Category Archives: home design

home design

shopping for plants in St. Louis

August 3, 2017

i get so many questions about plants on my Instagram because of my love for them and my growing collection! they have been my saving grace as i spruce up my space on a tight budget. i have a post soon about the best plants for indoors and how i care for them but first i thought it’d be helpful to have a little list of the places i frequent for plant purchases here in St. Louis!

enjoy, fellow green thumb friends.

bowood farms : great for plants but also really cute home decor (think Anthro meets a greenhouse). also the adjacent Cafe Osage will just make you swooooon. they have completely nailed a perfect aesthetic.

flowers and weeds : hands down one of my favorite places in St. Louis. if you think you’ve been to the cutest plant shop, rethink that and visit flowers and weeds. when i walk in there, i wonder if my true life calling is to be a gardener.

lowe’s : trusty lowe’s where i have purchased most of my home plants and succulents because if it dies or you end up not liking it, you just bring back the plant and receipt. like whaaaat?!?!

walter knoll : this is a wholesale florist but at the location on lasalle street, there’s a greenhouse and nursery. they have really great prices and are so, so kind.

 

these places are near and dear to my heart so treat them kindly. 😉 happy almost weekend!

 

xx,

ae

home design

bedroom musings

July 28, 2017

i have a Pinterest board dedicated to my bedroom musings where you can see my inspiration for my room redesign!

here’s the thing: i have been buying small things. you know, things like candles, plants and a small print for my wall.

i want to make a few big changes, inexpensively, so that i feel like wow, i made progress and my room looks more complete. as much as i love candles, they don’t make you feel that progress!

my three main focuses are:

  1. new ‘above bed design.’ i am thinking maybe one long shelf. this one is so cute with the mix of prints + plants and yep, they nailed this concept.
  2. new ‘above desk design.’ i think some sort of boho feeling gallery wall of a combo of photos and prints? and some old photos? and maybe some flowers or eucalyptus or something taped to the wall? this is so cute with the tiny shelves and i am a HUGE fan of this lighting fixture + color palette
  3. new nightstand. when i bought this shelf unit, it was really just because of a great price and i  liked the look. at the time i didn’t have a nightstand, so i use it as one now. i want something smaller, with a drawer and shorter. i also like the idea thrifting something or using an unconventional piece like a chair or stack of crates so this one i have the least idea of how it’ll turn out!

i am also keeping an eye out for pillows and a throw blanket with more of a presence. and maybe a rug? i also think i might move out that skinny tall book shelf and build a desk for myself. i want a bigger desk, like basically the size of a small kitchen table because i like to work on a big surface.

stay tuned! i will keep you all updated in my IG stories for quick things and write longer posts here for everything i find and make! i am so excited to really make this room my own — and ball on a budget. 🙂

home design

room tour: current state

July 25, 2017

ahhhh why do i get kind of nervous to show reality? i so wish my room and apartment were farther along than they are but i am trying to commit my money towards travel while i’m young and single so my room is s l o w l y being worked on. but yeesh, still would LOVE a new couch. 😉

anywho, here’s my room current state, pre-change! two weeks ago i made the floral hanging piece above my bed and it didn’t dry as i envisioned in my head so that is coming down, i’m moving that floral poster either above my desk or in another room in the apt. and i think i might do a shelf above my bed — but all my plans and visions in Thursday’s post! i just wanted to show you what my room looks like currently so the reveal after is fun but also so you can see my creative process. and the building process because i think i might try my hand at woodworking and build myself a couple things. yolo, am i right?

i will link to any products in the photos that are still available so you can shop what you like! highlights: my Amazon mattress that i will buy forever and always, the banner with a transcription of a note from my mom and the tiny watering can for my succulents.

enjoy!

lamp / letterboard / mirror / candle / glass lantern

dresser

wooden slab is from my mom but check this one out at World Market / ceramic container is an old Anthro candle that i burned down, cleaned out and use to store my keys

glass plant mister / hair clip from Free People / cacti from Mother Nature

my little essential oils crew is small but mighty until i have enough money for the starter kit 😉 i use peppermint every morning and lavender before i go to sleep — absolutely love the support they offer.

