Category Archives: Renovating

How to Organize An Apartment Pantry Like A Kardashian

January 30th, 2018

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After our apartment flooded at the start of January, we used the incident as an opportunity to clean out our apartment and reorganize. The first room I wanted to get my hands on was the pantry. Moving in with Matt was a highlight of 2016 but keeping the pantry full was a lowlight, between the amount of peanut butter sandwiches Matt consumes and boxes, yes boxes of Oreo cookies weekly; I would blink and find myself with an empty pantry. The issue wasn’t that we weren’t buying enough food, the issue was that each time we went to the grocery store we were stocking up on the wrong things. 

 Basically, we were replenishing inventory that had back stock and never restocked the goods that we figured we had. Our pantry was originally organized on wired shelves and smaller items were simply thrown in baskets due to the fact that they fell over easily on the wire shelves. I felt like our pantry’s pitfall was those shelves so I headed to Pinterest to find a quick fix. We figured a quick fix would be ideal in terms of budget and due to the fact that our apartment wouldn’t allow us to physically replace the shelves.  

After going down the rabbit hole of Pinterest, I found suggestions for using plastic liners, cardboard layouts and then I found this article suggesting DIY wood covers for wire shelving. I knew this easy DIY fix would allow Matt and I to better display and take inventory of what we had in the pantry and what we had to purchase. You can watch our whole ‘pantry journey’ in the vlog video below, we wanted to bring you all along, step by step, in hopes to inspire you to make time to reorganize and get creative with the unique spaces within your homes.  

  

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On Friday, Matt and I headed to Lowes to pick up the following products, 1/4 inch plywoodpine boardswood gluenails and wood stain, to make the wood covers. To put the covers together we simply had the workers at Lowes cut the plywood to fit the top of the shelves and cut the pine boards to fit the length of the shelves. On Saturday,  Matt and I headed over to a friend’s house to cut a niche along the length of the pine boards. This small niche, which requires a table saw,  allowed us to lay, glue and nail the plywood on top of the pine boards resulting in a cover that hides that ugly wire shelving out of sight and mind. 

After the wood glue dried, and Matt and I bickered about how to actually go about staining the wood, we decided to just tab one coat of wood stain on and let the three covers dry overnight. The next morning I kicked Matt out of the house and got straight to the fun part, ORGANIZING THE PANTRY! 

From the beginning of this project, I knew I wanted to organize my pantry with all OXO containers, for two reasons: 1) the air-tight seal and 2) the aesthetic. To be honest, I first discovered OXO products when Khloe Kardashian shared them in her pantry haul, and then when I went home for the holidays and noticed my Mom had OXO containers too. 

You know you’ve entered the homeowner stage of your life when you are raving about containers to all your friends, I mean even Matt took to his Instagram stories to share his obsession. To simply put it, they are an investment, but well worth it. I actually started off just purchasing this pack and after using the containers I reached out to the OXO team about my pantry project! They were kind enough to send over a few more containers to complete the whole look and share different features like the Cereal Dispensers and Pop Large Jar

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To make things easier for you guys, below I’ve listed exactly what I put in each container and I share exactly how many bags or ounces in the vlog! 

Pantry Purchase List: 


 

2.1 qt OXO containers: for spaghetti, dumpling noodles, flour

1.5 qt OXO containers: for chocolate chips, brown sugar, and sugar

0.9 qt OXO containers: for almonds, granola, coffee, chia seeds, fruit snacks and bread crumbs

0.3 qt OXO containers: for sprinkles

+ OXO Cereal Dispensers: for three kinds of cereal

Pop Large OXO Jar: for hot chocolate, popcorn, rice, and goldfish

One Gallon Glass Jar: for chocolate and vanilla Oreos

Storage Bins: – for overflow and bottles 

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Overall, I felt like my disorganized pantry was a huge waste of time and money. I spent way too much time heading back to the store to get that one item I thought I had and spent way too much money on ingredients that went unseen and then bad. I really think this new pantry set-up will save us money in the long-run and help us stay organized moving forward. 

 I would love to hear if you guys have any pantry organizing tricks up your sleeves in the comment section below. I actually had the best time getting creative with this DIY project, and can’t wait to share more organization tips and tricks with you all in the future! Again, thank you to OXO for sending us a few containers to check out, make sure to check out the brand here. Oh, and I hope you enjoyed our first vlog. 

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Thank you to OXO for kindly sending our crew some containers. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Why You Need Renters Insurance

January 17th, 2018

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Oh boy. 

