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Personalize Your New Apartment

Though moving into a bland rental apartment with lots of decor limitations can be a bummer, it doesn’t mean you’ve got to stay stuck with a home you don’t love — or that doesn’t express your personality. Use one or more of these proven tricks for renters for a big impact on the look of your space — without spending a lot of money, either.

  1. Paint or personalize an existing furniture piece

You might not be able to paint your walls thanks to a strict lease, but one of the easiest ways to inject a lot of personality into a room is by painting on a lot personality (in the form of color, texture or pattern) to an existing piece of furniture. Remember though, that you don’t have to do a lot to bring about a big personality change — even just a well-placed design detail can be attention grabbing and put your mark on a space.

  1. Dabble in removable wallpaper

Wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to make a room scream “you,” but of course, if you can’t paint, you probably think you can’t have wallpaper, either. Well, you’d be wrong. Today’s selection of removable wallpaper is more impressive and personality-filled as ever, and worth delving into if you’re looking for something to really make your rental stand out. With a bold or colorful enough pattern you wouldn’t have to even use a lot; just one wall or one part of a wall could do the trick. And of course, you could use non-removable wallpaper in non-permanent ways (like framing) to add personality, too.

  1. Layer rugs

Unless you’re quite lucky, you might not have the best floors in your rental. In fact you might even have old carpet. The thing you’re going to want to try is layering rugs. Though it’s true it might come off a bit bohemian (and if that’s not your style, this might not work for you), but layering small to medium rugs over floors you don’t love gives you control over disguising those floors, and creating your own hip look under your feet. And since buying smaller rugs to layer can be more affordable than buying big versions, you can save some money. Or you can try and keep to budget by DIYing patterns on more affordable rugs, too.

  1. Nail the lamp game

You’re going to want to really ace the lamp lighting situation in your rental for several reasons. One — great lighting creates an undeniably awesome atmosphere that can make even the most blandest of blank rentals look warm and inviting. And two, dynamic lighting in a space is always a great addition to someone’s style. And since you might not be able to do any drilling in the walls or ceiling to hang pendants or install wall-mounted lights, upping your lamp game is a natural and easy way to add personality to a rental. Don’t neglect upping each individual lamp, either, by tackling old lampshades. It can be a fun DIY way to add a spot of color or pattern.

  1. DIY big art

Hey if you can afford to buy a giant art piece, all the more to you. For the rest of us, we’ve got to get a little crafty to add personality to our rental spaces. A big DIY piece of art is an awesome way to do that (and depending on the project idea, could be easy too). If you can’t drill into your rental walls, consider leaning your art.

  1. Incorporate big mirrors

Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to shake up the kind of wall decor you’ve got in your home, reflect a lot of light and, if you play your cards right, show off your personality, too. Look to thrift stores, Craigslist or garage sales to score really giant mirrors that you can DIY the frames of to add bold color or pattern.

  1. Add temporary pattern in the kitchen or bathroom

The kitchens and bathroom of boring rentals can be some of the blandest rooms of the whole home. Often small and sometimes even windowless, when you’re stuck with plain white or beige cabinets and walls, you might feel a little confused about how to add personality into these spaces. So go straight for the backsplash. There are lots of ways you can use temporary products to mimic the look of boldly tiled backsplashes in the kitchen or bathroom that will make the place look like it got a remodel.


Choosing Your Dinnerware

Material and Care At a Glance

Bone China

  • • Lightweight and lustrous
  • • Incredibly durable and chip-resistant
  • • Safe for the dishwasher, microwave and oven

Care: Bone China

All of our bone china is dishwasher–safe. We recommend the use of a rinse aid to minimize hard water spots. Bone china banded with metallic is not intended for use in the oven or microwave; however, our all-white bone china patterns are oven– and microwave-safe. To increase longevity of use, avoid sudden temperature changes. Over time, flatware may leave silver or grey deposit marks on bone china; repeated use of a mild abrasive cleaner (as needed) may help minimize their appearance.


  • • Lightweight and fine to the touch
  • • Similar to bone china in appearance, but more affordable
  • • Most patterns safe for the dishwasher, microwave and oven

Care: Porcelain

Most of our porcelain patterns are dishwasher, microwave and oven–safe. To increase longevity of use, avoid sudden temperature changes. Over time, flatware may leave silver or grey deposit marks on porcelain; repeated use of a mild abrasive cleaner (as needed) may help minimize their appearance.


