August 20, 2014

Tiny Apartment Project Update

I think it's time for an update on our tiny apartment. Yes? Yes.

I shared a project list with you about six weeks ago that we've been working through, and I've been excited to come back and give you some updates. This is no Young House Love, but hey - we know how to put books on a bookshelf, and we can probably throw some paint on the walls when the time comes. We're just living in a rental, but it's still been fun to find small ways to make this space feel like ours while we're living here.

You can read our original goals here, but I'll summarize them for you:
  1. Organize the Kitchen
  2. Build new mantle, organize built-ins 
  3. Guest Room (the biggest project!)
  4. Patio Refresh
  5. Maximize Storage Space
Since we moved in, we've made the most progress on the mantle and the built-in bookshelf in our living room. I have a before picture somewhere that I can't find, but this bookshelf was a mess right when we moved in. It's conveniently right in the middle of the apartment, so it quickly became a catch-all for boxes, mail, and everything that didn't have a home. Now? We've cleaned it up, and only put things on the bookshelf that really belong there.

Of course we have some books on these shelves, but we have a few other things that I really like, too. My aunt framed a copy of our wedding invitation for us (middle shelf & left, with the glare), and the cup and plate that we used to take communion in our wedding ceremony is on the top right shelf. Steve's parents are amazing potters in their free time, and they hand made both pieces for us!

We also have some quirky bookends displayed that were a gift from my brother, the family pet (a beta fish!), and of course...a few blue dishes ;)

The mantle was nearly checked off before we even ever moved into the apartment - Steve & his dad built it on the weekends leading up to the wedding. However, I gave you the tiniest of glances at it last time, so I thought I should give you a better view this time!

As far as storage goes, right now we have a nice blend of hidden storage and decorative storage. We're still working on optimizing everything, but we got these oversized baskets as wedding gifts and I'm in love with them. They're perfect for those things that you don't want all the time, but want easy access to - at our house, that means throw blankets and board games.

Well friends, that's it for now! The other projects are moving along more slowly. There has been huge progress in our guest room. It started out just as storage for everything that couldn't fit into the rest of the house, and we've been slowly sorting through it. We've given a full sized desk & tables back to family members, we sold all of our wedding linens on Craigslist, and we've got a few boxes of things that are headed to Goodwill. It's still not a functional room, but we're getting there!

One quick announcement before I sign off for the day - the Blue Dishes is now a dot com! Steve is a computer whiz and surprised me with the domain name as an early birthday present. You can still find me by typing in the normal address (, but the extra-official address is now Thanks for continuing to read along with me, friends - you guys make this fun!

Now...what organization tips do you have? This apartment journey is far from over, and I would love some help :)


Psst - linked up today with Treasure Tromp!

August 18, 2014

This Is How We Do It | Sunday Night

Hello, Monday friends! How was your weekend? Ours was filled with family and birthday celebration - third weekend in a row that we've had a birthday to celebrate!

Today I'm telling you about my favorite newlywed tradition that we have. I've told you that we do pizza and netflix every Sunday night, but I haven't let walk through it with me. So last night, I took a few snapshots along the way so that you could kind of be there with us!

Before we begin, I want to establish this as a no-judgement zone.  We are fully aware that frozen pizza is not that good for us, but we do it anyway. Life is short. K? K.

Steve and I have loved pizza for as long as we've been together. When we lived in Raleigh we did Mellow Mushroom, we've spent several date nights making homemade pizza, and now that we're living in Charlotte we've been seriously vetting all of the nearby options. There are tons of great places to get pizza in Charlotte, but on Sunday nights we do one of three things: either cheap delivery, a pick-up from Hawthorne's, or we do a take-and-bake, which is always Digiorno's Dipping Strips. Last night? We did Digiorno's.

As a side note, one of us got a new toy (via Craigslist) this weekend. So, today's tour is made possibly by my new little buddy!

We left our house at about six last night and after a quick, five minute drive, this is where we begin:

We normally are Trader Joes or HT folks, but the Dilworth Food Lion is the only place close to us that carries this kind of pizza. So? Food Lion it is.

Of course, none of this would be possible without my partner in crime.
 He thinks he's a model.

We like doing pizza on Sunday nights because it feels like we're still in college, kind of. We sit at the coffee table instead of the kitchen table, and we pair it with our current Netflix addiction.

As far as the pizza goes, Dipping Strips are super awesome because they come with a garlic sauce and a marinara sauce. So bad, but SO GOOD. Absolutely perfect for our sit-on-the-floor, pretend-like-we're-still-in-college dinner. 

Blurry picture because we're pizza ninjas and we move very very fast. Also, Steve arranged the pepperonis and was very proud of the straight lines, so here's a picture of that:

Last night we had good, greasy pizza, gave House of Cards a shot for the first time, but, mostly, had time to spend together, rest and just have fun before the new week kicked off. This is how we do Sunday nights, and I hope it stays a tradition for quite a while. 

What did you do this weekend, friends? Any new traditions in your life?