life in a tiny apartment.

    March 29, 2017

    Tip #151: You already know what to do.

    I’m in a Spring cleaning kind of mood and with that comes a bit of Spring mess-making. It’s the time of year when I can’t help myself but to buy up spring bulbs at the farmer’s market and bring them back to my tiny apartment to get muddy with. I realize that I’m likely one of few people on the internet who could gawk at photos of delicate muscari and tiny narcissus all day and be content, but here we are. 

    I’ve written a fair bit in this series about making the most out of limited space and limited access to the great outdoors. In a post that’s now so old that it refers to James as my boyfriend, I mentioned that it’s helpful to think of the city as your living room. In another post that features a 23-month-old Faye in all her pantless glory, I suggested embracing messes and getting yourself a drop cloth. This weekend I potted these spring plants and uncovered an entire family spiders had taken up residence in the bag of soil I keep in a metal tin in our linen closet. (Luckily, it wasn’t my first time at the bug rodeo.)

    I was home by myself when the spiders emerged. (James and children on a mission to climb every stranger’s stoop in Brooklyn.) I vacuumed them up. I doused their tin in the combination of Castile soap and water that I call our all-purpose spray. I called my mom and asked if her if she thought I needed to dump the remaining soil and before I let her answer me, I convinced myself that yes, indeed, keeping a bag of spider-filled soil in a small apartment (or anywhere) probably isn’t worth the cubic foot of dirt.

    What’s the point? I already knew the answer to my spider query. I just had to talk my way through it.

    I get so many emails from readers, and I promise I do my best to answer them, but over and over again, I think the answers lie in the questions themselves. You can problem-solve a tiny apartment for the entirety of the time that you live in it. Indeed, you probably will. There’s no end game here. Life keeps evolving. Spider eggs hatch. Babies grow into kids. Spaces are mutable. We’re all in a process of feeling comfortable in our skin and in our own homes and there’s not one answer that’s gonna unlock a secret that changes everything. So while we’re all busily readying our minds and homes for a new season, here’s a reminder that I don’t have very many perfect answers, but I can lend a bit of encouragement to make tiny fixes, and add green things, and make the bed. If gawking at daffs is what helps, do that. It’s sure helped me, spiders and all.

    Tiny apartment survival tips #1-#150 right this way.

    spring cleaning, two ways.

    March 27, 2017

    spring cleaning, two ways | reading my tea leaves

    Spring is here, even if it hasn’t quite gotten the memo that that might mean bringing warmer temperatures along with it. (I walked to to work with my socks off last week and nearly froze to death, so you know.) Still, in recognition of the shift in seasons and the accompanying yen for a fresh start, here’s a little post about welcoming Spring with an eye toward being good stewards of our planet and ourselves.

    Freshen your sheets, two ways:
    + Consider investing in a new thoughtfully made set
    Stick a lavender sachet into the place where you keep what you have. We store our sheet sets in bags and or pillowcases to keep them organized (you might recall), and I recently started tucking lavender sachets into each bag for seriously good smelling sheets.

    Clean your fridge, two ways:
    + Examine the shelves on your fridge door. Throw away what’s nasty, keep what you love (and pledge to use it). Add something yummy.
    + For just a week, challenge yourself to buy nothing at the grocery store that comes in a plastic package. See what you come up with and what your stumbling blocks might be. (For me, it’s dairy. Always.)

    Wash your face, two ways:
    + Book yourself an appointment at Heyday—or at a place nearby to you—and treat yourself to a clean face, courtesy of an expert.
    + Go through your cosmetics bag and get rid of anything that’s expired, grody, or otherwise unloved. Try something new. (And swap your disposables while you’re at it.)

    Scour your sink, two ways:
    + Consider a special sink scrubber set to make the job a little more—dare I say?—fun.
    + Break out the baking soda and a lemon. Coat the kitchen sink in baking soda, douse it with lemon juice, scrub it all into a paste, make yourself some tea, come back later to rinse. Admire the shine.

    Brighten your evenings, two ways:
    + Nights are getting shorter, but you still might want to read by lamplight. Try swapping incandescent bulbs for LED ones. I’m curious to try these LED Edison bulbs.
    + Try star gazing instead of phone gazing. Thanks to light pollution, we can only see twelve stars from Faye’s bedroom window but you better believe that we hunt them all out every single night.

    Purify your water, two ways:
    + Make sure the stainless steel water bottle you tote everywhere is clean. Let it sit overnight with hot water and baking soda. Scrub in the am and drink cleaner water.
    + If your water’s tasting funky, try a purifying pitcher, or, you know, a hunk of charcoal.

    Sweep under your rug, two ways:
    + Roll up your rugs. (Try not to get too grossed out by what you find underneath.) Give them a good beating (or throw them in the wash) and lay them back down on a freshly cleaned floor. 
    + Invest in a moody broom.

    Filter your indoor air, two ways:
    + Track your indoor air quality with a fancy new device aimed to teach you more about what you’re breathing in.
    + Get a potted plant—like a snake plant or a peace lily—known for removing indoor air toxins.

    Bring in blooms, two ways:
    + Cut a forsythia branch or a cherry branch or a dogwood branch (or any flowering branch you can find), mash up the end of it with a hammer or a pair of clippers, stick it in water so it can drink its full, and watch those buds unfurl over the next few weeks. (City slickers like me can often luck out at the farmers’ market. Head to the fruit sellers to see if they sell their extra shoots.)
    + Rest your head in a flower meadow.

    Mind your flower pots, two ways:
    + Prepare your flower pots for a little seasonal planting by taking a scrub brush and hot water to the insides to get rid of last year’s gunk. (If you’re feeling especially ambitious, rinse them with white vinegar and water solution to get them extra sparkly.)
    + If you buy plants in plastic pots from a farmers’ market or nursery, bring the pots back that way after planting. Growers can reuse them (and a lot of municipalities can’t otherwise recycle them).

    What about you? Favorite ways to welcome a new (warmer) season?

    my week in objects (mostly).

    March 24, 2017

    five little things that made my week.

    1. this dress with deep pockets.
    {but mostly the kid filling the pockets with every single imaginable toy.}

    2. this decaf coffee.

    {because keeping it in the house means a second morning cup, minus jitters.}

    3. this bag of lavender.

    {and a little spring cleaning. more soon.}

    4. these sprouts.

    {last year’s hard winter wheat, resprouted.}

    5. this rose serum.
    {smells like summer.}

    other things:

    call your representatives.

    peace by chocolate.

    dreamiest bedding for little guys.

    linen for lounging (spotted on honey kennedy.)

    spring centerpiece.

    every day i dream of repainting our cabinets.

    seedlip spirits.

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  • life in a tiny apartment.

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  • my week in objects (mostly).

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