  • • Incredibly durable
  • • Reactive glazes create a smooth look
  • • Most patterns safe for the dishwasher and microwave
  • • Avoid sudden temperature changes

Care: Stoneware

Most of our stoneware is dishwasher- and microwave-safe; may warm at low oven temperatures. To increase longevity of use, avoid sudden temperature changes. Over time, flatware may leave silver or grey deposit “scratches” on stoneware; repeated use of a mild abrasive cleaner (as needed) may help minimize their appearance.


    • • Has an artisanal look and feel
    • • Crazing or “crackling” in finish enhances special character
    • • Microwave-safe on medium and low settings
    • • Avoid sudden temperature changes

Care: Earthenware

Because earthenware is more prone to crazing and chipping than other materials, we recommend handwashing promptly after use without soaking, or clean in the dishwasher on a gentle cycle with a mild non-abrasive, non-citrus detergent; turn off the heat dry cycle and let dishes dry naturally or wipe dry by hand. To minimize hard water spots, use a rinse aid.

Earthenware is microwave-safe on medium and low settings only, as it heats more quickly than other ceramics or glass. Avoid sudden temperature changes as this may also cause cracking or crazing. Over time, flatware may leave behind silver or grey deposit marks; repeated use of a mild abrasive cleaner (as needed) may help minimize their appearance.

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Uses for Coffee You Never Knew

Save your leftover coffee, coffee grounds and even coffee beans to use in  unexpected ways around the house.

-Next time you make a pot of coffee, pour some into ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can use them to chill iced coffee without diluting it.

-For smoother skin, mix coffee grounds into regular body lotion to make it exfoliating.

-Deodorize unpleasant kitchen smells (such as in the freezer or refrigerator) by placing a small bowl of coffee grounds anywhere you want odors absorbed.

-Rid stubborn smells from hands after cooking by gently rinsing them with coffee grounds.

-Coffee grounds can help clean grimy, grease-stained objects such as pots and pans – just be careful of light-colored items that might be stained.

-Diminish cellulite with this easy trick: Mix warm coffee grounds with any basic massage oil and rub onto skin. Caffeine (an ingredient found in many skin creams) can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

-Repel insects (particularly ants and slugs) by sprinkling coffee grounds anywhere you want to keep bugs out.

-Many experts say that coffee is the secret to ultra-shiny strands. Brew a pot of coffee, let it cool, and then rinse over wet hair in the shower.

-Fix light furniture scratches by rubbing damp coffee grounds onto the mark. You should see an instant improvement.

-Steep coffee grounds in hot water to make a natural, sepia-colored dye for Easter eggs or crafts.

-Liven up a clear decorative vase by putting coffee beans in the bottom, then use as a holder for makeup brushes or pens.

-The nitrogen in coffee grounds can help fertilize plants that require acidic soil, such as roses and hydrangeas.

-Before cleaning a fireplace, sprinkle any leftover ashes with coffee grounds to prevent dust and ash from polluting the air in the room.

-Keep pets out of the garden by sprinkling a mixture of coffee grounds and orange peels in the area.

-Absorb odors by sprinkling coffee grounds in the soles of dirty shoes.

-Coffee grounds are great for composting.


31 Surprising Baking Soda Uses

Baking soda can do a lot more than just sit in the back of the fridge. Try these easy tips and put baking soda to work in every room of your house!

