Room To Talk

Creating an Inviting Living Room

Posted by Alyssa on January 31, 2017

 

living room

Often, your living room is where both your family and your guests spend the most time. It’s important to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that will help your guests be at ease and make your home a place people want to gather. Below are five suggestions on how to create an inviting living room. 

living room

via The Everygirl

1. Choose furniture that will appropriately fit the size of the room. Furniture that is too small may make the room feel cold and empty, and furniture that is too large can feel suffocating and overwhelming.

2. Display artwork. Including paintings, prints, or photographs on the walls helps a living room feel intentional and finished.

living room

via Apartment Therapy

3. Incorporate curves in your design. Whether it’s a round rug, oval coffee table, or soft edged cushions, a curve is softer and more inclusive than a hard line.

living room

via Vintage Revivals

4. Use a variety of textures in your rugs, pillows, couch, and chairs. This will be visually appealing and the softer the textures, the more cozy the room. Don’t be afraid to layer rugs or blankets. A cozy throw on the couch is always welcome as well!

5. Open curtains during the day for natural lighting and at night use lamps. Overhead lights can often be harsh and too bright, and nothing affects the mood of a room more than lighting.

Assess your living room today and decide how you’re going to make it a cozy place where people will gather. Let me know how it goes!

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Game Day Snacks

Posted by Alyssa on January 30, 2017

game day snacks

Football isn't football without snacks! Whether you are watching for the game or the ads, copious amounts of snacks are vital on game day! Below are two recipes for delicious appetizers to serve and eat that everyone will love. 

guacamole 

Guacamole Taquero (Taco-Shop Guac) from A Bountiful Kitchen

Ingredients:

6-8 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped

½ cup packed cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno (½ of the jalapeno seeded)

1 Anaheim chili, chopped

1 large or 2 small avocado, pitted and peeled

½ small white onion

Instructions:

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve

chocolate chip cheeseball

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball from Six Sister's Stuff

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened to room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 ¼ cups mini chocolate chips

Roll cheeseball in

¾ cups pecans, chopped

⅓ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

In a big mixing bowl combine cream cheese and butter, and beat until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours.

Roll into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Chill for another hour.

Unwrap and roll in the chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips.

Serve with graham crackers and cookies for dipping.

 

Enjoy your snacking! RC Willey has all the small appliances that will you need to get your snacks and dips ready for any party. Check them out and if you have any other snacking suggestions, let me know in the comments below!

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Designing a Home Office

Posted by Alyssa on January 29, 2017

designing home office

It’s important to have a designated workspace in your home. Whether you work from home full time or simply need a place to file and sort paperwork, you can make almost any size of space into a home office. Click on the images below for more information 

For a tiny space:

white writing desk

midcentury modern desk 

With a little more room:

white desk 

wooden desk

blue-desk

To fill an office: 

office set

black office set

office set

There are endless options of how to make a usable work space in your home. Tell me about your home office in the comments below, and check out all of RC Willey’s home office options.

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Best Family Room Seating for the Big Game

Posted by Alyssa on January 28, 2017

game day

Gathering with friends and family to watch the big game is always easier when you have seating for everyone. Being completely honest, I watch football more for the ads, the snacks, and the conversations than for the actual game. My family is split about 50/50 on who likes the game and who just likes the company, but regardless of where we stand, we love lounging on our couch and spending time together. 

sectional

Try a sectional if you have a large group coming. Not only do they fit a large room, they fit a lot of people. If you’re lucky you might get the corner seat - my favorite spot in the house.

recliner

If you’re watching the game solo or with a small group, there’s nothing like a recliner to relax in. Sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy the game!

Whether you’re hosting a large party or small group, RC Willey has all the seating options you need. Check out your options here and let me know what you are going to pick for your game day!

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5 Ways to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

Posted by Alyssa on January 27, 2017

 dinner party

I was confident as a sophomore in college that I could throw the perfect dinner party. My roommate and I invited ten people over and decided that we should make homemade ravioli, despite the fact that we had 1. never made ravioli before and 2. did not own a pasta roller. A couple hours before the party, we started the process and quickly realized that there is a reason people buy pasta rollers. By the time our guests arrived, we had unintentionally thick ravioli, dough all over our clothes, no table settings, and a sink full of dishes. I vowed never to make dinner for another person again. Thankfully, I have since changed my mind on dinner parties. I love cooking for people and have learned a few things through trial and error that will help you throw a decent, if not perfect, dinner party. 

1. Serve something you are confident making. Now is not the time to experiment. Your guests will prefer having a simple meal cooked well than a complicated dish half cooked.

2. Make a playlist for the evening and have music playing when your guests arrive. It doesn’t have to be loud, but it will make any silence feel cozy rather than awkward.

outdoor dinner party

3. Don’t apologize for the food, the atmosphere, or the guests. If you step on someone’s foot, go for it. Otherwise be confident and no one will notice small imperfections.

4. Clean as you go. That way you won’t be putting your guests in the uncomfortable position of debating whether or not to start doing your dishes.

5. Have dessert of some kind, even if it’s just fruit, and serve it away from the table. A change of scene helps keep the evening interesting and comfortable.


