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Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

A few weeks ago I made the long trek down to IKEA to pick up a bookshelf for my younger son’s room. He has about 2,763 books and I wanted to poke my eyes out every time I went into his room because it was such a sty. When I was visiting my mom in North Carolina, we went to a pretty little museum shop in Chapel Hill and I fell in love with their display shelves. Turned out that they were from IKEA’s BESTA media storage line, so I hightailed it down to my local shop as soon as I returned.

I don’t know about you, but every time I go to IKEA I’m sort of blown away by how awesome it is. I’ve been buying IKEA wares for nearly 20 years — from furnishing my first post-collegiate New York City apartment to replacing my most-loved stock pot just a few months ago. Mid-century-inspired furniture, Swedish holiday accessories, live plants (including fiddle leaf fig plants — I scored three the last time I was there!), the design-y P.S. line…I love it all. Here are my five favorites right now:

Five-Favorites-IKEA

1. BESTA Shelf Unit –  Used as a museum store display, intended to hold living room electronics, purchased for my son’s excessive library. I no longer want to poke my eyes out every time I go into his room. 2. SOCKER Vase (set of 2) – got them in the coral and aqua (couldn’t resist). 3. RENS Sheepskin – graces the back of my office chair. 4. UPPTACKA Shopping Bag with Wheels – perfect for flea- or farmers-marketing. 5. EIVOR Throw – super cozy, light, and graphic.

What’s your favorite IKEA item? Tell me below or on the Mudroom Boston Facebook page. You’re a fan, right?

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As a mother of two who has dedicated nearly my entire professional life to aligning large organizations with causes, I am excited to be a part of Macy’s Shop for a Cause fundraiser supporting the March of Dimes!

Did you know that the March of Dimes was established in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, inspired by his own battle with polio? In fact, March of Dimes funded research for vaccines developed by Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin — the vaccines that ended childhood polio. In 1958, having addressed its primary mission to end the polio epidemic, the March of Dimes shifted its focus toward birth defect prevention. Today, the organization is focused on preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality, as well as advancing maternal and health research. For those of you who have had babies in the last decade or so, you’re probably well aware of both their folic acid and prematurity awareness campaigns, both of which have worked toward healthy, full-term pregnancies for all women.

Now’s your chance to support March of Dimes and get up to 25% off your purchases at Macy’s — all for $5. 

Simply buy a $5 Macy’s saving pass that will provide 25% off on regular, sale & clearance items,  including home items (please note that you will receive 10% off electronics, watches, furniture, mattresses, rugs/floor coverings), and Macy’s will donate 100% of the $5 cost of the savings pass to the March of Dimes to help give more babies a healthy start in life.

So you want to know the details?

From now until August 25: buy passes in-store (good for in-store purchases only)

August 25 only: buy a $5 savings pass online at macys.com (good for online purchases only)

SHOP, SHOP, SHOP on August 25! Use your passes online or in stores (depending on where you bought them). Two stores in Massachusetts will hold Shop for a Cause on Friday, August 24 AND Saturday, August 25 — Boston (450 Washington Street, Boston) and Berkshire (170 Old State Road, Lanesboro). So if you want to get shopping early, you can go on August 24 to either of these two stores, buy a pass, and shop.

Want to see my Shop for a Cause wish list?

Gold is having a moment throughout the house, and I’m LOVING this Marchesa by Lenox hostess set!

The shape, shade, and color of this table lamp from Pacific Coast are perfect.

My husband and I were given a single glass cake stand for our wedding 12 years ago, but I could find many uses for this one from The Cellar collection. Great for displaying baked goods or using as a tiered centerpiece filled with fruit and flowers.

Add texture to your living room with these faux bois vinyl coasters from Chilewich. (psst – they’re a bargain closeout!)

These Sandpiper tidbit plates from Kate Spade would be a great hostess gift, or framed out in shadow boxes and hung on the wall.

On a trip to Atlanta last year, I fell in love with a natural fiber cocktail table, but decided against it because the shape didn’t work with our sectional. This cocktail table is perfect!

With two boys and a mountain biking-husband, I use indoor/outdoor rugs throughout our home. This runner from Couristan is a beauty! (Please note that rugs are excluded from Shop for a Cause online purchasing, but are eligible for the discount in-store!)

Inspired? Purchase your pass, help babies, and get shopping! 

Image credit: all images from macys.com

Complete details about Macy’s Shop for a Cause fundraiser can be found here.

This post (+ my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about the March of Dimes/Macy’s charitable fundraiser. All commentary, opinions, and fabulous finds are, of course, my own.

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I’m off to Vermont this weekend for a family wedding (congratulations Lauren and Justin!)…how about you?  The wedding is in the north country, so I’ll have lots of time to catch up on reading on the way up and back.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve spent hours getting lost in my favorite blogs, so I’m really looking forward to it.

