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L O V E N E S T home is where the heart is

Spring 2013, Volume 3


Table of Contents 03 Letter

from the Editors

05 Editorial 06-11 Newlywed, Newly-moved 06 Country 08 Suburban 10 Urban 12-13 How To 12 Host your 13 Recipe

First Dinner Party

Tip of the Season When using a patterned wall covering on the wall, use solid or textured fabric for curtain. Using pattern on both applications could cause business. Page 2

L O V E N E S T home is where the heart is

Spring 2013, Volume 3

Editor/ Publisher Kendra Staton Lee Editorial Manager Ingrid Hernandez Graphic Design Editor Arleny Popoteur Contributing Editor Raquel Levy Advertising Manager Jacqueline Olivas


Letter from the Editors

Dear Reader,

The start of spring isn’t always rosy. Winter’s dreary cold may linger for too long and Daylight Saving Time may mess with your sleeping schedule. But in the scheme of everything, this pales in comparison to the good things happening in your life. There’s so much to be grateful for, like your recent union with your soul mate and this new issue of Love Nest. And, to be honest, you’re probably not getting much sleep anyways. Ha! So, how about eliminating the stale blues and incorporating vibrant colors in your new home? Let the happiness in your life translate into your environment—the environment you happily share with your partner and the other people in your life. Make your love nest a place that ushers in spring even before the rest of the world does. This issue will help in your home-renewal efforts no matter where you live. We understand not all of our readers are in the big city; some of you also live in the country and in the suburbs. That’s why in our main feature, “Newlywed, Newly-moved,” we’ve included tips on how to amp up your home wherever it may be.

Our contributor this issue is Raquel Levy, a personal organizer from Carlsbad, California, who has some amazing ideas on how to seamlessly combine what’s labeled his- and hers- without accumulating the clutter. Be sure to also flip to the back and check out our “How To” of the season, a step-by-step guide on how to host your first dinner party in your new home. That first party you and your partner host as newlyweds says a lot about your couple style, so you’ll want to make an impression. No matter what’s in store for you this season, make sure your decoration changes and home activities reflect the love and care you and your partner have for each other and for your new life together.

Make your love nest a place that ushers in spring even before the rest of the world does.

Spring 2013

Happy spring!

Your editors, Ingrid Hernandez & Arleny Popoteur P.S. We’d like to hear how your dinner party turns out! Shoot us an email at

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Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

The first time I ever lived with someone was in college. I grew up as an only child and never knew what it was like to share a space with another person. I knew things would be different when I moved into my new dorm room, so I brought very few things with me. The problem then became the things my roommate and I acquired while we were living together. We had to have all four of those antique suitcases from the thrift store, and that sewing machine table, too, and we couldn’t possibly leave behind the armoire we skillfully turned into a coat rack. By the end of the school year when we had to move out, it was a long, painful, frustrating process. It happened in three stages. 1: “We don’t have that much stuff, we’ll be fine.” 2: “Wow, this is taking longer than I thought.” 3: I hate my life, just throw everything away.” Modern bloggers describe minimalism as a lifestyle of “buy less, have less.” Most things they suggest are extreme and not for everyone, like selling basically everything you own, but the concept is appealing for anyone who might be dreading a big move. If you’re moving in with your new honey, here are some doable tips on decluttering the his- and hers-, keeping the ours, and living life as minimalists.

Get rid of everything you don’t need. Before you combine your things under one roof, or if you’re already moved in together and are looking to make some space, take a day (or two, or three) to reevaluate the things you own. If you know you will never use something and it’s been in your possession for years, donate it. Then, move to your closet and reverse all your hangers. Every time you wear something, put it back with the hanger facing the right way. At the end of six months, donate everything still reversed. Don’t buy anything. Unlike most resolutions or lifestyle changes, this one doesn’t require a new purchase. You don’t need a planner, an exercise machine, an organizer rack, or a frame with an inspiring quote to hang on your wall. Think of everything you buy from now on as one more thing you’ll have to stuff somewhere. Budget. The key to owning less is buying less, no? Budget-managing sites like mint. com can help you see what you spend most of your money on. If perhaps the biggest piece of the pie chart reads “department stores” or “sporting goods,” will help you set a budget for that category and remind you when you’re about to reach it. Do meaningful things. In the same way we shouldn’t waste space, we also shouldn’t waste life. Don’t focus on money or prestige or what people will admire. Do things that you truly enjoy, that will mean something 20 years from now, or when you tell stories to your kids. In the beginning of Donald Miller’s latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he writes that living an empty life is like watching a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. “Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo,” Miller writes. “But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”

Everything you buy from now on is one more thing you will have to stuff somewhere.

