Me and IKEA, It’s Complicated

January 4th, 2011

I’m helping a friend style a wall of family photographs, so naturally for picture frames, one goes to IKEA.  It takes me over an hour to get to the closest store, and I have to plan to spend at least half a day or more of my time on an IKEA excursion.  In winter, in the rain, it is a complete hassle, but with all those deals to be had, I make the trip twice a year.

IKEA and I have a complicated relationship.  Every time I pass one, I long to go in, and consider it complete torture to pass one on the freeway without stopping.  Once I’m in, I go through a series of emotions.  First, frustration at the miles of parking lots, tens of thousands of square footage to navigate, glaring florescent lights, and the disturbing feeling we’re all being herded like cattle.  Moooo.

Next, admiration when I remember IKEA has a professional daycare that greets you at the door.  Clearly, this is a store designed to trap you and your children inside for hours at at time.  That, or they’re just tired of cleaning up broken vases on Aisle 242. 

Then comes the anxiety that sets in trying to follow all those blue signs with all the arrows pointing you to go here or there.  It’s quite a disturbing labyrinth and it frightens me so. 

ikea store inside

 

Anxiety is always followed by hunger requiring that I get in the long line to wait to dine on their Swedish meatballs.  Once revived, I experience the delight of scoring some pretty good deals on some cheap goods.  

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Organized + Stylish

January 3rd, 2011
Happy New Year !  Don’t you just love January?   January always brings the promise of great things to come, the chance to turn the page and start fresh.  Be it resolutions made, a checklist of personal goals, or simply a commitment to be “Better, Stronger, Faster…” (name that 70s TV show!)  
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Yesterday I removed all that garland that was dried to a crisp and gave everything a good dose of clean.  Nothing like starting the year with a clean slate, clean shelves, and countertops, right?  And there’s nothing like posting a brand new calendar in the kitchen and cracking open a brand new daily planner too.   
 
Despite the march of technology, the smart phones and the online organizing tools, I’m still completely old school when it comes to my own daily planner.  In this modern world when so much is typed, I actually prefer the ‘chore’ of writing something down.  I say it’s a lost art, like the handwritten heartfelt ‘Thank You’ note.  I always say to anyone wanting to book me for anything, “If I don’t write it down, well darlin’, it just doesn’t happen.”  So every year, I look for a new planner that is stylish enough to put on display when penciling in those commitments.
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Today I’ve invited my good friend Cristin of Simplified Bee to share her picks for the best (and chicest!) planners.  I had the immense pleasure of rooming with Cristin when I traveled to NYC last fall, and we quickly became friends.  Cristin has impeccable taste in design and is also a professional organizer, so who better to share the best planners for any gal-on-the-go who seeks to be both organized AND stylish!  
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Take it away Cristin!
“Keeping a day planner is an essential time management tool and one that will help get 2011 off on the right foot.  By logging appointments, schedule and important dates in a daily planner, you can reduce stress by knowing that you aren’t forgetting anything.  When kept up-to-date, a planner allows you to find needed information quickly, prioritize effectively and schedule appointments immediately.
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Even though there are several great online calendar options, I enjoy writing down our household schedule in a good old fashion day planner.  Today there are so many beautiful and chic options available in a variety of colors, prints, sizes, functionality and price.  
 
Here’s my list of favorite planners for 2011:
 
Known for her fun, vivid Palm Beach inspired prints and patterns, Lilly Pulitzer offers a chic collection of daily agendas for 2011. This useful and unique planner features a 17 month agenda {August 2010  through 2011} and is complete with weekly & monthly calendar pages, dates to remember, contacts and notes.  A large version {6 3/4" x 8 7/8" is $24.95 and includes stickers.
 
lilly pulitzer
 

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Winter Escape

January 2nd, 2011

Before the holidays, I made myself a promise that I would take some time off to be with my family after Christmas and I kept it!  I wrote up a few posts, set them to publish over the course of last week, then off we went with some friends to escape to one of our most favorite destinations, gorgeous Lake Tahoe. 

lake tahoe

Have you ever been?  It’s just about my favorite vacation spot in all of California (although it shares part of the geography with Nevada).  I love being in the mountains.  I love vast forests covered with snow as far as the eye can see.  And I love a tranquil lake sitting in the middle of it all.

Whenever we caught a break in the weather, we went exploring.  Snowy woods always remind me of this Robert Frost poem.

snowy bridge

 

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