laundry hamper (that doubles as a decoration!) / curtains / curtain rod / finials

i definitely needed a wider shot here but my bed is simple: bedskirt / DREAM MATTRESS FROM AMAZON GET IT I PROMISE YOU ITS WORTH IT (although i bought mine for $250 so look into that…) / mattress frame / sheets from…Target? TJ Maxx? Who knows. I was broke at that point. 😉 / same with the duvet… / pillows / shams were super sale at Anthro / duvet cover

poster and branch are from local boutiques here 🙂

nightstand / Aztec tray was from Crate and Barrel but I think it sold out 😐 / empty candle jar / basket / UE Boom bluetooth speaker / small lantern / capri blue votive candle / fav nivea chapstick

hanging banner with a quote from a card my mom wrote to me / basket / bookcase / candle / flower crown girl print / letterboard / desk

 

i love having a simple room and the redesign won’t clutter it but i want to make some bigger, bolder moves so it feels complete because right now i am just willy nilly buying small candles and plants. can’t wait to share my dreams for the place! hopefully will be up Thursday. actually let’s just call it like it will be and say Friday. 😉

home design

diy: sweet tree branch photo display

March 2, 2017

i have been looking for a way to cover big spaces in our apartment without breaking the bank. nice paintings, big frames and large prints are SO expensive!!!

i found this tree branch at a store here in st. louis called k hall designs. the flagship store is over by my church so obviously i haaaave to go in there all the time. 😉 it’s the store that makes lots of the candles you see at stores like anthropologie and cute little boutiques except it’s all condensed into one heavenly space. i love to pop by just to, you know, check in on things, peruse new scents, touch all the soft loungewear. the usual.

anywaysss…

that store gives me the BEST inspiration. honestly these days i look forward to shopping not for the things i’ll buy, but the decor inspiration i might gain. stores like free people, k hall, anthropologie and even a garden shop i adore give me ideas for how to decorate our apartment or what i want my closet to look like. and luckily for me, my roommate doesn’t mind that i am constantly rearranging and fiddling with this and that and buying a million plants. and by a million i mean 4 (for now).

so when i saw the tree branch, i was instantly hooked. i love bringing outdoors, indoors. and then i found out it was ten dollars and my mom practically shrieked with joy for me.

i hung it from my ceiling with tiny hooks, bought twine from Michael’s with their 40% coupon (if you shop their and don’t use that coupon, i need you to do that so i don’t stress about the money you’re not saving), and got free prints from parabo press!

side note real quick about the prints: I WAS SO IMPRESSED. honestly. like really impressed.

  1. the packaging is so darn cute
  2. the photos are on this sturdy paper that just really makes me happy
  3. i love how my instagram was able to come to life in little squares
  4. your first order is free – so i literally just paid shipping for lots of them!!! go check it out!!!

i don’t even know if i can justify making this a diy post because it’s so simple but just for your info:

  1. hang the branch from your ceiling so it creates a cool 3d look and also so that whatever you hang from it doesn’t scrape against your wall
  2. wrap twine a couple of times around each end to create this makeshift meets rustic meets “i just casually have a branch in my room” look
  3. eyeball it and hang a couple of strands of twine so you can clip your photos to them. i say eyeball it because i think a little imperfection in this wall decor makes it look better! if you want that boho, easy going vibe, you’ll have to be okay with a little imperfection. 🙂
  4. using teeeeeny clothespins (again at Michaels, again with the 40% off coupon), hang your parabo prints and be have sweet dreams under your square memories for many, many moons to come!

even though this came out looking so sweet and girly, i don’t know if this bed look is really what i am going for. it’s darling of course, but i think the colors are a bit more soft than i’d love. which makes no sense but i am still trying to figure out my style both with fashion and home. ideally, i want to hang little votive candle holders and little potted plants and maybe some twinkle lights. make it feel like a little more anthro meets free people meets ania’s budget. but i also had a tree branch hanging from my ceiling so i had to do something for now. 🙂

also, while we’re on the topic of dream beds, i am eyeing this duvet cover and i dreeeeaaaaaammmmmm of a bedroom that looks like so. also i think i might make a planter because god knows i can’t afford a fancy one. literally. god and i talk about plants. among other things. 😉

i guess that’s all to say that okay is just as good as perfect ESPECIALLY with home design because things can get so expensive so so quickly. so be okay with less. spend your money on what you want to spend it on. don’t feel the need to rush into decisions to impress visitors. take your sweet time and make it your own.

