Apartment Tour: Living Room

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Welcome to my apartment! Last month, my boyfriend and I moved into our new apartment. It’s close to my college and his work and is the perfect little place. We searched for a really long time to find a place (I might do a post of tips for apartment hunting) but we finally found “the one” and have been settling in.

I’ve become a little obsessed with decorating it and Pinterest has consumed my life a little bit lately. The living room is the only room yet that is pretty much completed so this is the one I’ll be sharing on here first. I’ll go through where I found each piece/ how I made it and share any tips I’ve found so far. I’m really happy with how it turned out and that I was able to get a lot of the ideas from my head to reality!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset1. Gallery Wall

Gallery walls have become quite trendy in the past couple years and I really love how they look. They’re quite easy- even if they don’t look it. Sometimes picking one statement piece of art or wall decor can be daunting, but with a gallery wall anything goes. You can change one piece or the whole thing whenever you want, so I recommend this if you’re decorating your first space.

I made my gallery wall pretty much the cheapest way possible. The whole project cost me around 20 dollars! I just found some of my favorite photos or quotes from Pinterest and printed them out at my local library, which cost just a few dollars. Then I bought some cheap frames from Wal-Mart totaling about $15. I chose frames that were kind of mismatched; some of them have thin black borders, some thicker more ornate border, one circular to make a statement. I’ve found that almost anything works in a gallery wall so have fun with it. I originally thought I printed way too many pictures, then when I went to hang it on the wall realized it actually looked a little lacking. So, I took two vintage mirrors I purchased at a garage sale years back and mixed them in, and a little mirror I bought from Target. I think the mirrors added the variety it needed. I’ve seen people put chromatic animal busts, dreamcatchers, all kinds of different things on theirs and they’ve looked pretty awesome, so it’s really what you make it.

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2. DIY Accessories

My friend and I made the other pillows (here is a link to the before and after). We made six decorative pillows which usually cost around $10-$30 each, for under $30.We just took thrift store pillows and covered them with fabric, it was really simple.  The vintage chest is from a garage sale and cost $10. My dad found our end tables on the side of the road, and I just spray-painted their tops, which were originally bright red, white.

Our couch is from Raymour and Flanagan and was actually one of the only pieces of furniture we bought new. We took some of the pillows that came with it off and just kept a few. The gold pouf is and string lights are from Target.

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I found our standing lamp in my parents’ barn at home. It had been about 20 years since anyone had used it and they let me take it. It’s a little bit rusty but after a good cleaning and new lightbulbs it’s just like new.

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3. Ladder Shelf

One day I was browsing Pinterest and I came across one of the most genius DIY’s I’d ever seen- the ladder shelf. I think it looks so cool, and like you put a ton of effort into it and it’s actually incredibly easy. I just took an old ladder we had lying around (you can find them at thrift shops, garage sales) and spray painted it white. Then, my dad and I cut a few pieces of wood into four sections, each smaller than the other. Then we just screwed in a few more poles to the side of the ladder without rungs and set the wood on top. I decided not to paint the wood because I like the contrast of the natural wood and white ladder. It was really simple and a real focal point of the room. I just decorated it with different books, candles, succulents, and our favorite knick-knacks.

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4. Extra Seating

In this corner we just added this little chair from Target. It’s actually a fold-up chair but I think it looks pretty cute there. We put a stool in front of it and covered it with one of my favorite blankets. My friend found the old mirror for me at a garage sale. This was important to add because our living room doesn’t have a ton of seating, so the chair and stool can be used as additional seating.

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Hope you’ve liked this little tour into my humble abode, and if you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll answer as best I can!

Love, Francesca

The Moon Hunters Live at the Beegarten

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Here are some pictures of my boyfriend Dave’s band The Moon Hunters! They gig in the Summer and they play classic rock, blues, funk and originals. I came to see his band play before we met and remember thinking “man the bass player’s cute!” and then we started dating a few weeks later! The gigs are always a fun time and this is my favorite venue because its’s really cute.

I’ve had a really busy and fun Summer but it’s coming to a close. This weekend Dave and I move into our apartment so I’ve been busy preparing for that. I’ve spent a lot much time on Pinterest and Youtube looking at apartment design ideas, and have been making a lot of things for it so I think it will look nice! After that I start my new job and then school begins so it’s going to be pretty hectic but a new chapter so I’m excited! I do have a lot of posts planned from things I’ve done over the Summer and an apartment “before and after” so stay tuned!

Check The Moon Hunters out on Youtube here!

Love, Francesca

Stop and Smell the Roses

 


{Wearing: thrifted Free People top, JB Just Black jeans, thrifted leather belt, Alex and Ani bracelets}

Ahhh… Summertime!

Hi guys! It feels good to do a fashion post again. I’ve been doing a lot of thrift shopping lately and have a bunch of outfit combinations I want to show!

