The holidays are officially upon us, and gift-giving abounds! For those last-minute shoppers who looking for something unique, there are multiple local pop-up markets still happening this week in the Twin Cities. Buy one-of-a-kind gifts from a wide variety of local artisans and makers to delight the loved ones on your list. Not, to mention, you’ll also be supporting independent artists — a win-win!
#ShopJXTA Pop-up Shop @ Juxtaposition Arts
Now through Thursday, Dec 20th (10am-4pm daily)
Snap up handmade art, ceramics, screen-printed textiles and much more at Juxtaposition Arts, made by JXTA’s young adult apprentices.
Artists’ Holiday Shop @ Soo Visual Arts Center
Through Dec 23rd (Wed 11-5, Thurs-Fri 11-7, Sat-Sun 11-4)
A long-standing tradition at Minneapolis contemporary art space, SooVAC, the annual Artists’ Holiday Shop is an excellent chance to get your mittens on art from some of the city’s favorite creatives — at accessible price points.
Linden Hills Holiday Market @ Sunnyside Gardens
Sunday, December 23rd (9am-2pm)
Host to a fantastic selection of craftspeople, artisan food producers, and ready-to-eat food makers, the Linden Hills Holiday Market is an eclectic shopping experience with over 60 vendors.
Hygge Holiday Market @ Lawless Distilling
Dec. 23rd (4pm-8pm)
For the serious last-minute shopper, this evening pop-up combines cocktails and Christmas shopping. Enjoy holiday-themed sips while perusing a curated selection of local makers and artisans.
Apple orchard season is drawing to a close, and this weekend is likely one of the last you’ll have to partake in the joys of apple pickin’. Luckily, there are quite a few orchards close to home — many located less than an hour from the Twin Cities. A great place for a cute day-date or a fun activity for the kids, a trip to the apple orchard is a quintessential Minnesota past-time — and extremely affordable as well. Check out our “picks” for the best orchards in the area, and enjoy!
Aamodt’s Apple Farm
Located near charming Stillwater, MN, you can make a day of your visit to this cute apple farm by following it up with dinner or drinks in town. Aamodt’s offers plenty of things to do, such as wine-tasting, hanging out with goats, strolling the picturesque grounds, and more. Kids will love it too, with such activities as a tractor-pulled kiddie train and treasure hunts. Stop by the store and bakery to take home your own bushel of fresh apples and a variety of baked goods, jams, and much more.
Open daily, 10am – 6pm / Free Admission (some individual activities may be additional)
6428 Manning Ave., Stillwater, MN 55082
Pine Tree Apple Orchard
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Twin Cities, this White Bear Lake-based orchard is fun for the whole fam. Solve Pine Tree Orchard’s intricate corn maze, explore the grounds, take a scenic wagon ride, pony ride for kids, or hang out in the yard for live music on the weekends. Pick your own, or stop by the store and bakery to buy fresh apples (over 20 varieties!) and related treats, including their famous apple pies.
Open Daily, 9am – 6pm / Free Admission (some individual activities may be additional)
450 Apple Orchard Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Afton Apple Orchard
This adorable orchard features a number of entertaining activities, such as a 15 acre corn maze, petting zoo, tractor rides, live music, a huge playground for kids, and shopping in their on-site store, where you can scoop up all manners of seasonal treats to take home. Visit Afton’s expansive pumpkin patch — just in time for Halloween!
Open daily, 10am – 6pm / Free Admission (some individual activities may be additional)
14421 90th St S, Hastings, MN 55033
Sela Investments Ltd. is an Equal Housing Opportunity Provider
They don’t call Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes for nothing! The Twin Cities are home to many great parks, lakes, and yes, picnic areas. This summer, get out of your apartment and enjoy the fresh air with
friends and family. Below, we’ve listed a handful of the best spots to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors, without straying too far from home.
Minnehaha Park & Falls
A quintessential Minnesota experience, Minnehaha Falls is the perfect picnicking destination. Not only do they have ample picnic table and grilling stations throughout the upper park area, but you can stroll the trail at the base of the falls all the way to the Mississippi River if you’re so inclined. For those who’d rather dine than picnic, the seasonal Sea Salt Eatery just adjacent to the Falls offers a delicious variety of fresh fish options.
Hidden Falls Regional Park
Located along the mighty Mississippi off River Road in St. Paul, this tucked away gem offers multiple covered and open picnic areas. Stroll along the river’s edge and the boat launch, or explore a number of scenic trails that lead to, you guessed it, a beautiful hidden water fall. Stop off in nearby Highland Park afterwards, for frozen yogurt or to browse a variety of cute shops and boutiques.