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to just sit down and unload the current situation Matt and I have found ourselves in. To be honest, it feels good to hit the pause button on New England content for a second and fill you all in on what has been the craziest start to 2018. Our TCC Crew jumped head first into 2018, aka our year of travel, by booking three trips in the next three months. Remember when I talked about using our vacations days and being over-ambitious in this post; well I 100% overbooked our schedules BUT I was happy that we were finally using our vacation days and making the most of what is going to be an amazing year. 

Anyway, on January 3rd I flew back to Dallas and decided to take a ‘half-sick day’. I knew our crew had a busy three months ahead of us and after being sick through the entire holiday season, I really wanted to take a day to myself. I simply wanted to watch Christmas movies, relax and rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul. I proceeded to turn my email auto-response on, told the crew I was sick (aka playing hooky) and got back into my pajamas to watch a whole bunch of Christmas movies. I made some hot tea, curled up onto the couch, put Christmas in Connecticut on and was ready for a peaceful and tech-free day. 

The joke was on me though guys, just 10 minutes into Christmas in Connecticut, I called Matt because our fire alarm was going off. Why did I call Matt? Mostly to complain because our fire alarm goes off almost monthly for ‘testing’, but as I’m on the phone with Matt I peer out of my window to see a downpour of water coming from the unit above ours straight onto the balcony.  

As I looked up at the amount of water coming down from the above unit, all I could say was…Matt this isn’t good.

After hanging up the phone I quickly gathered Eloise (our cat) and headed outside to notify the office. Matt was on lunch break so within 15 minutes he met me outside of the apartment, to go back up and investigate. I waited with Eloise in the car only to hear a frantic Matt screaming EVERYTHING IS UNDER WATER. Our entire apartment, minus our newly furnished bedroom, which you can see here, was calf deep in water. Let’s just say this was the least relaxing sick day, I’ve ever taken.  

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Now looking back, Matt and I were extremely fortunate that I had been home for the flooding. We were able to get Eloise out of the apartment and into a dry place, whilst moving our expensive items like TVs, computers, flash drives, photos and sentimental things to a dry place (aka our bedroom). Basically, the pipes in the apartment above us broke, leading their sprinkler system to go off and flood their entire apartment, and our apartment got the aftermath as water came in from the ceiling completely destroying things like our couch, rugs, chairs, blankets etc. I mean the water was pretty nasty and ended up staining a majority of our furniture. 

Overall, Matt and I were so lucky that nothing that couldn’t be replaced got damaged and we were wise enough to have invested in renters insurance; which brings me to our post today. I honestly thought renters insurance was silly. I kept telling Matt things like: we don’t need it, I’ve lived in apartments before and nothing has ever happened, and basically every excuse in the book to talk him out of it. However Matt refused to budge on this issue and we ended up investing in renters insurance and honestly looking back, THANK GOD FOR MATT. 

With the help of our insurance company this issue has been quickly resolved and dealt with but without them, we would have been in a serious loss. So Matt’s going to take over and give you a few tips and tricks as to why you need renters insurance:  

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Why you need renters insurance: 


 

Many people like Aubrey don’t see the importance of insurance until a loss occurs like a flood, fire or car accident, and once this happens frankly it’s just too late to recover all of your damaged items. Your everyday items like your phone, laptop, clothes, and home decor values add up and you will quickly realize that after a loss. We are very thankful that we invested the $100-150 into a renters insurance policy because everything that was damaged from the loss will be paid for, providing us with the funds to repurchase the items. 

Another thing Aubrey didn’t consider when considering insurance was, where do you stay or eat when an incident does occur? Now, if you’re lucky enough to live near family, maybe you can bunk up with them, but with no immediate family in the Dallas area, Aubrey and I were out an apartment and in need of a place to stay. Again, thankfully we invested in renters insurance because they too provide us with funds to stay in a hotel and purchase meals until our apartment is habitable, which ended up being over two weeks in our circumstance. 

First and foremost, it is very important to talk to your landlord or apartment complex about their insurance policies before signing your lease, because many places only offer liability coverage within your agreement. This means that you’ll have coverage for the property itself but none of your personal items would be covered in the event of a loss. This is something that many college students including myself didn’t realize until our computers and TVs were stolen from our dorm room. It was our fault for just expecting the college to cover our personal property and not take the initiative of finding out what insurance policy we had while living at college. If your apartment complex’s insurance doesn’t cover PERSONAL PROPERTY or LOSS OF USE then invest the $100-150 into a renters insurance policy. No matter how you roll the dice, it’s not easy enduring a loss, especially if your personal and sentimental items end up damaged but having an insurance policy is a safety net that will make you rest that night knowing all of your items will be financially covered.