i’d rather spend a little for now so i can have something there while eyeing things i really want and dreaming up new ways to decorate than splurge really quickly just because i think i need to have it done all at once. because i don’t. so these sale shams and this sweet branch are good enough for me for now.

home design

repurposing pretty candles.

December 20, 2016

i’m baaaaack. did ya miss me?!?!

i missed you all! truthfully. i love blogging and writing and designing these posts. being so crazy busy lately, along with my weekend trip to colorado, completely threw me off my schedule. but i think my new routine will be posts on tuesday and thursday. let’s see how it goes. 🙂

i have been meaning to post this little number for awhile because it’s one of my favorite ways to  repurpose something i love so much – candles. oh my goodness, i love candles. i always have at leaaaaast two burning when i am home. there’s something so romantic and cozy about a flickering flame and i love the light it casts in a dark room. but i was always so sad when i would have to throw away the pretty containers.

(and especially pretty candles from anthropologie. oh my word, those candles speak straight to my soul. i have worked for anthropologie and i can say from experience, our candles are some of the best. this one is the literal perfect christmas candle because of it’s ornate case but OH THE SMELL. it makes me weak in the knees. i have no earthly idea why it’s not online but it’s most likely in your store as i just bought another one for a gift the other day!!

while i am quickly on an anthro candle tangent, these are my favs: capri blue ‘volcano’  (this is usually what you smell when you want into an anthropologie!), capri blue ‘peach nectar’ and barr co ‘original scent’.)

now i never look at candles the same because i am already thinking about what it will look like when i clean out the container.

okay i’m getting a leeeeettle ahead of myself.

so here’s what happens.

you fall in love with a candle. you burn it basically all hours you are home and soon enough, it’s down to the tiniest wick and nothing you can do will make the flame hold.

usually, you would throw it away. but NOW, you can use that cutsie little container for jewelry, sugar packets, matches, cotton balls, your keys, flowers, shelf decor…the list goes on!

(can you see my little pieces of scotch tape? hehehe)

here’s what you need:

  • a butter knife
  • a freezer
  • dish soap
  • boiling water
  • your two hands

here’s what ya do:

  1. put the candle in the freezer for about 3-4 hours at least (without the lid!)
  2. take the candle out of the freezer.
  3. use the knife to both stab the wax in 1-2 places so it’ll crack and also to pry it from the inside of the container. the wax will begin to crack and then it’s basically just using picking up cracked pieces!
  4. make sure all the wax is out and then take the tip of the knife to pop out the little metal circle wick holders off the bottom of the candle if they’re still there. usually they are just glued down so they’ve always just popped off for me!
  5. fill the container with dish soap and boiling water. let it soak and then pour out the water, scrub the inside a little and dry with paper towel.

so, so easy! honestly. and it’s made shopping for candles even more fun because i am thinking two steps ahead to what i’ll use it for once i’ve burned it through. i have done this with metal, ceramic and glass candles and my little system hasn’t failed me yet.:)

happy diy-ing!

 

vibed to the sound of fixer upper. is joanna looking for a personal assistant? i volunteer as tribute.

home design

diy eucalyptus wreath

November 23, 2016

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i think my ideal job would mom/wife + florist + photographer + blogger. all from a cool home office. like some big loft upstairs with lots of windows. hey, a girl can dream!!!

going off that florist bit, i definitely got a green thumb from my mama, the master gardener extraordinaire. as i decorate my room and apartment, i am keeping an eye out for plants and greenery to add life to my spaces. there is something about plants that completely transforms a room – it’s so fresh.