Raquel Levy is a personal organizer from Carlsbad, California, who has worked with couples for five years. Her favorite pastimes include writing, concert hopping, and making the world a simpler place.

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You’ve either moved in together or you’ve finally tied the knot. It’s a magical feeling. You’re about to embark on a new, great adventure together, and you have nothing to fear as long as you are facing the future together. The horizon is resplendent with color. The sunset is shining on your faces. But then you break eye contact with the Love Land before you and cautiously look around only to realize, your place is a mess. We know that’s not the love nest you imagined to house your budding relationship. You need comfort. And happiness. And style. You need a home. Well, to the Newlywed and the Newly-moved, relax. We have plenty of tips on how to settle in, spruce it up, and save some time for the loving. And no matter where it is you’re living, in the country, the suburbs, or the city, we have décor options for your home. But first, the basics. American writer Christopher Moore wrote in a 2010 AOL Real Estate article, “The only thing better than finding the right apartment is finding the right spouse. Or is it the other way around?” Lucky for you, you’ve already found the partner and the apartment (or house). Now it’s time to make it look good—the house, not the spouse (hopefully that’s already a given).

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By Ingrid Hernandez First step, keep an eye out for duplicate items. For all the things you both have, it’s possible at this point for you and your partner to own a lot of the same stuff. Take inventory and get rid of duplicates that might be adding clutter in your home. Second, make it sure it all goes together, the textures, patterns, and colors. Embrace not only your personal taste, but also your couple taste. Consider the questions “what says you, what says me, what says us?” What works side-by-side or in the same room? Include elements of each partner, and don’t let either of your personal tastes overpower the other. This, of course, does not mean you should magically have perfectly overlapping tastes for décor. Differing tastes aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s kind of like the law of attraction, or more specifically the law of opposite attraction. The trick is to help each other visualize personal preferences. Don’t just voice to your partner what you want, help your partner envision it. Get some catalogs if you have to. Do some Pinteresting or Googling until you find the perfect picture. Third, don’t overwhelm your partner by including him or her in every decision. Discuss your options, of course, but also take some liberties. Have a few small surprises pop up around the home. The important thing is to agree on a common, general theme. Avoid being extremely specific by making your home all about the French-Riviera-in-the-cuspof-summer look. Try instead something simple. Like coastal. Finally, we know it might be hard to afford all brand new furniture at this point, especially statement items like a sofa. It’s okay. Dress up your handme-downs, or even the trusty futon, with a solid color cover and complimentary pillows. Now for the specifics.



Urban décor pieces reflect a youthful and progressive look. The style is complex in conception, but simple in execution. It’s fresh and modern, minimal and sleek. Inson Dubois Wood, an interior designer whose work includes the “Newlywed Nest” apartment in Manhattan, recommends multi-purpose furniture and enduring pieces for the modern home. You should also give your place a tidy feel by using creative storage spaces, like beneath the skirt of a table in the bedroom. The urban style is especially appealing to empty nesters who prefer to have a place for everything and everything in its place. It’s quite functional. But that does not mean the urban look can’t be fun. Think mood lighting, and sleek lines, and pops of color. Animal prints and leather items also say “urban.” But don’t worry; neither of these has to be real to achieve the look. Faux fur and pleather work just as fine. You should also keep in mind that at this

Spring 2013

point in your life, long gone are the days of the Rolling Stones posters that hung on your bedroom walls. This does not mean you have to be in a position to buy expensive art, though. Embrace the middle ground and buy modern prints at local home decoration shops, or even plan for a fun afternoon date of painting originals with your partner. The goal of the urban home should ultimately be a sophisticated and uncluttered look.

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You don’t need to have the classic American family with the 2.5 kids and the golden retriever in the backyard to go for a suburban look. This middle ground for home décor is suitable for all sorts of couples, including newlyweds.