 

All in all, I hope this post inspires you to take a second out of your busy week to consider your insurance policy. Trust me when I say it’s literally the last thing I want to do, but looking back I’m so thankful Matt nagged me into signing the contract. On an exciting note, Matt and I are moving back to our unit today, and I can’t wait to have a kitchen again. Please leave a comment below if you’ve had a similar experience or any other insurance tips and tricks. 

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purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget

August 21st, 2017

Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Thank you, Leesa® for sponsoring this post and providing us with a mattress to review. All opinions stated below are my own.

It’s been officially one year today since Matt and I moved into our Dallas apartment. I hate to say how quickly time flies, but this year, especially the summer just blew right by us.

In June, Matt & I made an executive decision to make my large office space, into a guest bedroom as well. The reason for this decision was that, we found more and more people asking to come visit Dallas from New England, along with the fact that now both my brother and sister attend college in Texas.

Overall we really wanted to create a place for our guests to sleep and reside, beside our big comfy couch. Once we agreed upon the decision, it was time to shift around furniture and invest in a new mattress.

Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Matt and I, semi-selfishly, decided to move our mattress we purchased last year, into the guest room and sit down and do some research on buying a new mattress to invest in.

Our first go at mattress shopping, last year was stressful, so we really looked for a brand that made the process painless this time around.

Last year, we ended up having to move in quicker than anticipated and needed a mattress, asap. So while I was driving through Alabama, on my way to Texas from New England, in the pouring rain mind you, my brother and Matt went mattress shopping. From the phone calls I received during this whole debacle, I could tell this was going to be a story to tell.

Matt and my brother Andrew headed to the mattress store, and after Matt picked out the fluffiest and most affordable mattress, they had, mind you, we were straight out of college, so the budget was set under $1,000, my brother and Matt had a realization.

How were they going to transport this queen sized mattress from the mattress store to our apartment 20 minutes down the highway on a Prius!

Yup, just imagine Matt and my brother driving a queen sized mattress down the Dallas North Tollway, speed limit set at 70mph mind you, on top of a Prius. Thankfully I wasn’t there, but oh I wish you could have heard the phone calls I received. Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

So this time around, I decided Matt and I, would purchase a mattress from a brand that didn’t involve scheduling out a delivery. I wanted to simply order a mattress online and wait for it to arrive all boxed up, at my door.

After doing a few weeks of research, way back in June, we decided to partner with the Leesa® team and share our experienceIf you don’t know what Leesa® is then here is a little breakdown, Leesa® is an exclusive online mattress company, which provides consumers with an innovative mattress.

The reason we liked Leesa® so much was that they had an easy and painless ordering process. Not to mention the price is completely post-college budget friendly. Oh, and the mattress is American made and delivered to your door, free of charge!

I was shocked when I heard the shipping was free, as this was the main reason why Matt and my brother opted for a ‘do-it- yourself delivery’ when shopping for our last mattress because the delivery was an additional $150.

Anyway, so this mattress arrives tightly compressed in a box, and for set-up, all you have to do is: pull the mattress out of the box, unroll it, and watch it inflate. Quick, Simple and Painless. I was thankful to have Matt with me to do most of the heavy lifting and we decided to inflate the mattress in our living room, to bring you guys along for the process.

Oh and for anyone weary about ordering a mattress online, you can relax because Leesa® also has a 100-night trial. Basically, this feature, allows you to test out the mattress and if for some reason the mattress isn’t for you, they will arrange a refund and a mattress pickup.Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Purchasing a cozy bed on a post-college budget | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

So now Matt and I have our new mattress, and we are in the process of finishing off our bedroom and now, guest bedroom/office. It’s been a long journey for Matt and in terms of decorating our apartment, and to be honest, I feel like it’s just starting to come together this summer.

& we decided to do a whole bedroom reveal in September, so keep your eyes peeled, it’s taken us awhile to find the perfect pieces and I’m so excited to show you what we’ve decided on.

Okay, enough about our story, I’d love to hear from you guys! Are any of you moving out or in the process of mattress shopping? If so I’d love to hear how you’ve handled the process below. xx Aubrey

P.S: For anyone interested in a Leesa® mattress, their team was kind enough to give TCC readers a $100 off with code: TCC

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment

August 14th, 2017

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

If you’ve been following along then you already know that last year Matt & I moved into our first apartment and my thought process on furniture, which use to be an afterthought, drastically changed. & if you’re a new reader you can read about our move here & a little peek inside of our apartment here). 