I finished my first year at college almost a month ago now and I’ve been really enjoying the freedom of Summer vacation. Spending time with old and new friends, my boyfriend, family and catching up on YouTube videos and Netflix has been so nice. And work of course- but you can’t have all play without a little work. Now I have more free time to spend on this blog too which will be great! Also some exciting news- I’m getting an apartment! I always planned on getting an apartment for my sophomore year but now Dave and I have finally chosen one and as long as we’re approved (fingers crossed) we should have it! Not going to lie one of my favorite parts may or may not be decorating. I am so excited to decorate and make it our own, I’ve been dreaming about decorating  my own little apartment for years, I’ll just have to add a few more Star Wars items than I originally intended. :)

Love, Francesca

Sunday Afternoon Snapshots

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“We take photos to return to a moment otherwise gone.” -Katie Thurmes

Many people don’t like taking pictures. They don’t like being in them or think a camera is  ruining the moment. I obviously am not one of these people, but this is why. I tend to be pretty forgetful, and I’m always scared that I’m going to forget parts of my life. I’m pretty young and this is an exciting time- I’m out of high school, carving my own path. I try and look back on memories from my childhood and I experience a weird feeling, like I’m trying to grasp at all these things but the memories have just fallen away over time. I didn’t think about specific things after they happened and now they’re impossible to recollect.

I love photos because they’re ways to look back on our memories and remember what happens. As soon as you see a picture from any given day, the day comes flooding back to you. You’re transported back to that time, you experience the same feelings as you did then, you remember the circumstances and the events that occurred. I love photos, but it’s more like I love memories. I love remembering things that have happened. We put so much effort into planning our weekends or our schedules, making sure the day will be put to good use and be fu. Then we just forget about it. We focus on the next week, next year, like we’re already over it. This is a great habit that we have for it enables us to focus on the present, but sometimes it would be nice to remember the past, and all the fun you have had. So yes, I love photos. I like being the person who brings their camera because someday, I know I’m going to be really thankful I did.

Our photographs tell our stories and I want my story to be a good one.

Katie Thurmes from “The Stories We Tell” wrote a great essay on photography and capturing moments, and if you’re interested you can read it here. I would highly recommend it!

These photos are from this past Sunday. The weather was beautiful, it was the first sunny day in a long time, and it was the perfect time for a bike ride. It definitely helped ease my winter blues I mentioned, even if the weather only lasted a day. Maybe mother nature reads my blog. :)

Also the adorable puggle is Dave’s and her name is Lola and she’s the sweetest little ball of life ever.

Love, Francesca

 

Winter Blues + Summer Dreaming

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Hey guys! I haven’t updated since fall so I’ll fill you in on what’s new. I’m now in my second semester of college and I moved back home after having a not so great experience with dorming. You live you learn, and I’ve learned the dorm life is not for me! That said, I’m much happier now and until I get an apartment this summer, I’m going to enjoy this time with my family, and my very long commute filled with jam sessions.

This winter in Buffalo has been a pretty mild one as far as our winters go. It hasn’t been too cold or too snowy, just kind of bland and gray as winters are. I usually love winter and all that comes with it, but like clockwork, near the end of every February I get the winter blues.

I define the winter blues as a lack of sunlight, warmth, and liveliness that is attributed to the rest of the year. Don’t get me wrong- I love winter. Months of staying in and cuddling, watching movies, bundling up in cute scarves and pretty boots, the picturesque snow (unless you’re driving anywhere). However, at this point I have had quite enough of winter and cannot stop daydreaming about Summer and sunshine and mopeds and freedom. I don’t know if this problem is universal or just a problem in my area but is it just me or are there like no things to do at all in winter!? I love ice skating and I’ve been multiple times, and sledding is a fun novelty, but unless you’re an avid skier (wish I was) then what else is there to do? Go to restaurants and the movies I guess, but I think we need to create more activities that are inside and awesomely and exclusively for winter, to maybe help combat these boredom blues every year.

So since I can’t shake the winter blues, at least looking at memories from summer helps. Here are some photos I never shared from this past summer that make me so excited for what’s to come this year! Ir’s  a reminder that we can all get through these winter blues together and there’s still hope for sunny days.

(Warning: Picture overload. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I wanted to share a lot!)

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027_00asea hag collage

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File_000(4) corn dog and scnow cone collage

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flowers and blueberries collage  
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boat and fruit collage

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drive in
Love, Francesca

 

Cafe + Ice Cream Date

These photos are from a little cafe date my sister Lexie and I went on the other weekend. We went to The Shirt Factory Cafe which is one of my favorite cafes by my house, and Lake Effect ice cream which is an artisan ice cream shop that has the most delicious ice cream in the world. I don’t know if that’s verified but I’m pretty sure that’s true. We had a really nice time and it was good to catch up since we’ve both been busy with college lately!

