I’m the first to admit I’m not the neatest person the world. For a time I was. Growing up, everything had a place and there was a place for everything. Down to the mini horse figurines arranged perfectly on my desk! But somewhere in the teens that all went out the window and I’ve struggled to stay on top of messes ever since. But now that I’m a mom (why does it still feel so weird to say that?! My kid is nearly two,) it’s dawned on me that I finally need to get my act together. It’s not cute to have your house looking like it’s run like a teenager when there are no teens in sight. So I’ve slowly but surely begun putting intention around my neatness goals. Just saying “I want to be neat and organized” isn’t enough. That leaves way too much wiggle room. Instead, I’m making specific to-do’s for every room our house. I figure if I master these tips, by the time my kiddo starts his first day of pre-school, I might finally look like I have my sh** together. Fingers crossed.

I also thought a little moral support would both keep me honest and keep me motivated to practice what I’m preaching. So I want to share the 10 tips I’m using to keep my domicile looking, well, civilized.

IN THE KITCHEN

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Clean as you go. The secret to keeping a tidy kitchen? Never let it get dirty! Think of your kitchen like they do in a restaurant. It starts the day in tiptop shape and ends the day in tiptop shape. That way you never find yourself overwhelmed by crazy mess. Accomplishing this goal requires the following:

Wipe up spills as soon as they happen. This is especially true around the stove or in the oven. You don’t want to let that stuff get caked on. I love Clorox Scrub Singles to get off the sticky mess my cooking tends to leave behind.

Wash pots, pans, knives and the like as you’re cooking. Whenever you finish with a pot throw it in the sink with some water and soap. As something bakes, sautés or marinates you can give that pan a quick rinse and put it away.

Immediately fill the dishwasher and put everything back where it came from. Force yourself to take the two or three minutes after you finishing eating – you know that time when all you want to do is grab your wine and sink into the couch – but quickly load the dishwasher and put away any remaining cooking implements or ingredients. Then, and only then, is it wine time.

By implementing these tips, you’ll be ready to settle into your binge watching sesh after giving the counter one final quick wipe.

IN THE BATHROOM

10 cleaning tips

Cleaning the bathroom is quite possibly my least favorite thing of all the things. But is it really anyone’s favorite? I can’t imagine. Thankfully, if you’re diligent about implementing a few quick cleaning tips, you can avoid the dreaded deep cleaning session.

Wipe down counters and hardware daily. Be it in the morning after you get up, or just before you head to bed, give your counters a quick wipe down. Sometimes that might mean simply drying them off. But if you got a little overzealous with your dry shampoo or some toothpaste spilled in the sink, grab a Clorox Bathroom Scrub Single and you’ll get all that grime off in one swipe.

Clean the toilet more regularly. If you’re like me, you don’t think to clean a toilet until it needs it, aka when it’s really bad. But if you take 60 seconds at least once a week to give it a quick clean you won’t ever hit the gross-out point. The Clorox Toiletwand & Refills are super effective and way less disgusting than a brush that sits all stank in your bathroom. I never have to worry about the state of my toilet if an unexpected guest drops in.

Give all surfaces a thorough clean weekly. This includes the mirror, the floors, the tub and shower walls. This will fight against soap scum buildup and that layer of film from the various beauty products we all use. A bit of Clorox Pump & Clean Multi-purpose Bathroom Cleaner on a dry rag around the entire bathroom gets it sparkly really fast.

IN THE BEDROOM

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It can be easy to neglect your bedroom, especially if, like me, you only collapse into it at 10 pm every day. But, if your bedroom was organized, clean and inviting, would you be inclined to spend more time there? Thought so. Try these tips to help keep your room feeling more like your sanctuary.

Keep the dust at bay. Allergens are a huge issue in the bedroom. To keep them down, dust at least weekly, if not every three days. Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes are great for this. They get up everything including my Frenchie’s teeny tiny hairs. You want to especially dig into windowsill corners and the nooks and crannies of your headboard or bed frame.

A fresh bed is a happy bed. Washing your bedding weekly is the best thing in the world. I love my all white beds (like this one) and Clorox Oxi Max Radiant White helps me keep mine nice and bright even with a little human and pets.

