storing workout gear. I have mats, weights, boxing gloves, foam roller and balls, jumping rope, and some workout DVD's in there. It would all look so messy if it weren't stashed neatly in a basket in the corner.

oh look, it's Rome the Foam! yes, I named the foam roller, remember? stop laughing at me. 
I've been checking out Pinterest for more ideas and plan to do more using holiday decorations once Thanksgiving is over.


cheribundi Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my first giveaway! As I explained last week, every individual entry was worth $2 of donations to two Sandy Relief charities. Megan also donated $10, which netted her two extra entries.
The winner is Ray!! Congrats on winning a 12-pack of cheribundi's delicious tart cherry juices. Please email me your contact info so I can be sure you get your prize! (I will select another winner on Monday if I don't hear from Ray by then.)

I am even more excited to announce that, despite not getting the full 50 entries, my parents will be donating the full $50, as will I. With Megan's donation, that means $110 was raised!! Two local charities that are very much in need of assistance, the Stephen Siller Foundation and the New Jersey Relief Fund, each received $55.

Stephen Sillers Foundation donation receipt
New Jersey Relief Fund donation receipt

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, and thank you to cheribundi for reaching out to me about reviewing their product and being so generous with this giveaway. I'm hoping to do more giveaways in the future, so keep a look out!


How long did it take you to start making your apartment/house feel more like "home" (or have you even started yet)? Any tips for decorating on a budget?

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