See you soon!

Want to get lost in The Mudroom? Start with my most popular DIY posts:

An easy inspiration board

Making bookshelves pretty

Paint can lighting

Naptime? Makeover!

Image credit: Mary Sarah Holland

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Logic quiz:

Poor self-image is to fashion magazines as WHAT is to home decor catalogs?

I don’t know either, but sometimes I feel like I have it, whatever IT is.  Occasionally I get sort of taken over by staging my house…rolling up the throw blankets and storing them just-so in a gorgeous basket (you’re cold? grab one of these!), propping the white ceramic fish platter in a plate holder on my kitchen counter (look, it’s art!), stacking up a pretty set of books by my bedside (who has time to read?).  Maybe it’s some form of OCD, or maybe it comes from buying and selling multiple houses in the past five years (never know when you’re gonna have to put it on the market!), but I suspect that some of the obsession comes from looking through too many home design catalogs and shelter pubs.

Luckily, my little brother pointed me to a hilarious site that reminds me how idiotic some of those scenes from Pottery Barn (and others) are.  Catalog Living follows the fictional life of Gary and Elaine, the passive-aggressive, accessory-obsessed couple who live in your catalogs.  Created by actor and Tufts graduate Molly Erdman, Catalog Living now serves as my daily reminder that I shouldn’t worry if my throws aren’t just-so.

{But really, a little staging never hurt anyone.}

Image credit: Catalog Living, January 20, 2011

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It only took six years, eight months and a bunch of days, but my little big guy finally lost his first tooth.  We (he) had been waiting so long, you would think we – ahem – the Tooth Fairy would have been ready with a super-special $2 bill and a new toothbrush.  But instead, our little big guy got two fairly crumply singles folded up and stuffed into his tooth fairy pillow.  While I would’ve loved the task of hunting down (or even making) a sweet pillow for my son’s special day, my mother-in-law — Keeper of All Things — had saved my husband’s childhood tooth pillow and given it to him for the holidays.  Good thing too, or else he would’ve had to stick his tooth in a ziploc.

Have a kid on his or her way to losing a first tooth?  Check out some of my favorite tooth pillow options from Etsy:

Also, if you’re curious what the Tooth Fairy’s going rate is, just check out this awesome post.

Photo credits: My Everyday Graces, Laugh Rabbit Jr., Inklore, Naomi Joy Designs

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Best laid plans.

I don’t know about you, but when I move into a new space (which is more often than I’d like), I try to have it all planned out before the big day.  The furniture, the wall colors, where the lamps will go.  Everything.

But sometimes things don’t turn out exactly like you expect.  There’s enough space for the couch on that wall, but looks terrible.  Your pots and pans don’t actually fit in the cabinets.  The TV is perfect right there, but the deck door allows a little beam of the neighbor’s outdoor light in exactly when you want to watch The Real Housewives airkiss and then rip each other to shreds.  You get the picture.

Anyhoo, it turns out that one of the AWESOME things we didn’t count on was that our fabulous extra-narrow cherry farm table that used to be in our dining room fit perfectly in our new kitchen, so we didn’t have to buy a kitchen table and it freed up a whole room.  Frankly, I’ve always thought formal dining rooms were sort of a waste of space, so rather than doing a home office/guest room combo (our original plan), we have the unexpected opportunity to have an entire room dedicated to an office (can you hear the chorus of angels?).  I’d like our space to be:

Peaceful, with lots of work space,

 

multi-purpose,

 

separate, but equal,

 

and of course, well-styled.

Image credits: House Beautiful, Southern Living, Cottage Living, Stacy Style (who, by the way, rocks, and if you tweet you should follow her @stacystyle)

 

 

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A recent exchange with my friend Christine — who’s currently redoing her office — reminded me of something I meant to post long ago.  I’m also in the (endless) process of updating my home office into a lovely creative zone, and I needed to find a solution for a long wall that my desk faces.  I thought about shelving (too heavy, visually and literally), a mirror (up at 5:30 a.m. to write? no thanks), and a series of prints (I’ve done that little trick in three other spaces in the house)…but nothing seemed right.  Then as I was cruising IKEA one afternoon, I came across the DIGNITET system in the Textiles department. 

Meant to be used as a curtain wire in lieu of a rod, the DIGNITET system had all the right qualities for my wall.  It was super long (up to 197 inches), could be hung from the wall or the ceiling, was lightweight, and was easy on the wallet ($14.99 + $4.99 for each package of clips).  I snagged a kit plus two boxes of clips and a couple of days later (when I finally got around to installing it) I had the foundation for an ever-changing inspiration board.  Love it.

 

Image credits: IKEA; Paige Lewin and her slammin’ photography skills (I’m working on it)

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