Boom Island Park
A popular spot with sweeping views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline and the Mississippi River, Boom Island Park offers both covered and exposed picnic areas. Grill out, then take a serene stroll along the waterfront path and watch the boats drift by. Just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Stone Arch Bridge, and Northeast Minneapolis, there is plenty to do and see in the area.
Bde Maka Ska Park
One of the most active outdoor spots in the Twin Cities, Bde Make Ska (formerly known as Lake Calhoun) is a fun, scenic destination with plenty of great places to picnic. Bring your suit and hit the beach, walk or bike the perimeter of the lake, or rent a number of different watercrafts for the complete experience.
As an apartment dweller, you may not have your own private backyard, but there’s no reason you can’t celebrate the season in style! In today’s post, we offer a few fun, easy and affordable ways you can bring a little summer fun to apartment living.
Grow a Mason Jar Garden
Just because you live in a small space, doesn’t mean you can’t exercise your green thumb. A sunny window or patio is all you need to grow your own mini herb or flower garden! In this helpful YouTube tutorial, learn how to make your own DIY garden using mason jars and crates. A alternative to mason jars would be to paint small terra cotta pots in fun colors and designs.
Create a Floral Canvas
Summer is all about color, and while you’re apartment may seem small, there’s no reason not to go big with blooms! In this super easy tutorial from Michael’s craft store, you’ll learn how to make a faux flower canvas that will light up the room (and show off your creativity). Consider doing a number of mini canvases that just feature flowers, to create a pretty grid installation on your wall. Floral canvases also make great gifts!
Jazz It Up With Washi Tape
Totally removable and totally awesome, washi tape is a great way to change up your apartment each season without fear of damaging walls. This Japanese rice paper tape is similar to masking tape, and come with fun colors and patterns galore. Create an abstract, freestyle mural or pattern treatment on your wall; place colorful accents around the house and more. Check out some fun ideas in this video, but also google or Pinterest “Washi tape projects” to see the many ways people use it for interior design.
While convenient and comfortable, apartment living can sometimes have us dreaming of spacious entryways, chef-worthy kitchens and sprawling floor plans. However, just because you don’t have the square footage, doesn’t mean you can’t open up your space and make it feel beautiful, bright and airy. Today, we’ll run down a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years — enjoy!
Do not underestimate the optical illusion power of mirrors when it comes to making your space feel twice as big. Add a large mirror above your couch or mantle, or create a mirror wall with smaller, decorative mirrors hung in a creative way. A large, framed mirror leaned up against a wall is a casually tasteful way to open up the room too. It’s easy to find affordable mirrors on Craigslist, at garage sales or at discount retailers around town. Click HERE for more tips on decorating with mirrors.
Clean Color Schemes
Using light, luminous color tones to decorate your space creates an effortless brightening effect. Textiles and furniture in shades of white, soft greys, fun pastels and lighter wood selections will give you that spacious feeling without a heavy focal point in any room. Love color? No problem. Balance those light tones with vibrant potted plants, a few colorful throw pillows and of course, works of art.
Making the Most of Windows
Ok, so your apartment’s window game may not be 100%, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of what you have. Avoid heavy curtains or blinds that can’t easily be retracted or hidden. Choose lighter colors when it comes to your window treatments, and look for textiles that allow light to penetrate without sacrificing privacy. Keep the areas near windows clear of clutter or furniture — instead opting for a window-sill height platform, slim bench or console table for potted plants or decorative items.
Declutter Your Life
It’s easy for small spaces to become overwhelming when it comes to staying organized. Keep on top of it all by creating a system that works for you. Whether it’s throwing out or donating things you don’t need on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis, or developing clever storage solutions, your apartment will feel that much more open and clean with a few adjustments. Click HERE for some tips on decluttering.
Celebrating the holidays can be enhanced with special craft cocktails for the occasion. Our friends at HGTV have a great list of wonderful recipes that should appeal to every palate and can also be made as non-alcoholic drinks as well!
We know that we can’t wait to try the Cocoa Raspberry Heaven!
1 oz. white crème de cacao
8 oz. hot chocolate
1 fresh raspberry (optional)
- Pour raspberry liqueur and white crème de cacao in a cappuccino mug.
- Add hot chocolate and stir.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Drizzle teaspoon of Chambord on top of the whipped cream.
- Top with a fresh raspberry.
