Enhancing Living Spaces and Other Apartment Miscellany

Heya, I threw together a little poll on Twitter to see what you wanted to read about today. It was between apartment therapy and a NaNoWriMo pep talk--but the vote was SO close! So, I'm going to write 'em both up just for you AND share my homemade taco seasoning recipe.

In author news, I’ve added a few links, including a https://linktr.ee/booksofm new DeviantArt page, to my Linktree. I've been updating my Patreon as well and will have more on that front soon enough. Signed up for NaNoWriMo, though, so this'll be the last of my administrivia for a good long while.

The idea behind this post was to share a few things I’ve been doing to freshen up our apartment. Since I've been spending so much more time at home this year, I try to do one small thing for my space every so often. If you’re asking whether or not it helps… Yeah, it totally does.

So, without further whyfores and therefores, here’s eight things you can find, buy, or repurpose in your own humble abode.

  1. Slim Storage


Okay, I'm rapidly becoming one of those people who's tired of clutter and less-than-ideal spaces. This cart is really narrow and wipeable which... if you have cats... it can also double as an instant nest. This is a thin, long storage shelving unit that fits in my utility closet. I put my baking stuff in it and roll it out when I need those ingredients.

A lot of the baking stuff we stocked up on are in zipped bags, and hoo... Those are hard to stick in the cabinet. I'm not keen on getting another set of storage containers for almond flour, coconut flour, powered chocolate, etc. 'cause I'm going to run out of counter space. This was the best solution I could find.

  1. Laptop Bed Tray


I got this for someone as a gift. Shhhhhhh... One of the things I like about this tray is that the legs fold down so you can store it flat. I dig the built-in holders and space for a mouse, too, but it's wide enough it'd be great for breakfast in bed.

  1. Laminated Yoga/Stretching Poses Posters


These are double-sided and can either be hung vertically or horizontally. I hung them up above my keyboard with these damage-free hanging strips (https://amzn.to/2G4Fttl) which are GREAT for this.

Now, when I take work breaks for yoga and stretching I've got a quick and handy references. Since they're laminated, I can re-use them wherever I go.

  1. Enamel Pin Banners


I LOVE THESE. It is so nice to be able to display all my enamel pins and figure out which ones are appropriate for today's mood. (Short answer: all of them?) They look great on my office wall as art, clear up a few containers, and if I get more of them? Hint... Hint... Then, I have more space to expand my collection.

  1. Chalkboard Labels


So, I like to label my art supplies and drawers. Thing is: I move stuff around. For this project, I need labels I can write on again and again. I dig these chalkboard labels because the text isn't permanent. Since I can use them pretty much anywhere I've got a box/container/drawer, they also give off that "Holy crap, aren't you organized?" vibe which... Sure. Let's go with that. *stares hard at my unorganized jewelry supplies*

  1. Full Spectrum Light Strips


I got these as a gift and am using them to grow kale and mint indoors. (Uhhhh, those are the plants that survived my gardening experiment.)

  1. Bookplates


I have some extras of these on hand. I'm using them for the books I absolutely can't get rid of. They're also really good if you want to send gifts to your readers or if you want to mail them separately from whichever bookstore you're gifting from. (I only have so much space, so it's hard to collect them all in print--though I vastly prefer print to digital. Sob. ONE DAY! One day I will have that floor-to-ceiling library.

  1. Fairy Lights


I have two sets of these 33ft fairy lights in my office and I LOVE them. They are remote-controlled so you can change the color, type of light, and time they are on. They're super, super light and don't get hot, either. They're so easy to use and will brighten up any room you've got.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

One of the things I was needlessly worried about (because pandemic) was running out of taco seasoning. We've made it a goal to continue celebrating Taco Tuesday (because tacos!) and so far we've got a streak going since the pandemic started. I'd really, REALLY like that to keep going and I look forward to every Tuesday.

To that end, I made my own taco seasoning using what I had on hand.

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon onion flakes

1/4 teaspoon jalapeno flakes*

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground sweet cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

This yields about an ounce of spices that you can store in an airtight container. If you’re planning to cook with onion, ignore the flakes. In one batch, I substituted the jalapeno flakes for 1/2 teaspoon of a smokier chipotle honey blend. Works great!

Author’s note: the Amazon affiliate links are for items I either had on hand or purchased for my pad. If you use them, it gives me a little kick-back. Yep, capitalism is the beast that hungers. You can also find these or similar items at other stores, too.

What about you? Do you have any apartment therapy tips or quick recipes to share?