The Perfect Bag

I am always on the hunt for the perfect handbag.

I am convinced that you really only need three bags: A great black bag, a light camel or tan bag, and one large mom/gym/carry-all tote.

My stylish pal, Hedy, alerted me to the glory of Oppelle bags and now I have got bag fever!

They are the perfect mix of soft buttery leather, gold hardware and super chic designs. Yes, please!

Project Home (On A Dime)

All of us have things we would change about our homes, but most of us are operating on a budget that limits our design choices.I am always restless so I find myself brainstorming little things I can do to freshen up my home without spending a dime. Here you go!

1. Rearrange the furniture. I spent last weekend dragging furniture from one room to another. I was shocked to learn that switching the placement of our chairs, side table and dining room buffet made a huge difference!

2. Switch out your framed pictures. Most people have framed photos in their homes and lots of extra pics, postcards or even art. Pop out the old images and start over with your favorite pictures and images.

3. Change the lighting. Whether you move one lamp to a different part of the house, change a lightbulb, or invest in a new overhead light fixture, this one will pack a huge punch.

4. Rotate throws and pillows. I generally buy furniture in muted tones like grey or beige so I can switch out textured or patterned throw pillows and cozy blankets when I want a new look. Etsy.com has an incredible and affordable collection of pillow covers.

5. Lighten up. You heard me. Getting rid of things is the best way to reclaim your space and start fresh. Create a clean, clutter free space so when time and budget allow you are ready to decorate your heart out!

What do you do to reinvent your home on a dime?

Factory Light

Lately, I have been sort of wishing I lived in a barn.

My favorite company, Schoolhouse Electric, has realized my dreams  with this simple factory light.

I love it for a kitchen or over a dining room table.

Casual, but chic, no?

The Suitcase Challenge

I recently packed for a road trip to Los Angeles with the family. Our car has limited space once the four of us are packed in so I had to be selective. I packed carefully, choosing my favorite simple separates, a few shoe options, a mama bag and a hot mama bag, a few accessories and called it a day. Everything I packed fit into one small duffle bag, and I spent the whole trip feeling like I had all I needed. Not only that it was such a breeze getting ready each day because I only had a few options and everything went together!

It got me thinking, “what if I lived like this all the time?” When you have less stuff you also have less laundry, less time obsessing over what to wear, and less to store and organize. I encourage you to give this philosophy a try: Just for a week try living on the essentials that would fit in one suitcase. Live simply with less stuff and see how it feels.

Dining Room Storage

Recently, many of my clients have come to me with an identical problem: Dining room table clutter overload!
Many families sheepishly admitted to pushing the clutter to one side of the table every day to create space to eat during meals.Since the dining room table is the central gathering space in the home it ends up being a catch-all for office work, homework and miscellaneous to-dos.

I wanted to devise a way of providing an easy storage spot without creating an eyesore. Enter: The dining room console! They come in every imaginable shape, style and size and can be used to display pretty vases of flowers, serving platters, wine racks or framed photos. The bonus is that the concealed storage shelves are a perfect home to tuck away laptop computers, paperwork, and current projects.

 

Car Kit

Car clutter makes me crazy.

The family and I just got back from a road trip and the whole way I kept muttering to myself about wanting a trash can for the car while my husband rolled his eyes.

I can’t stand driving around in a car filled with water bottles, trash, diapers and take out containers. Bleh.

Secondly, I am a minimalist to the extreme which means I never seem to have anything useful when I am out with kids.

So, now that we are back I am on “Mission Car Kit”!

First, I took a quick inventory of the items I thought would be most useful to us in the car: Some sort of trash receptacle, diapers, baby wipes, tissues, kid snacks and a few board books and toys for the little ones. I decided to throw in some sunscreen and a mini first aid kit just to feel like Super Mom.

Next, I needed to find the appropriate vessel.

Here are a few options I liked:

Container Store Open Canvas Bins: Great for storing everything under the sun and can fit on the floor of any car.

Container Store Rugby Stripe Bins: Ditto and I like the stripes and rope handles!

In the end I opted for a simple bin from Target that felt like the right size. I filled it up with our supplies and stashed it on the floor behind the passenger seat. I also made sure to throw some tissues and baby wipes in my glove compartment for easy access. The final step was conquering the trash issue. Even though I adore this Car Litter Bag by Mod Mobile, I ended up with a tiny pail which fit perfectly in our front console. Perfect for wrappers and tissues.

Check out the finished product below!

Land of Nod Round Up

Land of Nod has been a longtime favorite for kid storage, furniture and accessories, but their current designs are so fresh and modern I think they are a total win for adult spaces as well.

I am wild about the poufs and lamps for living rooms, offices or bedrooms. I am also loving the wire storage collection and baskets for organizing papers, mail and magazines.

Here is a round up of my current faves:

Pouf!

Gold Vintage Clip Lamp

District 2-Door Storage Bench

3-Tier Flea Market Bin

Wire Storage Collection

Snake Charmer Storage

Eco Giving

Many people (including myself) want to clear clutter from their homes but get stuck when it comes to how to donate items or dispose of waste. I have discovered a few incredible organizations which provide resources so you can donate responsibly.

The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse:  The Depot is an ecological treasure trove of art & craft materials, educational supplies, vintage furniture, home décor, paper goods, fabric, and much more. Founded in 1979 by two Oakland public school teachers, the Depot promotes solid waste diversion and resource conservation through the Depot store and environmental education programs.
Generally they take everything from fabric and buttons to paper, art and office supplies, books and DVDs. Check out their current list of drop-off donations HERE.

SCRAP: Same idea but located in SF, SCRAP breathes new life into old objects and reduces waste by diverting over 200 tons of materials heading to landfill every year. Donations of quality re-usable materials such as textiles, buttons, paper, craft and office supplies, plastics, and wood are collected from businesses, institutions, and individuals then sorted and made available to teachers, parents, artists, and organizations. Current list of acceptable donations can be found HERE.

STOPWASTE. ORG:  California State Law prohibits disposal of Universal Waste into landfills (such as batteries, electronics, fluorescent lights and items containing mercury).  Stopwaste.org  will let you search by item and location (Bay Area Only) so you can recycle items and dispose of hazardous waste properly. If you are outside the Bay Area you can just look up your local recycling and hazardous waste facility. To save time, I suggest keeping a labeled bag in a safe place (away from a child’s reach) so you can collect old batteries, light bulbs etc. and make only a few trips a year.

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Happy donating!