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i saw this bundle of eucalyptus at trader joe’s and i couldn’t help but buy one (okay, fine i bought two). i love wreaths and greenery on walls, swooning over them in magazines, but they are SO expensive!!! who in their right mind charges over a hundred dollars for a wreath?! yeesh.

so, in classic ania fashion, i made my own.

what you’ll need:

  • scotch tape
  • eucalyptus
  • scissors
  • ribbon (i used this one)

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first, i identified the thick stems on some of the branches that would be hard to bend into the circle shape and either cut them in half or cut them off.

then i just took one branch and starting taping another halfway up the following branch so they overlapped until i formed a circle, taping bits and pieces as i went. it’s not an exact science and you can also add or snip pieces away when you’re finished. or you can start by taping a straight line of them and then bending the whole thing into a circle if that’s easier!

the branches will stick out and look imperfect but after you hang it up with the ribbon, you can tape some in or add smaller pieces here and there. it was therapeutic and adds a simple, beautiful touch to my room. plus, i put the extra pieces in little jars around my apartment and it adds just the right something extra.

the wreath hangs on my closet door now, just to the left of my favorite cross, and reminds me of st. therese of lisieux. she lived a life of deep love, living joyfully in her daily actions, and inspires me to do all with profound intention.

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

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i hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend and have the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and good food. i will be in st. louis while my family is scattered around but i am excited to be reunited with me whole family here in st. louis at christmas!

 

vibed to the crown on netflix while writing. i have always loved the royal family and i am quickly being sucked into the show.

home design

5 minute yogurt breakfast bowls

August 24, 2016

earlier this summer i went to the doctor because my stomach problems were not getting any better regardless of the diet changes i had been making. after a LOT of tests, she found out i am allergic to wheat, egg whites, most nuts and soy. *eye roll emoji*

after being very angsty for an afternoon and dramatically announcing i couldn’t live without almond milk, i accepted it and started to meal plan with my mom. the meal giving me the most stress was breakfast because i eat eggs literally everyday for breakfast.

the best breakfast i could find that i could eat were acai bowls. i tried them for the first time in san diego and i was s m i t t e n. the only problem is that if you wake up earlier than your roommate, have small children that are sleeping or for any other reason cannot make a LOT of noise blending the smoothie part in the morning, they are a little high maintenance.

so i invented my own version that are less expensive (i can’t see myself regularly ordering acai on the internet at this point in my life) and so simple to make. also they are very instagram worthy – tag me if you make your own and post a pic. i would love to see new topping combos!

i just use oats (creates a nice texture but you must use my ratios below #trustme), yogurt and whatever toppings i find around my kitchen.

i snap chat the different combos i make (@ania.sullivan) quite regularly and get so many heart eyes emojis that i knew i had to share my secrets – even thought there really aren’t any!

from my kitchen to yours, here are my four go-to yogurt bowl recipes that take less than five minutes to make.

you will need:

  • 1/8 cup bob’s red mill rolled oats* (they are processed in a facility with wheat and soy products but my allergies are not that severe – just for you to know if yours are!)
  • toppings
  • 1 cup plain yogurt. i repeat PLAIN yogurt. trust me on this one. i haaaaated plain yogurt before i started making these bowls because let’s be honest, it tastes like sweeter sour cream. but i am a changed woman. the plain yogurt will be sweetened by the fruit AND you’ll keep those pesky sugars in check.
  • an appetite;)

* i know this seems minuscule but i promise you that it is the perfect ratio to one cup of yogurt + your toppings. also, your bag will last longer (#budgetfriendly) and your bowl will stay under 250-300 calories even with the yogurt and fruit/other toppings!

midsummer morning cali farm peach bowl 

^ title courtesy of mama sullivan.

this is a double whammy of deliciousness because you can eat the grilled peaches the night before for dessert and then save one for your breakfast bowl the following morning. #winnerwinnerpeachdinner

i was making this one morning half asleep and my mom ran out to the garden for some mint to add. it was diviiiiiiine. she is getting very into my blog – she even went to TJ Maxx today to buy me special white bowls for my food photos. 😉 #instamoms

this bowl is plain yogurt topped with one grilled peach, one sprig of mint, a few shakes of cinnamon and rolled oats! if you want to substitute honey for the mint, that is SUPER yummy too!! of course you can also sub non-grilled peaches as well.