Once we found out we were moving, we were left with the daunting task of furnishing our little apartment, mind you on a post-college budget.  At first, I was REALLY excited. I dragged my youngest sister, Tessie to all these furniture stores, ready to pick out items that were up to ‘TCC standard’, as Tessie says, and instantly was handed a reality check. 

FURNITURE IS REALLY EXPENSIVE, no matter how you roll the dice. 

Whether you’re shopping at Ikea, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Target etc, it’s all still expensive.

It was shocking for both Matt & I to hear quotes like: $1,500 for a couch, $600 for a kitchen table and an additional $150 for metal chairs to sit on while eating. Oh boy, I was one quote away from a financial panic attack, has anyone else been there?

Anyway, I was honestly, so shocked because no one really talks about the COST of furniture shopping. Everyone is so fixed on moving out, purchasing a home or apartment, that no one takes a second to break down the nitty gritty stuff. 

Instantly I thought about just buying all of our furniture from Ikea but after purchasing basic nightstands, made from plywood, that cost us over $300, I knew it was time to think of furniture as an investment. 

To put it simply guys, I knew I was going to have to make a game plan, so here it is: 

Here are 3 ways to save when it comes to furnishing your post-college pad, with high-quality and timeless furniture pieces. 

First on my list of furniture to-do’s was this bed from Anthropologie it’s been on my dream list since, well high school when I worked at Anthropologie as a sales associate. 

So I decided early on, instead of buying a $400 Ikea bed, that to be honest, I’d probably replace within five years, that I would just buy my dream bed from the start. 

I cut the cost of my dream Anthropologie bed in HALF, by doing three easy steps:


 

#1: Raise :: Buy discounted gift cards and save on every purchase. 3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

This website has single handily saved me the most money, when it comes to furnishing my apartment. I saved over $400.00 from simply buying discounted gift cards. 

Yup, it’s as simple as that! 

Now if you are anything like Matt, you’re throwing red flags left and right at me, but I’m here to say it’s NOT a joke. 

All you do is log onto the Raise market place and purchase gift cards from people, who are looking to get those specific cards off their hands.

I personally purchased three gift cards, all had the exact balance on them as advertised and all were accepted by Anthropologie. Just to give you an example, one card had an Anthropologie credit of $616.79 and I only paid $502.68 saving me $114.11! 

& all I did was buy a gift card. Simple. 

To any readers that might be hesitant about this platform, after I purchased over $1,753 in e-gift cards (all between 13%-23% off) I got a call from Raise within 5 minutes, personally asking me to answer my security questions and verify that I was indeed making these purchases. 

& if you are still hesitant…

They even offer a one-year money back guarantee, which you can read more about here. & guys they even have gift cards for West Elm, Pottery Barn and my favorite place, The Container Store!

Anyway, thanks to Raise’s easy and secure platform I saved over $400.00 on this project, and a total of $901.95 THIS YEAR! 

P.S: The Raise Team was kind enough to send over a coupon code for your use. Use CODE: COASTAL to get $5 off $50 for new Raise customers! FYI, this code expries in 2018, so use it while you can! 


 

#2: Signing up for emails/reward programs to receive coupons:3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

I became an Anthro Member, and after already purchasing gift cards from Raise, I just waited, like a cat stocking a mouse, for Anthropologie to send out a discount code, which I will admit is pretty rare. 

However one Thursday morning I woke up to a discount code for 20% off all furniture for Anthro Members. 

It was a limited time coupon, so I knew it was now or never to pull the trigger. 

By being an Anthro Member, I was able to save, $380 off my dream bed. 

Giving us a total saving of $780! 


#3: use cash back services:

Whether it’s a Discover card, ebates or rewardStyle (if you’re a blogger) using affiliated brands that offer cash back is another easy and really effortless way to save in the long run. 

I used an affiliate link to purchase my bed saving me 10% or any additional $190, off! Woot Woot. 

Giving us a total saving of $970! 


 

3 Ways to Save When it Comes to Furnishing your Apartment  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey YandowOverall I took my $1,900 dream bed used my three simple steps, to get the bed just slightly under $1,000. Matt & I then split the cost, leaving us both paying a little under $500 for a timeless and investment piece. 

I really want you guys to take a few things away from this post, the first one is, don’t pass by simple savings options like Raise, especially when you know you’ll be spending a good amount of money. Also be patient, Matt and I have lived in Dallas for almost a year now, and just purchased the bed a few weeks ago. 

Don’t be an impulse spender, be patient, wait for the perfect coupon and when it arrives in your inbox; go for it.

xx Aubrey 

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