  1. Skip produce washes—just put some baking soda on a damp sponge, scrub and rinse.
  2. Soak hair brushes and combs in a mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda and a small amount of warm water. Rinse and dry.
  3. Before you store your patio furniture for the season, scatter baking soda under chair cushions.
  4. Keep your grill clean all summer long by putting some baking soda on a damp brush, scrubbing the grate, then rinsing.
  5. Freshen rugs by sprinkling baking soda on carpet, wait at least 15 minutes (preferably let sit overnight), then vacuum up.
  6. Add 1 cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry (along with your regular liquid detergent) to get clothes cleaner and brighter.
  7. Remove baked-on residue by shaking a generous amount of baking soda on pots and pans. Then add hot water and dish detergent, let sit for 15 minutes and wash as usual.
  8. Deodorize a funky-smelling hamper. Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the hamper (or over dirty clothes) to keep items fresher until laundry day.
  9. To brighten a dull floor finish, dissolve ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse for a shiny floor.
  10. Make your own bathroom scrub by mixing ¼ cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add vinegar to give it a thick, creamy texture.
  11. To put out a grease fire, scatter baking soda over it by the handful to extinguish flames.
  12. Clean the dishwasher and coffeemaker by running an empty cycle with baking soda.
  13. Add ½ cup baking soda to your bath for an at-home spa treatment.
  14. To shine tarnished silver, combine three parts baking soda with one part water. Rub onto silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
  15. Sprinkle baking soda in the kitty box, then add litter on top to keep smells to a minimum. Or make a DIY litter, mixing a small box of baking soda with 3 inches of sandy clay.
  16. Use baking soda to brush your pets’ teeth.
  17. For instant relief from bug bites, sunburn and poison ivy, mix baking soda with a little water and apply it directly to the sore.
  18. Pour in 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot vinegar to quickly unclog the kitchen drain.
  19. Fight dandruff by tabling the shampoo for a few weeks and massaging your wet scalp with a handful of baking soda instead.
  20. Gargle with baking soda, or use it as mouthwash.
  21. Soak toothbrushes in a mixture of ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup water; let brushes stand overnight for a thorough cleaning.
  22. Make a fluffier omelet by adding ½ teaspoon baking soda for every three eggs.
  23. Use a pinch in a gallon of freshly-brewed iced tea, to take out the bitterness and prevent cloudiness.
  24. Scatter baking soda on icy sidewalks―it’s not as corrosive as salt.
  25. Discourage weeds by sprinkling baking soda into the cracks on your driveway and walkways.
  26. Surround Fido’s food bowls with baking soda to keep pests away.
  27. Mix a little baking soda into your conditioner and lather on your hair to keep it healthy and resistant to split ends.
  28. Have heartburn? Create an antacid by mixing ½ teaspoon of baking soda with ½ cup of water.
  29. To clean a toilet, add ¼ cup baking soda to the bowl, swirl, then scrub.
  30. Exfoliate your skin with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Apply gently with your fingertips in a circular motion, then rinse
  31. To deodorize a drain, pour about ½ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clean residue. NOTE: Use this method only if your pipes are metal. And never mix with other cleaning solutions. Don’t try this if you’ve recently used a commercial drain product.

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Image Source: Amazon

 Apples to Apples-This is a game “filled with surprising and outrageous comparisons.” It moves quickly but is intended to keep you and everyone else laughing.

Image Source: Amazon

Adult Hedbanz – Wear a headband with card attached that has an object such as an animal or food on it. Everyone except you can see the card forcing you to ask questions to try to                                                               guess what’s on your card before time runs out.

Image Source: Amazon

The Game Of Things – These days everything comes in a box, even humor. In this game a topic card such as “things a chimp thinks about when he sees you at the zoo” is read aloud. Participants write their responses which can be anything they think of. After, responses are read and everyone tries to figure out who said what.

Image Source: Amazon

Scattegories- Scattegories gives each player a list with various categories. A dice is then rolled to reveal a letter. Players find words that start with the letter that was rolled and fit in to the categories on their list. For example if your list includes categories such as fruit and buildings and the letter “A” is rolled, you could write words such as apple and apartment. The catch is that you’ve only got three minutes so need to think fast!

Image Source: Amazon

Size Matters – A testament to the fact that for many folks size does matter. In this humorous game players “compete to determine the longest, fattest, thickest, and generally the biggest things in life!”

Image Source: Amazon

More Dirty Minds- In this second edition to their first game, because there are more people with dirty minds than one might think, everyone gets to see whose spouse has a dirty mind by reading “naughty clues” to opponents as they try to guess the subject. Amazon gives the following example: “Q: A man does it standing up. A woman does it sitting down. A dog does it on three legs. A: A handshake.”

Image Source: Amazon

Baffle Gab– Have a way with words do you? In this timed game, write your own story using five “game words” before you run out of time.

Image Source: Amazon

Til Death Do Us Part– Love a good mystery, good food or a good party? Then this “mystery dinner party” game is for you and, it even comes with menu and costume suggestions. “Eight guests arrive at a lavish wedding reception in the Cayman Islands when one of the guests is mysteriously murdered.” You and the other “wedding guests” must work together to expose the killer.

Image Source: Amazon

Would You Rather?– This funny game gives two awful scenarios in which the player if forced to chose one. Yup! You have to choose. None is not an option in this game.

Image Source: Amazon

What’s Yours Like? – Come up with clever and crazy ways to describe things ranging from your neighbor to hair while trying to keep the player in the “Hot Seat” from finding out what your word is.

Image Source: Amazon

Taboo – In this party favorite, players have to get their teammates to guess a word while not using “taboo” words. Hasbro gives the example of trying to get your team to guess “brain freeze” while not being able to say words such as ice cream, cold, or headache. Oh and you are on a time limit!

Image Source: Amazon

Reverse Charades – Charades in Reverse! One person has 60 seconds to guess as many words as they can while a team acts them out.

Image Source: Amazon

5 Second Rule – The 5 second rule doesn’t just apply to dropped goldfish crackers. In this game you do something such as “name three breeds of dogs” but you have to do it in five seconds. Will you get flustered or can you think fast? In this game, only time will tell.