Kill germs. If you get nailed by a bout of norovirus, like our household did a couple of weeks ago, you will want to wipe down all door knobs and hard surfaces with a disinfecting solution. You can check out my post on how to do that right here.

Do you have any pro-tips for keeping messes at bay? I’d take as many suggestions as I can get!

 

 

image 1 by tom blachford / image 2 by elizabeth roberts / image 3 by aubrie pick

This post is in partnership with Clorox. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that I’m excited about and that have kept apartment 34’s doors open

There’s nothing that gets my design motor running more than a brilliantly curated home store. That’s why the new NYC outpost of Consort Design, which I profiled last year HERE, has me like whoa.

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Situated in a charming 1830s Tribeca townhouse, Consort’s new retail space feels like you’re walking into the coolest person you know’s living room. Light, bright and beautiful right? It’s not hard to see why Consort Design is one my major interiors crushes right now. The shop also features a full-service design studio for the lucky ducks in New York needing the Consort magic touch.  I love the modernist deco vibe Consort tends to express. I swear they helped usher in the blush trend that even I got caught up in this week. While they tend to feature more bold color than I might bring into my world, they temper it with stunning minimalism like that black, white and gold moment. I mean, that marble surfboard situation? Genius.

I must admit I have FOMO for all my New York friends who can just stroll into Consort for a dose of happy any old time they feel like. For now, I’ll just peruse their website and drool over things like the perfect Kaare Klint safari chair….so tempting!!!

 

For our Retail Therapy Archives, CLICK HERE

 

photography by Reid Rolls courtesy of Consort Design

Apartment 34 on Instagram

While I typically reserve Wednesday to talk about wine, there’s nothing wrong with indulging a day early – especially on Valentine’s Day! I must admit, the contrived Valentine’s romance isn’t really my jam, but an excuse to bring some of my girls together – that I can get into.

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Since I haven’t seen a happy hour in I can’t remember how long, hosting a ladies lunch is a lot more mom-friendly. A few friends, a pretty table and some light bites are all you need to feed your need for girl-time.

Even though my table was Valentine-inspired, I didn’t want it to feel saccharin. With a dark gray tablecloth as a ground, all of the warm neutrals stand out. To make place settings a little more special, the secret is to layer. A charger, dinner and salad plate all stacked together create texture. I wrapped a set of printed napkins (designed by Erica Tanov – a major design crush), with a bit of rose-colored suede. Brass flatware and a little gold dish on each place add a hint of glam without getting overly girly. A floral centerpiece with creamy ranunculus, anemones, sweatpeas and jasmine soften the entire scene.

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But it wouldn’t be a proper party without a little wine! While rosé is my summer staple, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it even when there’s snow on the ground. Elouan Rosé is the perfect light, bright and delicious addition to some quality time with your girls. Elouan’s name literally means “good light.” Fitting, no?

I really quite like this wine. Created with Oregon-grown pinot noir, it has real depth of flavor and some good body. So many rosés are rather insipid. This one is lovely whether you’re enjoying a glass all on its own, or pairing it with food. It’s the perfect all-year-round wine. It also always settles the divide between those who want to drink white and those who want to drink red. Rosé always satisfies.

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I also like giving my guests a little favor to take home – in this case pieces of tangerine quartz. It has properties of strength and tenacity, but is also calming and centering. Exactly what all moms need, especially in these trying times!

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Since I’m often stuffing leftovers from a child’s tray into my mouth and calling it lunch, this is a refreshing respite from day-to-day mom life. Hopefully we don’t have to invent another holiday before doing this again.

For more table top and entertaining ideas CLICK HERE

Fore more Wine Wednesday posts, CLICK HERE

 

dishware via mrs.peasy / florals by lambert floral studio

photography for apartment 34 by delbarr moradi

This post is in partnership with Elouan wine. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that have kept apt34’s doors open.

As I’ve made it rather clear over the years, I’m all about minimally styled interiors – less is more when you seek to curate a space that feels fresh and airy. But while sparse spaces photograph beautifully, monochromatic rooms can sometimes feel a bit stark in real life. I don’t know if it’s the fact that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, or that all those pops of blush showing up on Pinterest have finally seared themselves into my brain – but either way – I have fallen in love with the peachy, dusty, blush pink in this nordic apartment.

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Peach accents can break up a monochromatic scheme, adding warmth and playfulness to the space without detracting from an otherwise neutral interior. You might be surprised to learn that the rest of this apartment is essentially black and white. But just like I decided our house needed a room with bold color, this apartment shows you can maintain that modern chic feel, even with pink! You can take your apartment to the next level by incorporating a peach accent wall. Or if you want just dip your toe in this rosy water, start with some smaller statement pieces placed throughout your home. Any of the lovelies below will do!

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SHOP THE LOOK: bowl / pendant light / poster / notebook / pillows / throw / chair

 

For more home tours, CLICK HERE

home tour courtesy of fantastic frank

I’ve always said that lingerie is NOT a Valentine’s gift for you. It’s for him. I mean, come on – do you ever actually wear the stuff other than the day it was given? Exactly. But my attitude has shifted a bit since I discovered Madewell just launched an intimates line. Because this is purdy underwear I actually want to wear.

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It looks cute, it looks comfy and it has the perfect amount of sass.

I’m particularly into the bralette situation for something I might want to show off. But I also really like I really the mesh bras. Padding is so 10 years ago. I’m tiny and proud dammit. There are some cute and casual color blocked styles. Great boy shorts too.

I haven’t refreshed my personals drawer since finally returning to my post-baby body (did I mention it took nearly two years to get there? Yeah f*** Crissy Tiegan and all those models who look perfect in 4 weeks. But I digress). But now that everything has shrunk back down to its pre-baby size and I’m no longer stuck wearing nursing bras, it seems like the perfect time to invest in a few lovely little things, just for me. Why should I have to wait until someone else buys them for me?? If the husband likes this little gift to myself, added bonus.

You can shop the entire Madewell Intimates Collection HERE.

While winter isn’t usually associated with margarita season, I’m excited to put a new twist on a classic. Absolut just launched Absolut Lime – the newest, most refreshingly versatile addition to your bar. Since I got to spend last weekend poolside in Las Vegas, when Absolut asked if I’d like to put their newest flavor to the test, I gladly accepted.

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Absolut Lime has a full-bodied citrus flavor with a refreshingly light finish that works perfectly in a variety of cocktail recipes, but I’m particularly loving a twist on one of my favorite drinks – the margarita.

The switch is easy. By substituting Absolut Lime for your tequila, mixing in some fresh lime juice and adding agave, you get a lighter, brighter, slightly less in-your-face version of the standard. It was the perfect thing for everyone to sip around the pool (including my in-laws!). With awards season upon us, it’s also the perfect opportunity to kick traditional awards-watching treats like bubbly to the curb. In fact, Absolut is the official partner of the GRAMMY Awards coming up on Feb. 12. Is everyone as excited as I am to get together and watch James Corden host this year’s show? His segment, Carpool Karaoke, makes me forget about the world’s problems and Corden was amazing at hosting the Tonys (hi, awards show geek here). I know he’s going to be super entertaining.

At this year’s GRAMMY Awards, Absolut also wants to refresh what women are asked on the red carpet. While the dresses are certainly important in the world of fashion, there are a lot more pressing things to talk about. This year’s GRAMMY’s Absolut is launching the #RefreshTheTalk campaign. Turning the question from “what are you wearing” to “what causes do you care about” is a brilliant idea. I’m certainly excited to get my girls together to tune in and see what everyone has to say when the script gets flipped. And I’ll be serving a round of Vodkaritas of course! We also might have to try our hand at Camille’s game of Award Show Bingo. It’s seriously genius.

The recipe to make Vodkaritas for your crew is below. Even if you don’t consider yourself a mixologist, you can definitely pull this off.

RECIPE: Absolut Lime Vodkarita
2 parts Absolut Lime
1 part fresh Lime Juice
1/2 part Agave Nectar

Shake all ingredients with ice until cold. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Salt the rim if you like. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy!!

This post is in partnership with Absolut. Enjoy responsibly.

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