Travel Day: Cambodia

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Today I leave for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cambodia! I’m sorry I’ve been so out of touch recently. An upcoming move (yes, I’ll be moving again this summer) and excitement over this trip has made me not in a writing/working mood. A vacation always changes that though! I hope to come back feeling refreshed and inspired.

I love the feeling of the unknown before a trip (especially when traveling to a completely different country and culture). You don’t completely know what to expect and you can only imagine what you’ll see. I’m ready for an adventure!

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Where are you itching to travel? Tell me about it in the comments! 


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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Weekend Finds: Saturday Garage Sale Haul

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Last weekend I got up early and hit the garage sales. Driving from spot to spot, I scoped out some good deals. It was a prefect weekend for garage saleing. The cool weather meant tons of people were having sales. I didn’t drive far at all and found some great stuff for low prices!

Here’s what I found:
Small wooden end table: $3 (Yes, $3)
Glass ice bucket: $5
Two books: 25 cents each
Random hardware: 25 cents
Two 4×6 Crate & Barrel rugs: $35 total
Two dark wood shelves: $15 total

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I bought a couple of cheap paperbacks to take on my upcoming trip to Cambodia!. You can’t beat 25 cents each.

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I’m excited to add this ice bucket to my vintage bar cart!

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Perhaps my best finds of the day were two barely-used 4×6 Crate & Barrel rugs. They’re a pretty white and beige color and they feel so soft! Also, they’re pup-approved.

Check out my past weekend finds!

What do you think of my finds? Let me know in the comments!

Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants

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Calling all black thumbs; I’ve got the houseplant for you. Have you ever heard of snake plants? These fancy-looking plants feature sword-shaped leaves and can get as tall as eight feet! (Mine aren’t taller than a foot or two, though.) Snake plants are closely related to Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, which is the same style plant but with a yellow border around the leaves.

For those of you who aren’t so good at keeping plants alive, you’ll have a good run with snake plants. These houseplants are super hardy and can even grow in poor soil. Here are a few more reasons why I think snake plants make the best houseplants.

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Decorating helpers
Houseplants in general just make a room look good. They add life and a bit of green to a space. And snake plants are particularly good looking. Their vertical leaves are really interesting, and they look excellent in groupings.

Fit with any look
Snake plants definitely give off a modern vibe. I can picture these plants decorating a sleek home that’s all black furniture and minimalist. But snake plants also work just as well with my vintage-inspired style. They’re extremely versatile.

Easy to care for
Snake plants are about as easy as it gets when it comes to taking care of them. Keep them in the house near ample natural light, let them dry out between waterings and they’ll be fine. Snake plants also grow well outdoors on a porch. They prefer warmth, so bring them indoors during the winter. When you’re not sure, err to underwatering.

Space savers
Their dramatic vertical leaves don’t just look striking; they also save space. While many houseplants spread their vines or grow bushy, snake plants just grow vertically. You can stick a snake plant just about anywhere. And it’ll grow up—not out.

Improve indoor air
Snake plants are particularly good at filtering air. They can even filter out pollutants like formaldehyde. Keep a few in your bedroom to improve the air quality while you sleep.

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Here are a few more of my favorite houseplants.

What houseplants do you like to grow? Let me know in the comments!


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How to Start Seeds in Newspaper Pots

Fold newspaper pots to start seeds | redleafstyle.com

Gardening season is here! If you’ve never tried starting seeds, it can be really rewarding—and really frustrating.

Take it from me, starting seeds for the first time is a challenge. You wait and wait and wait. Then finally the little seedlings emerge—or they don’t. You have to tend to them to make sure they’re thriving. And it takes quite a while until they grow big enough to transplant to the garden.

Buuuuuut when you do, it’s so rewarding. It’s crazy to think that you started that little sucker from seed and now you’re eating tomatoes off of it! Here’s how I do it.

Start seeds in newspaper pots | redleafstyle.com

Folding newspaper pots

I like to start seeds indoors in newspaper pots. You fold sheets of newspaper origami-style into little pots to hold your seedlings. After your seeds grow big enough, you can even transplant the newspaper pot straight into the ground because it breaks down into the soil.

I learned how to make newspaper pots to start seeds by watching this video. After a few tries, you’ll turn into a newspaper pot-folding machine.

How to start seeds in newspaper pots | redleafstyle.com

How to grow seeds

After you finish folding your newspaper pots, fill them with soil. Then, use tweezers to place  a seed (or several) in each pot under the soil about 1/4 of an inch. Water the soil evenly. Keep an eye on your seedlings and follow the care instructions on the seed packet and you’ll be growing your own newspaper pot garden in no time.

How to start seeds in newspaper pots | redleafstyle.com

Voila!

How to start seeds in newspaper pots | redleafstyle.com

How to start seeds in newspaper pots | redleafstyle.com

Bonus tip: I like to use leftover water to water my seeds. By that I mean, the water I used to soak a dish (so long as there’s no soap in it) or the water sitting in the glass on my nightstand from the night before. That way I don’t spend any extra money watering my seeds and I reuse water that would otherwise just go down the drain.


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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Vintage Bar Cart: Styled For Spring

Vintage bar cart | redleafstyle.com

For a while now, my bar cart has sat mostly empty. I don’t drink hard liquor very often, so I’ve had two lone bottles of liquor hanging out on my bar cart. Not much of a bar cart, huh?

Well, I finally got tired of looking at my sadly “styled” bar cart and decided to spruce it up. I didn’t spend any money on new stuff; I just gathered up items from around the house. Here’s how I styled my bar cart for spring, plus a few tips for styling your own bar cart.

1. Use a tray to organizeVintage bar cart | redleafstyle.com

Placing a tray on the bottom shelf of my bar cart helps it look organized. The tray corrals my two bottles of liquor (pathetic), shot glasses and other bar supplies together. Now all of those random items look neat and organized instead of like a jumbled mess. (Here’s another idea for using a tray on your bar cart.)

2. Line up glasses

Vintage bar cart | redleafstyle.com

Arranging your wine, martini and champagne glasses in neat rows will immediately improve the look of your bar cart. It worked for me. I had originally tried lining up the glasses in the tray, but I like the look of them freestanding on the shelf better.

3. Fill space with plants (when the cart’s not in use)

Plant on cart | redleafstyle.com

I’ve had the darndest time making my bar cart look nice when it’s not in use. When I am using the bar cart for making drinks, I style the top with the supplies I need. I’ll put out a cutting board and a small bowl of lemons and limes. I might add some napkins and a cup with straws. But when I’m not using the cart, all of that stuff goes away. And the top of the cart sits empty. And ugly.

Since it’s springtime, I figured why not style the top of the bar cart with some pretty houseplants? So I did. That was a serious improvement. With just two houseplants and a folded over cloth napkin, the top of my bar cart now looks stylish and put together.

Vintage bar cart | redleafstyle.com

What do you think of how I styled my bar cart? Tell me about it in the comments!


Keep Up With Red Leaf Style!

Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.