The best advice of all is to relax and remember that you’re feeding your friends. No one can complain about that. If you have more suggestions on how to host a dinner party, please leave them in the comments below!

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TVs and Sound Systems for the Big Game

Posted by Alyssa on January 27, 2017

 tvs and sound systems

If there’s one thing you need to host the ultimate game day party, it’s a good TV and sound system. With all the options of televisions and soundbars, you can feel as if you’re there for all the best parts of the game, with the added bonus of endless snacks and no line to the bathroom. It’s a win-win.

 television

The first thing you need in order to have the perfect game day is the perfect TV. Size matters, so make sure you’ve measured your space and know how big of a screen you can fit. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re stuck in the front row of a movie theater or on the back bleacher with binoculars. Remember that screens are measured diagonally, from corner to corner, and everything looks smaller in the store than it will on your wall at home.

 soundbar

The second thing you need is a soundbar to help out your sound. As televisions get thinner, it gets harder to get a good sound from them. It’s a tradeoff you may not be thrilled with, but don’t worry, there’s an easy fix. Soundbars are an effective and subtle way to improve the sound of your television. Not only will you be able to hear your TV better, some models have Bluetooth connections and can be used as speakers for your music as well.

Don’t be stuck with a bad view this season! Check out all television and soundbar options at RC Willey, and let us know what else you’re doing to prepare for the big game!

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Dining Benches

Posted by Alyssa on January 25, 2017

dining table bench

My dining table is small, and it can be hard to fit more than four people comfortably around it. In a pinch we can squeeze six chairs in, but that’s pushing it. Most of the time this isn’t a problem at all, but there are times I wish we had more space. 

dining bench

That’s why I’ve been considering replacing my chairs with this bench for my table. It seems like it’s just the chairs that are taking up space, not the people. With a bench, I think I could easily fit one more person on each side of my table. It will be so much easier to have conversations over dinner if we can all sit around the same table! Not only that, but I love how benches look in a kitchen.

Would you ever use a bench at your dining table? Check out all the dining chair options at RC Willey and let me know which ones are your favorites!

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5 Tips for Getting Organized

Posted by Alyssa on January 24, 2017

getting organized

I didn’t realize how many clothes didn’t fit me until I decided to organize my closet. I had been reading an article online about living as a minimalist and the man in the article owned 50 things. Total. I was inspired but it didn’t take long to realize that I cannot be a minimalist. I like my books and my camping gear and my art supplies too much. Also my clothes. Basically, I would fail as a minimalist. I was inspired to get organized though. Not being the best at organizing, I turned to the web for ideas on how to begin and these were the five most helpful suggestions. 

organization

via Pinterest

1. Everything you own should have its own place. Figure out where that wandering extra phone charger should live and put it there!

2. Notice where the clutter in your house seems to gather and figure out a way to minimize it. My entryway is a hotspot for the stroller, coats, keys, shoes, and things that I need to take out to the car. I got hooks for the coats and keys, decided the stroller should live in my laundry room instead and vowed to take everything that needs to go to the car out before it even hits the floor.

organized pantry

via Pinterest

 

3. Label your boxes. You shouldn’t have to open every container to figure out where the stamps are.

4. Get rid of any duplicates. I’m not sure why I had three copies of the book Jane Eyre, but I can definitely survive with just one.

5. As soon as you see anything ripped, broken, too small, or too big, toss it. There’s no need to store something you’re not going to use.

If you have any other suggestions for getting organized, please share! I’d love to know how you not only get organized, but stay that way.

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Dinner Conversation Starters

Posted by Alyssa on January 23, 2017

dinner table

According to The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit dedicated to making family dinners a priority again, “recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade-point averages, resilience, and self-esteem.” All in all, family meals are worth the effort! Conversations can be difficult to start around a table, though, and that’s where The Family Dinner Project can help out. They have hundreds of conversation starters on their website to help your family start talking and bonding.  Here are a couple of my favorites: 

“How is this year at school different from last year?”

“What is your favorite childhood storybook? What is special about it? Who used to read it to you?”

“What is your most unusual talent? Demonstrate it!”

“If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change?” 

Here’s to hoping that everyone can become a little closer to their families this year. If you have other tips on gathering your family around the table, please share!

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Mindful Eating

Posted by Alyssa on January 22, 2017

mindful eating 

After a holiday season of gluttony, it’s time to start eating healthy again. I’ve often found it difficult to follow through on diets, calorie counting, and vague ideas of what healthy eating is. If I cheat once, I’m done for the day and those cinnamon rolls better watch out. Rather than focusing on what I can’t have, I’ve been making an effort to simply be more mindful of what I’m eating. 

Being a mindful eater means being aware of your portion size, eating slowly, and knowing what is in the food on your plate. Minimizing distractions, such a watching TV or reading while eating, helps you to focus on what you’re eating and notice when you’re full.

dinner table
When I started making an effort to be more mindful of what I was eating, I was shocked to realize how often I snack throughout the day because of boredom. I found myself eating crackers out of the box while standing in front of the cupboard too many times to count. My goal this year is to avoid eating snacks unless I’m sitting at the kitchen table. Hopefully if I start small and simply become more aware of what I’m eating, I’ll be on the right track to a healthier life. What are some of your health goals for 2017?

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