When you share space with your neighbors, it is important to remember to be courteous to others in your building. As the holiday season approaches, we thought we would share our tips for apartment friendly entertaining!
- Keep your party inside your apartment. Everyone has been to a party that was so crowded that guests started spilling out into the hallway. This causes problems for neighbors as they come and go as well as it infringes on the common areas. When inviting people to your party, please keep in mind the number of people that can easily fit into your own apartment – unless you have booked a common room for that purpose.
- Don’t test your neighbors’ patience with excessive noise. Neighbors are more likely to complain or be irritated if you push the boundaries of noise and crowds too far. Noise travels through apartment walls, ceilings, and floors. Be conscious of how much noise can be absorbed without giving the building a headache. Also remember that others in the building may have different work hours or days – so make sure it’s not keeping them up late into the night.
- Don’t let neighbors’ complaints escalate. If your neighbors complain about your party, they are in all likelihood looking for a resolution to their problem. Always hear them out — You may be surprised to find yourself agreeing with your neighbor that what they’re asking is reasonable.
- Consider inviting your neighbors. This can be a sensible option if you’re throwing a general type of party. They might drop by just to make an appearance or not even come at all. But your neighbors will appreciate the gesture, and if they don’t come, they’ll be less likely to complain about a party that they had been invited to by you.
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays! So why not throw a fun, elegant and spooky party for your closest friends? Of course, you’ll need to stock up on supplies for just the right look and bit of a scare.
There are some great ideas for how to turn your party into a wow occasion and suggestions for how to make it a night to remember.
When it comes to getting ready for the Halloween holiday, sometimes apartment residents don’t think they have enough space to be creative. This great video of a TINY apartment shows that no matter the size of your home, you can really have a lot of impact with a little creativity!
St. Louis Park has some great activities for fall family fun!
The Westwood Hills Nature center has everything from campfires, archery and Halloween fun!
Don’t miss out skating and holiday fun at the Rec Center on Monterey Drive – Goblins on Ice for Halloween is always a good time!
For more suggestions, the City of St. Louis Park provides a great list of events happening in the area.
You spend about one-third of your life sleeping, so you want to feel comfy and cozy in your bedroom. However, a small bedroom can feel oppressive and claustrophobic, and not at all a fun place to spend time. Never fear! There are decorating tricks you can deploy to make your room look and feel bigger.
At first thought, painting walls white would seem like a good choice — brighten the room and open it up! White can be dull, however, and even make space feel no less confined. A better choice is to paint the walls a soft, restful color like light blue or green. But don’t stop there — paint woodwork, and even ceilings the same color or shades that are close in tone, which will blur the edges of the room and enlarge the space. Hang curtains at the windows that are close in color to the walls, and longer than windows to add vertical lines that draw the eye upward.
Reconsider Bed Placement
The bed is usually positioned at the center of a wall with space on both sides, but this can take up nearly all the usable space in a small room. Consider pushing the bed up against one wall to open up more space. If you are sleeping solo, go for a full-size bed rather than queen, or even a single or day bed. Arrange to throw pillows along the wall to make the bed look more like a seating area. Wheels or sliders under the bed frame will make it more convenient to make the bed.
Choose Subdued Colors for Decor
Avoid wild prints or cluttered florals for your bedclothes. Opt for solids in a soothing, tone-on-tone palette, and use the texture for contrast rather than color. For example, try an upholstered or metallic headboard, or a chunky throw at the end of the bed. Add a throw pillow or two in an unusual shape or with fun details like pleats or ruching. Decorator Nate Berkus says that adding some shimmer such as a metallic lamp or a mirrored tray on the nightstand will help bounce light around the room, making it feel bigger and brighter.
Don’t cover nightstands, bureaus, or chests with trinkets or even essentials. Store hair accessories, jewelry and such in drawers, or in decorative boxes. You can even use walls for hanging storage for necklaces, scarves, or hair ties, or use a pocket shoe organizer on the back of the bedroom door. Clean surfaces on furniture open up the space. You can also get lighting off the nightstand by hanging a reading lamp on the wall over the bed.
Take Advantage of Under Bed Space
The bed takes up the most real estate in the bedroom, large or small. In a small room, it is even more crucial to use the under bed space for storage so you can downsize or eliminate chests of drawers or other space-hogging items for holding your stuff. If your bed is at the center of the room, choose a platform bed with drawers underneath on all sides. For a bed against a wall, try setting it up on higher legs, either by selecting a tall bed frame or setting a standard bed frame on risers to create space underneath. Wicker baskets with convenient handles add to the overall look rather than detracting from it.