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blueberry banana bonanza

the creaminess of the banana pairs so well with the subtleness of the berries + the creamy yogurt. swoon.

just take the plain yogurt, plop it down, and top with 3 tablespoons of blueberries and slice half of a banana on top!

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nectarine craisin shocker

okay so the reason i call this a shocker is because it took me by surprise how good this experiment turned out. this is probably my fav one. the combo of the chewiness of the craisins, the tart sweetness of the nectarines and then the neutral yogurt and oat IS MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD. i made this one everyday until we ran out of nectarines. you could definitely substitute a peach and add other dried fruit such as dried apricot or mango!

to make this bowl, you top the plain yogurt with one sliced nectarine, a tablespoon of craisins and the rolled oats. y u m.

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red, white + blueberry

because the olympics have me feeling some type of way, i made a bowl inspired by my love for simone biles.

just take your plain yogurt and top it with 3 tablespoons of blueberries, 4 sliced strawberries and yo rolled oats.

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other topping ideas: chocolate chips, peanut butter, granola, coconut flakes, jam, nutella – you name it!

do you have other topping ideas? do you think you’ll make one?! let me know what you think of my first food post! 🙂

 

vibed to May We All by Florida Georgia Line while writing

home design

the prettiest tech backgrounds in all the land

August 22, 2016

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confession time: there is just something about a new background that gets my little heart thumping. it makes me feel like i have it together, they’re free and there are SO MANY.

i go between using one of my own photos as a background for my computer or phone and using a professional design. over the years i have a few spots on the web that i go to for a good background that never fail! today i have linked below some of my favorites because after the doozy of last week, i am dreaming about the moment i can crawl in bed tonight.

also i miss jojo on mondays – anyone else? or do i miss chase…

anywho, here is a round-up that’ll leave your computer looking super fly, no lie.

for the screensaver pictured above which might be one of the best discoveries of my life to date, you just go here, download it and then it’ll come up in your screensavers! it was a little finicky for me but just try a couple of times.:)

click here for a dreamy blue floral background from one of my favorite bloggers which happens to be my current background

design love fest is my go-to for desktop backgrounds. there are literally THOUSANDS. one time i scrolled wayyyyyyy back and it was 100% worth it. and by one time i mean when i did it for your benefit. 😉

all. the. ferns. and. cacti.

all the desert-y feels coming right up.

the play on t swift lyric got my heart THUMPING naaaaturally

for all my floral lovin’ ladies

the tip tops of those trees make me want to move back to denver

if you need a pep talk every time you open your phone/computer

i had the strawberries for all of the miserable months of cold weather in spring in MO 😉

okay also all the praise hands to shannon kirsten. she is so stinkin’ talented and deserves all the things. she makes a monthly desktop and i genuinely stalk her account until she posts them. weird of me? cool? yolo.

this was her august desktop background. LIKE WHAT?! swwooooooonnnnn.

also love ashlee proffitt’s backgrounds because sometimes you just need a crisp white computer background when your life is crumbling around you. ya feeeeel?

like don’t these just make you feel more zen?

 

hope this makes your day a little more beautiful. it’s free and easy – what more do you need on a monday?

i would love to hear if you have any favorites! i am always looking for something so fresh, so clean – comment if you do, pretty please! 🙂

 

p.s. thank you to everyone who has been asking about my mom! she is home from the hospital and is recovering slowly but surely! prayers are appreciated! thank you, thank you.

home design

the magnificent seven

August 10, 2016

please tell me you caught my women’s gymnastics reference. i am s w i m m i n g in olympics kool aid.

okay back to business. earlier this summer, i was talking to my friend sarah about my blog and within minutes, she goes “oh, and can you do a post on planners? i want the best one and i know you’re into that kind of stuff.”

cue hand out diva emoji.

i spend hours searching for that little book i will carry around for the next 12-18 months. i read reviews. i zoom in on the font. i think about photogenic-ness. i wonder if i should support a small business or cave to a mass producer. i wait, poised above the first crisp page with my heart thudding. i act like an all-around crazy person. but this is real, this is me. i LOVE paper goods. and planners take the gold.

so today i am doling out the results of eight years of planner research. oh, and these are not in order of my favorite to least favorite. enjoy!

