Quick Promotional Goodie Bag Idea

It’s the end of the month and I completely forgot about having a promotional goodie bag for Rhonda with Your New Neighbor. I usually do coffee mugs, but I ran out and forgot to re-order… I’m forgetting a lot nowadays! When I’m in a pinch for a creative idea I go to Pinterest.

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With summer on my mind I had to do something that means summer to me… Lemonade! I looked up a recipe for lemonade and found something that sounded yummy… Lemon box pie!

Ran to Hobby Lobby for clear bags that would fit my brochure. Gathered up my raffia ribbon supply, scissors, printed recipes, brochures, business cards and pens. Hit up Goody Goody Liquor for my favorite bottle of wine. I was ready to stuff goody bags! My evening was set.

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I think my little whipped together goody bag rocks!

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Dallas Market in June 26 – 28, 2015

 

June is a time for summer plans to begin. My June will always involve going to Dallas Market Center for the Dallas Home & Gift Market. I love staying up on all the new trends and displays! Spending the weekend walking from one end to the other is a strength of wills contest with my feet. Sometimes my feet won and we went home before my mind was ready… Here’s my weekend in pictures.

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I am starting Friday with a look through Outdoor Living. This nesting pod is so cool!

 

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Accent Decor has so many contemporary accessories and they always keep up with the trends.

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Surya is the place to do lunch. Kristen is a big Surya rug lover! They have a great design program that Kristen uses a lot.

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Global Views is hands down the best displays every year. The color combinations and layering the pull off always gives me such great ideas to bring to my clients.

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Discovered this diamond of a company – Moon and Lola. They have such fun stuff!

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Love reading funny signs!

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We have a huge contemporary project coming up and there is no better place than Sterling for some great pieces.

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Sterling definitely has some great trending pieces like all the gold accents.

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I feel like I walk into a whole new market when I go to the Trade Mart!

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Always end market with a well deserved margarita!

 

Next market is a mini-mart September 10 – 12, 2015. Will I be there? Of course! Best part about living in the DFW area is I can be at every market!

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Black and White is Still Powerful

I went to a Interior Design Society meeting today at Dallas Market. As I was walking to the meeting I was stopped by the striking chevron black and white chair in this window. Black and white together will never go out of style… Ever… