Surrender to the End of Summer By Singing These Tunes

I don’t know about you, but we’re holding onto summer {or at least the essence of it!} for dear life right now. Even with the brink of fall right in front of us, we’re really not feeling ready! We haven’t lived out enough endless, carefree days, windows rolled down, hair blowing in the wind, Beyonce blasting through the stereo! Our summer bucket list still runneth seriously over. I suspect we’re not alone.

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That’s why, before we say goodbye to our bikinis, we want to press pause and remind ourselves of all the little things we’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t gotten around to yet. The time to do ‘em is pretty much now after all! Maybe make those homemade yogurt swirl popsicles we’ve been dying to try, go on that day-trip we’ve been itching to take, or dance on the beach like no one’s watching! The possibilities are endless!!

So we thought, what better way to help you get up and do something fabulous with your waning summer days than with a great soundtrack bumpin’ in the background!

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It’s a little bit of everything; exhilarating and carefree with a tinge of moodiness {it just wouldn’t be a playlist without Lana!}. If this playlist doesn’t get you up off your couch and dancing, then we don’t know what will! You can hear the whole thing right here.

So off you go! Take the final days of August to exhale, let go and surrender to summer. That’s what we’re going to be doing for the rest of the week! Life’s just too short to be worried about work all the time. We’ll be seein’ ya in September friends.

PSA: Day to day pressures aren’t invited to THIS party – but you are! —Team Apartment 34

image via, playlist compiled by June 

Tasty Tuesday: Cookie Craving

Guys, fall must be looming cuz I wanna bake. In a real bad way. While baked goodies are usually banned from the loft, the craving to whip up a batch of dough has slowly been creeping up on me and now I’m finding it almost irresistible {as my Pinterest feed attests}.

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However, I’m also a total cookie snob so rather than waste a good round of cheat calories on a ho-hum treat, I’ve gone on a mission to find the ultimate cookie recipe. In my book that includes chewy with a gooey-soft middle, maybe some nutritionally redeeming qualities {substitute white sugar perhaps, maybe include some whole grains}, but most importantly a boat load of chocolate, because really it’s called an indulgence for a reason.

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So I’m turning to you dear readers. With a lovely long weekend ahead of us, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to finally give in and bake. But I want to put a recipe to a taste test! Sure, I’ve banked quite a few here, but I haven’t zeroed in on THE one yet. I need a personal recommendation.

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Do you have a fool-proof cookie that you swear by?? Pretty please leave me a link in comments! I would love to give it a go – and of course I’ll share my results with everyone!

images via pinterest, cookies and cups & half baked harvest

Calligraphy + Coffee 101

There is nothing quite like receiving a beautifully handwritten note in the mail, wouldn’t you agree? The rarity of a greeting sent the old fashioned way is especially endearing. Old-fashioned cards also make the sender feel as good as the recipient- there’s something so satisfying about actually dropping a note in a mailbox! So why don’t we send out more thank you’s, thinking of you notes or love letters anymore?? In a world of electronic everything, from emojis to emails, it’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how to express ourselves on pen and paper.

Now, we’re the first to admit we rarely send out cards in the mail ourselves. So, in an attempt to keep the handwritten note from becoming a dying art form, we decided it was time to brush up on expressing ourselves on paper- no laptop or keyboard required!

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To help us out, we enlisted on local calligrapher, Kim from Bright Room Studio, to school us on fun writing treatments to jazz up our snail mail. We all gathered round the table on a Saturday morning (with much needed coffee in hand!) to learn some tricks of the trade – and of course we had to share it all with you!

calligraphy-and-coffee-apartment-34-2calligraphy-and-coffee-3-apartment-34 our favorite card stock, envelopes & paper goods from Tiny Prints

When it comes to a handwritten note, where to start is easy: cute stationary is a must {we love this set and this set!}! Then you just have to decide to whom you care to send a special note. We have a little {pretty!notebook in the office to keep track of ideas. It doesn’t have to be a cousin who is celebrating an upcoming birthday or a friend who is expecting. In fact, we argue that it shouldn’t be. We love the idea of sending “just because” notes; they’re such an unexpected gesture that will no doubt turn any friend’s mid-week frown upside down!

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But if you’re still feeling stumped on how to write something that’s actually longer than 140 characters, we’ve got your back!

Get Past Notecard-Writer’s Block With These “Just Because” Ideas:

> Send a loved one your favorite memory of them
> Tell a person why they inspire you
> Start a card with “thanks for” & express what you truly appreciate about the recipient
> Share something that will make them laugh- something you’d normally text to them
> Write out a favorite quote from the book you’re reading and send it off for someone else to enjoy

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Once you’ve got your note ready to go, here’s where you can take some additional creative license: addressing the envelopes! There are a couple of different writing styles Kim showed us.

> Calligraphy is a classic way to put a sophisticated spin on your mail. It takes practice to perfect, but it’s so much fun. We urge you to pick up a nib and try it!

> Watercolor is so on trend right now. You can either write with a thin, rounded tip paintbrush or paint a watercolor background and print with a pen over it. We’re obsessed with this playful and free flowing style. Let the paint do its own thing- embrace its imperfections and runs.

> Combine fonts and sizes, spacing between characters and colors to instantly take your handwriting from drab to fab.

The key here is to simply let your creativity flow!

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And for us creativity definitely starts after coffee! Since it was early and we needed to stay focused on our craft, we set up an ultimate coffee bar with three different roasts from our favorite Bay Area-based coffee roaster, Wrecking Ball {you may remember them from here!}. We felt a little like coffee aficionados while we sipped the different blends. Since you usually get whatever is being served at your local cafe that day, we certainly indulged by taste-testing a cup or two {or three}!

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Don’t you just love that print Kim made for our coffee and calligraphy date? You can get your own {in black or white, or both!} here!

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So one of these weekends, why not motivate a handful of your gal pals for a different kind of “girls day.” Set up a fun coffee bar; indulge in your local coffee shop’s beans and grind them yourself to really bring things back to basics. Dust off your cutest mugs that quickly get forgotten amidst the convenient thrill of to-go cups. Set out all your pretty paper and cards {don’t forget the address labels either!} with a couple of different writing tools, and you’re set to go for a really simple and super fun weekend activity. We’re here to attest that calligraphy and coffee is the most inspiring way to start off a Saturday!

 

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // art direction + styling by Bianca Sotelo 

This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints, where every choice is a stylish choice. Thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting our partnerships!