THE DAY DESIGNER: the Flagship Edition is an over planner’s dream. funny story about the Day Designer: i ordered it and then threw it away a week later. reason? there isn’t a weekly page view. i am a super visual person and i like to see my whole week laid out in front of me. this planner is designed for those who want to break down their days by the hour, have a month visual and make the most of their time. i would recommend this for those with schedules that differ week-to-week, day-to-day or students who want to plan out every hour of the day to stay sane otherwise you’ll be writing the same 9-5 block on every day! i had the same school/work/study rhythm every week so it just didn’t make sense for me. there’s also daily quotes, a top three to do list and the quality is worth the higher price point. 98% sure that cover is bullet proof.

THE SIMPLIFIED PLANNER*: same as above, the daily edition is all about the day-to-day planner people. i have almost purchased this one about 4827 times but my planner technicallyyyyy goes until december and i am trying to be more conscious of what i need vs. want. so the pineapples have to wait. i love that she also has weekly editions as well. naturally i have almost bought this one too. #allthewhite for ania. emily ley started from humble beginnings AND wrote a book – oh and she’s a mom of three. gosh, i love a good mompreneur. and some patterns are on sale now which never happens!

THE HAPPY BALANCE PLANNER: this is like the two above with a little more wiggle room. it is another daily view planner but also has space for weekly and monthly goals which i am a HUGE fan of. also there’s just more blank space which the doodler in me appreciates. there’s also a nice chunk of lines for a daily to do list so you can kiss those sticky notes good-bye. i’d say this is for the gal who wants to plan her days but also wants space for weekly and monthly goals.

RIFLE PAPER CO: to preface this, i am mad for rifle paper co. some people have their favorite sports teams or starbucks drink – i have my favorite paper goods company. to each their own. i love rifle paper co’s planners because they have a classic size (which my sister had and easily fit into a purse/tote), a large size and hardcover agendas that make my book nerd soul sing. they have monthly and weekly views and they win gold with the best cover designs. one thing: my sister had the classic size and it is not quiiiiiite as sturdy as others we’ve purchased. if you’re post grad and need something to have on your desk and throw in your tote, perfect. if you want to shove this work of art to the bottom of your north face backpack, maybe not so much.

KATE SPADE: these planners are very comparable to the rifle paper co’s and the rest of this list as they have weekly/monthly views. i would say they have the same sturdiness as the rifle paper planners but their illustrations are a bit more chic and polished. i really, really love this one. good quality, great layout.

BAND.DO: i have this planner in large right now and i love it. i like having a weekly lay out, the spiral/cover have held up really well and the size is great. the blocks of space for everyday are spacious enough that i can write lots in one day, even having space for a to do list. #priorities these planners have illustrations that are funky fresh so i am a little turned off by the neon colors currently, but they are really great quality, let me tell ya!

LILLY PULITZER: i had this planner in size medium/large for all of high school and it. was. everything. the honest reason that i don’t have it now is that i don’t vibe with lilly’s prints anymore. i love them on anyone else but i can’t do it anymore. i know, i know – this is all very tragic. anyways, they hold up GREAT and the jumbo is really just a dream – it’s huge and spacious and the weekly views have room for everything you want to jot down! they are fun, flirty and perfect for a planner newbie. 😉

PAPER SOURCE: they have more subtle designs for weekly layout planners! i love the more minimalist look of this one and this one. they are sturdy, at a good price point and don’t have many bells or whistles which is sometimes refreshing!

planners might seem trivial or materialistic but i think a good one can completely change the game. make it fun! i go through at the beginning of the year and write out all my friends’ birthdays with a reminder two weeks ahead so i can send them snail mail on time. i track mother nature on the monthly view which is ENORMOUSLY helpful. (“oh, wait i’m probably about to get my…oh dang it, i have no reason to be inhaling this XXXL froyo right now.”) i write down things just to cross them off.

it’s on my bucket list to design a planner one day. but until then, have fun shopping!

vibed to this while writing.