Fall 2018

5 First Apartment Life Savers

This past summer, my best friend and I moved into our first apartment together so that we could live in Missoula year-round. I am so excited to be living here! I have a job that I love and the cutest little apartment. But once Sara (roommate extraordinaire) and I moved in, we both realized that neither of us actually knew what we were doing. It’s taken me a few months, but I am starting to figure it out. So I thought I’d share with you all 5 things that have become total life savers for my life in an apartment, and don’t worry- I’m linking them for all of you that are about to move into your own place!

1. Electric Throw BlanketErin cuddled up in her throw blanket

A few weeks ago, I learned the hard way that the heat in our apartment wasn’t working. It was snowing outside and we were freezing inside, but my landlord couldn’t send someone over for a few days. I was basically always wrapped up in my electric throw blanket. Honestly, it was pretty hard to get out of bed every morning. This thing is so cozy! For everyone about to endure a good ol’ Montana Winter, this is for you 😉

2. The Bullet BlenderErin holding up her blender

Ok, for real: This is the best thing I’ve ever purchased. Holy cow. I drink smoothies so much, it’s ridiculous, so I’ve been wanting one of these bad boys for a while. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I love the size, because I am terrible at measuring portions in regular-sized blenders, so now I’m not wasting food. But the best part is how quickly it blends all of my ingredients. I know I probably sound like an infomercial right now, but this blender blends FAST. I am literally always running late, and at least now I can make a smoothie in like 3 minutes. (ok also sidenote: I know that the one I own is technically a Ninja, but Bullet Blenders are cheaper. You’re welcome.)


3. Shower ShelvesShower shelves with soaps, razors etc on them

I’m pretty sure that you all can guess that this is pretty important. Sara and I both have so many different hair and body products (and peep all the razors, we have NEEDS). These are so great because all we had to do to install them was create enough tension between the top and bottom to keep it standing. It is kinda hard to do it right the first time, but hey: it’s a roommate bonding activity. You can buy one here.


4. Three Tier CartThree tiered cart next to bed with books, lamp and stuffed animal

This cart has been my saving grace, and lets be real: it feels like it’s straight out of a pinterest room design post. I love how cute it is! Its a great bedside table because it has so many places to put stuff, and I love that it’s not a traditional table. I have to keep our wifi modem in my room, so I can hide it on the bottom shelf and keep my books and lamp in the same space. Here’s where you can find one!



5. String LightsString lights hanging in bedroom with bed and tapestries

Ok, I get it: lights aren’t really a “life saver” per say, but aren’t they so beautiful?? I hate bright florescent lights because they give me headaches, and these are so much more cozy. They also do a great job of making impromptu photoshoots for blog posts so much more cute! Here’s a good set.


***The Best Roommate***

Erin and roommate Sara standing on Higgins St bridge

She’s a person, so you can’t buy her, but I couldn’t do any of this without her! She has been there for me like you wouldn’t believe. She lets me eat her leftovers and she agrees to take photos for me because she’s a great photographer (check her out on Instagram @sara_digginsphoto, she took all of these for me!) If you’re planning on moving into a new place, make sure you’ve got a killer roommate by your side.


One Dress Four Ways


Getting tired of wearing the same thing from week to week? Too broke to buy new clothes? I get that. I’m there right now. But luckily for us, I’ve got a few tips on how to spice up the closet. Follow these three tips to change any dress in your closet instantly, written by the author of faMILLERize at www.michellereneemiller.com.


Classics Never Go Out of Style

Before we get too crazy into the tweaking of this dress, lets remember that it’s beautiful the way it is. Just because you wear it once a week or every other week, doesn’t make it boring or any less flattering on you. You bought the dress for a reason, and that reason is you’re comfortable in it, you’re confident in it, and it looks amazing.

Here’s the dress I’m working with tonight.

It’s a long sleeve, floral dress I bought at Forever 21 about four years ago. I love the length of the dress, and the cozy fit of the sleeves. The dress is one of my go-tos, but occasionally I wish it fit a little different or had a different neck line. Here are a few solutions I came up with.


A Classy Plunge

For this look, I took the sleeves of the dress, crossed them over my sternum, and tied them behind my neck. This sweet dress just grew up a few years! Now the dress has a “going out” feel, with some fun draping in the middle. The bare shoulder look is a playful addition to any look.

Adding a leather jacket, a denim jacket, a cardigan, or a bomber jacket would all be fun layers to add to this look. It would also pair well with flats, heels, open toed shoes, closed toe shoes, you name it! A versatile look for a versatile lady!


Skirt, Skirt!

Who doesn’t love turning dresses into skirts? Simply throwing a t-shirt or a sweater over the top of a dress easily turns any dress into a skirt. When the dress has long sleeves it becomes a little more challenging. You almost have to throw a long sleeve on to really make it look like only a skirt, not a dress. That can get uncomfortable with multiple tight layers on your arms.

An easy fix to this problem is to take the sleeves off, fold the top half of the dress down, fold the top half under the skirt, and tie the sleeves to give the impression of a sash around your waist. See below for an example:

The trick with this one is to fold the upper half smoothly into the bottom half so you’re not left with lumps and bulges in your dress. You can also pick the length of your skirt depending on where you fold the dress in.

I love pairing this with a crop top and creating a high wasted skirt. You can also tuck a t shirt into the skirt, or wear something flowy over the skirt as well.


The Belle of the Ball

Now, I have no idea what the style of this dress is called, but it reminds of the Disney Princess Belle. It’s a fun way to turn a simple dress into something a little more structured and stylized.

For this one, I took the sleeves, pulled them up over my shoulders and down my back. You can pin them into the back of the dress to keep them steady, leaving the left over of the sleeves tucked into the dress. Then I slid the sleeves off my shoulder onto my upper arms. The way this dress is structured, I naturally got the peak in the middle of the neck line.

This look gives us a fun, almost sweet heart neck line, and a more elegant sleeve with a modern take on the style. This can be worn casually or more dressed up. I’d pair this one with some flats and maybe a scarf to wear tuck in your elbows and around the back of your waist.


Try it yourself!

Feeling inspired by these tweaks to the dress? Try it out on your favorite piece and comment below how it went! We at Trendsetters at the U would love to see how you change your clothes up for a new look out of old items!


Want more of me? 😉

If you loved this post (and I really hope you did) then stay tuned for my upcoming lifestyle blog, faMILLERize – Get Familiar with Your Happiness over at www.michellereneemiller.com.