Many items and looks can be classified as ‘suburban,’ but only a few can actually fit the palette you’re going for. The key is to start with a color palette that will narrow down your decoration efforts. Many items and looks can be classified as “suburban,” but only a few can actually fit the palette you’re going for. You and your partner should start by considering the primary colors red, blue, and yellow. Blue and red together make for a patriotic look. Blue and yellow together make for a tropical look. Start with

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Sub your colors, and everything else should follow. Carpeting and rugs are the staple pieces in suburban home décor. Choose fun prints and warm colors. Just remember, if you choose a printed pattern for your carpet, don’t choose printed curtains. Use one or the other. Finally, functional, casual furniture, which can be moved either which way for a game night, a football-viewing party, or a dinner party, better fa-

burban Newlywed, Newly-moved


cilitates the welcoming suburban environment. And if possible, opt for the characteristic open kitchen where whoever is cooking the meal can look out into the dining room, or the living room, and see what’s going on. Remember, suburban homes are open and connected. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to that Love Land you were eyeing. May the journey be full of joy, passion, and beautiful rooms.

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Country The cozy, warm feeling of a country setting does not have to be reserved for the one long weekend a year you visit the family cabin in the woods. This homey look can be implemented even in your house or apartment. One of the nice things about choosing a country theme for your home is having the option of buying a lot of your pieces at the local flea market. This means shopping won’t take such a large toll on your pocket, and may leave room for that incredible statement piece you’ve been eyeing at the antique shop. The first thing you must choose after deciding on a country look for your home is which type of country you want. That’s right, there’s more than one. There’s French Country, English Country, and the rustic American Country style.

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French Country is very bright and natural. Those who choose this look go for an airy, open feel and use a lot of flowers. Especially lavender, which is popular in the French Provence region. English Country style is starkly different from the French. With this look you’d find darker natural tones like deep reds and browns, and larger pieces like mahogany armoires. There’s also a deep appreciation for the horsemanship culture in English Country. Closer to home, American Country is a tribute to our Americana heritage. Think rustic log cabins of the old Western Frontier. And practical, simple furniture. For the true country rustic feel, start by choosing natural tones for your color scheme and implementing wooden items made of cedar and pine. There are also certain patterns that can help bring about a more country look. Channel the spirit of a sweet grandmother and think chunky quilts and gingham curtains. Other pieces you might want to include are wooden coffee tables, old paintings, wagons and baskets, and basically anything “rooster.”

Newlywed, Newly-moved


Channel the spirit of a sweet grandmother and think chunky quilts and gingham curtains.

Country homes embrace nature for all its beauty. This cozy dining area has a large window for natural sunlight, and the owners used flowers, bird silhouettes, and cutout snowflakes for decoration.

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How To Host your first dinner party

Here’s a handy infographic that outlines all the steps you should follow before the dinner party, and on the next page is a delicious recipe you can try for the night. Bon apatite!

2 Weeks Before:

Select the time Create a guest list and send invitations (Paperless Post is a great way to send e-card invitations that are expertly designed and customizable) Choose a theme for décor/food palette -Working with a theme allows for a more unified event -Be creative with the theme; make it unique to your relationship, whether classy, modern, or quirky

1 Week Before:

Confirm official number of guests attending Decide on the courses and drinks to be served

Week Before:

Purchase decorations and food Create a mood music mix -This will set a tone for the night, just make sure the music doesn’t overpower conversations Tidy and organize the dining and parlor areas (While parlors may be considered a thing of the past, this classic entertainment room can be recreated with a modern twist. The modern parlor consists of sleek television sets, streamlined furniture set up in a square, trendy accessories, and glass-top tables)

Day Of:

Begin the cooking with considerable time -Guests become restless if they arrive on time and have to wait long for the meal -You and your partner will want time to freshen up and change before the party. Place the decorations and set the table -Make sure the food layout makes sense; if foods are supposed to be eaten in a certain order, set it up that way -Don’t clutter the table; you’ll want your guests to have elbow room and be able to clearly see those across from them. Have fun! -Remember, this is your first dinner party with your partner. Make it memorable and enjoy playing hosts for the night

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Salt 1 pound spinach, trimmed 1 pound large pasta shells 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 1 pound ricotta cheese 4 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 1 large egg, lightly beaten Freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Boil spinach until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain. Add shells to boiling water; cook until slightly underdone. Drain. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and the garlic in a large skillet over medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Squeeze spinach to release excess water; coarsely chop. Stir together with cheeses and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Spread 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce in a 9-by-13 inch baking dish. Arrange shells in dish; cover with more sauce, reserving some for serving. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.

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Love Nest, Home is Where the Heart is  

Home decor magazine for young couples.