With these smart tricks, even the smallest room can be opened up, making a space that feels cozy rather than confining!
It has been over 30 years since the last total solar eclipse visible from the United States. On August 21st, you will have a great opportunity to view the partial from right here in Minnesota.
It is also important to protect your eyes and any camera you use to look at or capture the solar eclipse.
With summer here and kids out of school, everyone wants to be outside doing something. Whether you’re sunbathing, swimming, going to the beach, or barbequing, protection is essential. There is such a thing as too much sun and you can’t protect yourself or your loved ones enough. In the continental United States, exposure to UV rays during peak hours of the day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is the most hazardous. Consequences of overexposure or unprotected exposure include sunburns, wrinkling, early aging of the skin, and skin cancer. There are several easy options to protect your skin from the sun, but the CDC recommends: sunscreen, clothing, hats, sunglasses, and shade.
Sunscreen is available in a variety of sun protective factors (SPFs). It is suggested to use SPF 15, with both UVA and UVB defense, or higher for the best protection. Sunscreen does wear off, requiring reapplication every two hours, after you swim, or after activities that make you sweat. It is also possible for sunscreen to expire. If there is not a date on the sunscreen, assume it has a shelf life of three years. Expired sunscreen does not protect you in the same way that new sunscreen will.
Uncovered skin is always at risk for the consequences of exposure. Wearing loose-fitting clothing, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, will offer the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. If this kind of clothing is not practical, at least commit to wearing comfortable summer clothes with other forms of protection, like sunscreen.
Wearing a hat with a wide brim will shade your face, ears, and back of your neck, protecting those areas from UV rays. If you prefer other hats, make sure the uncovered areas of your neck and head have been applied with sunscreen of at least SPF 15.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from the bright light of the sun and UV rays. Wearing sunglasses shields your eyes, reducing the risk of cataracts, and the sensitive skin around your eyes from the sun. Most sunglasses sold in the United States block both UVA and UVB rays, regardless of cost or brand.
Retreating to the shade during midday hours will not only give you a cool place to stand or sit, but you can reduce your exposure to the sun. An umbrella, tree, or other shelter like the shaded side of a building can give you relief from the heat and sun. However, you should still apply sunscreen and/or protective clothing even in the shade.
Getting that perfect summer tan may be your top priority for this summer, but do it safely. For more information about protection from the sun, refer to the CDC website or hotline.
You may have less square footage than a house, but these 12 apartment storage ideas will help you to hold on to the things that you love and stay organized.
- Take a vertical leap – In a smaller space, you will want to organize your storage on the vertical rather than the horizontal. Use hooks to hang things on walls and inside of closets. Install tall cabinets and bookcases with more shelves.
- Be a basket case – Baskets are decorative and versatile. You can use them anywhere to store dry items and reduce clutter.
- Bring down the curtain – Traditional doors use up floor space to open and close. Hang a curtain to cover a closet or small room. It will slide rather than swing to allow access.
- Embrace your inner furniture – Many furniture items have storage options. Ottomans, coffee tables, and benches often have space for storage inside or underneath.
- Mix and match – Over the door closet organizers such as those used for shoes can store any item that fits the pocket. Use your imagination.
- Sweep it under the bed – If your bed is resting on legs, you may have unused space under there. Bed risers boost the height of your bed for additional space. There is a variety of under the bed storage containers on the market.
- Take a shower – There are many kinds of shower caddies available that serve as storage for bottles, razors, and sponges. Some shower curtains also have mesh pockets. If you are crafty, you can add some.
- Book it – If you love your books, you will know the challenge of where to keep them. Fortunately, books look nice, so use them to decorate. When stacked next to a chair, larger books make a convenient side table.
- Create some tension – Tension rods come in different lengths and can increase hanging potential in any cupboard or closet. You can also use them to hang curtains to partition a space.
- Peg it – You can use pegboard in any room to convert a blank wall into storage space. It can be purchased or cut to fit and has a variety of purposes.
- Make an entrance – Provide hooks, shelves, and storage at the entrance to reduce clutter. If things like hats, jackets, and purses have an assigned place in the entry, they are less likely to creep into your living space.
- Do your homework – There is an abundance of storage solutions on the market today. Spend some time researching new gadgets to fight the clutter. It may also spark some DIY ideas that can save you cash.
Try these 12 apartment storage ideas to make the most of your space and reflect your style. You do not need a huge amount of square footage to relax and appreciate your living space.