Natalie

Apartment Essentials: A List

Moving is always overwhelming. Doesn’t matter if you are moving 30 minutes away from your current home or half-way across the country, maybe even overseas…plain and simple is it STRESSFUL. I just moved to Miami from Puerto Rico and even though I have a full month before starting my work orientation it still feels like time is quickly running out. Between all the packing, throwing out stuff from the old apartment, sending boxes, shipping cars, and finding THE perfect apartment, it is very easy to forget to be excited about this new stage of my life. Also, we very easily lose track of the basics we need to move. So without further ado, this is my new apartment essentials list, which applies to an apartment that is fully equipped with appliances (otherwise, some other items might take precedence, like say, a fridge LOL). I hope you find it useful and even add to it! Don’t forget to share in the comments below what are YOUR moving basics.

BED + MATTRESS | One of the biggest signs that you have made it as an official adult is when you look at your bed with pride, said bed not being a twin size anymore haha. SO when relocating make your bed your top priority. You want something that will be long-lasting and comfortable since half of the free time you have will probably be spent indulging in long hours of sleep. Don’t forget to buy soft and comfy sheets. I LIVE for the Liquid Cotton Sheets by Liz Claiborne. These can be found exclusively at JCPenney, they might be a bit pricey so try to get them when on sale. They are the definition of soft and silky sheets, even at 300 thread count. A MUST!

SOFA | Another area where you will be spending most of your downtime will be your living room, for said reason one of the items that you should consider splurging on is a nice sofa. This sofa will most times work as the center of your entertaining area so try to find something big and comfortable, but appropriate in size for the space you have. As I was sofa shopping, my initial idea was to get a sectional sofa as it provides lots of seating but I quickly noticed they were not on my budget. I was lucky enough to find a big and comfy sofa at a fraction of the cost just because it was a display item at the store. Sometimes these are the steals your pocket is longing for when you are on the move.

KITCHEN SUPPLIES | This is pretty basic but in addition to doing your grocery run and stocking up on all the ingredients to make delicious meals, you need to have the dinnerware and cookware to serve and prep your food. A staple in your kitchen should be a ceramic sauce pan and pot, it helps that they are nonstick and cook your meals in no time. Also you will need a spatula, cooking spoon, utensils, steak knives and a pretty basic set of kitchen knives. Remember to at least stock up on 2 plates and bowls with mugs and cups. You can finish out the set of four later on in your move if money is tight.

DINING CHAIR + TABLE | If your apartment does not have a kitchen counter you will need to buy a kitchen table. No need to splurge on this since many accessibly priced tables are available at Target and even Overstock or Wayfair. Just don’t buy something too cheap because it may backfire. Next up would be dining chairs. Here it all depends on the look you want… some may be looking for upholstered chairs to make it more decadent or you want to be funky and go for metal bistro chairs (My personal favorite! A plus is that they come in a variety of colors and can help add a pop of color in a boring white rental. )

TV | So this is a point of debate because a TV is not a necessity, less so now when we have iPADs and computers where we can stream our favorite content. But if you feel like you can afford it and it is something you will be using a lot, consider investing in a 4K TV since it’s the latest tech in TVs and it will look awesome AF! I am a movie buff so for me a TV was sort of like a necessity LOL. I have been a Sony girl since forever but the TV I chose for my new apartment is a 4K LG… and I don’t regret it. The graphics looks great, and even better than some Sony’s. Consider it the next time you are purchasing a TV, its a bang for your buck.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post on the best purchases for your home : )

What are your essentials?

Share in the comments below!

N

5 Ways to Feel Less Stressed

Personally I am always on the lookout for ways to feel less stressed. Medical school is a stress-inducing environment and one should look for healthy ways to cope, otherwise you crash and burn. Food is always a tasty safety net to fall into but not the healthiest one since we tend to reach out for sugary treats that give a nice rush. But this nasty habit comes with extra pounds, a muffin top and self-esteem going down the drain. So along the past 4 years I’ve experimented with various ways to de-stress, and so far this is what has worked:

Write notes | Making lists is a must if you want to get stuff done efficiently. But what is really important is to prioritize in these lists because there are things that, believe it or not, CAN wait. Not everything must be done in one day, and this is something I’m still working on because us type A’s tend to be very obsessive about certain things. Also, before taking all your worries into bed try making a list of things you are thinking about and stuff you have to do so you avoid a bout of insomnia.

Get an oil diffuser | For years and years the benefits of aromatherapy have been discussed. I don’t know if you are a skeptic or a believer but let me tell you, it works wonders. Lavender is one of the most popular oils. I’ve used it to go to tranquil sleep and also to quiet down my speedy brain. Peppermint is refreshing; it alleviates congestion and helps improve mood. Chamomile is great to calm you down after a hectic day and it is a well-known mood lifter.

Turn up the volume | Most people think that to relax everything has to be calm and silent but that is not true. Music has the ability to change your mood, calm you down, its just a matter of choosing the right kind of music. You can find many playlists on Spotify that provide nature sounds, like rain or the waves at the beach which provide relaxing background music to your day.

Bake | This is a personal favorite of mine, and I don’t know if it is relaxing for anyone else, but I love to bake. Baking gives me ME-time and lets me create a delicious treat for me and my friends. You can find 5 ingredients recipes that are easy to make online and on Pinterest. You can also go to the Life-Batter section of the blog or follow our Life-Batter board on Pinterest for some inspiration : )

Coloring | Lately there has been a boom in adult coloring books. There are many variations, those with complicated designs and many with mandalas for relaxation. I’ve used Enchanted Forest and it is awesome. Head to Amazon to get a copy.

What are some ways you unwind?
Share in the comments below!

-N

Perks of Being a Dog Mom

If you have been following the blog for a while you know that I recently became a dogmom and dogaunt. It has been a humbling and eye-opening experience. There are many wonderful things in life but very few can compare to the unconditional bond you establish with your pup. The loving connection since the first time you meet, the play dates, nights fallen asleep on the sofa together and the many silent but deadly farts that happen with your puppy are the beginning of a beautiful life together. Recently I became a doggie aunt and was able to live, care for and love a puppy basset hound named Leopoldo, whom you may have met on earlier posts of the blog. He is a sweet angel that showed me the wonders of being with a dog. Suddenly you feel happier in the morning, you have someone greeting you with licks every time you get home from a hard day at work. This experience really got me thinking that I wanted to establish that amazing bond with my own puppy. I set myself on the journey to find a puppy that would be perfect for my personality and that would be a great companion to Leopoldo…and I found him.

His name is Charlie and he is a charming F1B Goldendoodle. He is the epitome of love. He is everything I could ever hope for. This loving pup brightens up my day immensely. He was and is all I ever needed to finally feel good! He is my therapy and joy. I hope he feels the same way about me 🙂

I know getting a puppy isn’t possible for everyone for many reasons; long hours at work, restrictions in an apartment building, you name it. But seriously, at some point in life give yourself the opportunity to love in the most simple of ways. Open your heart to the possibility of a tail wagging companion to make this journey called life a little bit easier, even if it involves picking up some poop along the way.

-N