I drank a match green tea smoothie which was amazing, and Lexie had some kind of hot chocolate. We only had 2 macarons each to eat because she really wanted them and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money but they were pretty good. We also had a little argument about how to pronounce or spell those little cookie things. Macaroons? Macarons? Overpriced and caloric jelly cookies? No but really what are they?

Regardless of how they are pronounced, I’m a fan.

I have a rather large obsession with earl grey. I get an earl grey vanilla latte every morning at college and I absolutely love this earl grey ice cream! It is so delicious I could eat it all the time. Lexie had the Paula’s Doughnut flavor which is doughnut flavored ice cream with pieces of gourmet doughnuts inside (insert 10 heart-eye emojis).

I hope you had a nice Halloween and are having a nice Autumn! I am way too ready for Christmas, I have to stop myself from putting Christmas music on repeat and playing all Christmas films until at least Thanksgiving, but it will be hard!

Love, Francesca

New York in the Fall: Travel Guide + Photo Diary

Ahh, New York. Magical, exciting, everything you want in a city and more than you could ever imagine. This past fall I’ve started college, and now I live in a tiny dorm room in the center of Buffalo. While this change has been exciting, I have gotten much more used to city life. Visiting New York this last time has made me realize just how little good ol’ Buffalo is and how much there is out there! This trip was so much fun (I did not want to leave) and I’m going to share some of my favorite photographs, memories, and best advice for when you visit the big apple!

1. Location, Location, Location

We stayed at the Manhattan at Times Square which is located right in Midtown, just a short walk to so many things. Times Square, 5th avenue, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park were all very close so it was a great central location! Make sure you choose a hotel close to the places you want to go, because public transportation can get pretty expensive and irritating in general!

2. Iconic Central Park

Central Park is always on the top of everyone’s list when visiting the city, and for good reason! Not only is it iconic but the breathtaking combination of nature and urban skylines is so beautiful. Plus even with all the tourists you can always find less populated spots, and it’s a nice area to escape the busy city, if only for a few minutes.

3. Walk Everywhere

In order to really experience the city, you have to just explore! This is my absolute favorite part whenever I visit, I love roaming around and discovering new things. Plus there really is no better place to people watch than NYC. Dave and I found the atrium above by exploring around, and we stumbled upon the Palace hotel (featured in Gossip Girl) and the Plaza (featured in everything but notably Eloise and Home Alone). This is an amazing place for sightseeing so take advantage!

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Play Tourist

Every time I visit the city I always feel like I can’t  be a tourist, I have to try and be cool and act like a New Yorker. In reality, who cares if you play tourist for a bit? Sometimes it’s not all about finding the trendiest unknown spots, but enjoying some well renowned traditions. One of my personal favorites is Rockefeller Center. It has everything, shopping like Anthropologie and Free People for the girls, Nintendo and the Lego store for the boys, ice skating for entertainment, and lots of cafes and eateries! Plus, it is home to the Today Show and NBC store, where Dave and I pretended to be morning talk show hosts! Lots of fun things to do and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m a big cafe fan so I’m always looking for cute cafes! Bouchon Bakery is located in Rockefeller Plaza and it has amazing baked goods and drinks, plus a really cute outdoor sitting area! Also, we had a lot of fun at the big Toys R Us in Times Square! As you can see there’s a massive ferris wheel in the center of the whole stores overlooking 3 levels of pure awesomeness so it’s kind of amazing. And at only 5 dollars a ride it’s a steal too!

5. City That Never Sleeps

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” – Simone de Beauvoir

New York is the city that never sleeps for a reason! With so much to do, sleep is out of the question! Though I know people appreciate their sleep (believe me I do too), when in NYC sometimes it’s better to suspend your regular schedule. If you wanted a relaxing trip you would have picked the beach! That said, there’s plenty to do at night. You could go see a show on Broadway! My mom surprised Dave and I with tickets to Aladdin and it was absolutely amazing! I definitely recommend it if you get the chance! If a Broadway show isn’t in your budget, what about a singing cafe full of super talented aspiring Broadway singers singing right to you while you eat? Check out Ellen’s Stardust Diner! My family and I go to this place every year because it’s so much fun and you don’t have to pay for tickets, just the price of your meal! And it’s diner food so it’s a good excuse to get some chicken fingers and a milkshake!

6. Don’t Forget Breakfast

You’re going to need to refuel in the morning, and being in a city with some of the best food in the world, why not go out and get some breakfast? I absolutely love going out to breakfast (and breakfast food) so these were some of my favorite times! I highly recommend Astro, a cute little hole-in-the-wall diner that has kind of a Seinfeld vibe to it, and amazing food. I had creme cheese stuffed crepes and they were so delicious, my stomach growls just thinking about it.

7. Good Company

Last but not least, travel with good company! I was fortunate enough to be able to go with my family and Dave and we all had so much fun! Traveling is a lot more fun when you have your best friend by your side, and experiencing all of these cool things is always better together! So if you plan a trip to New York, make sure you bring good company!

Love, Francesca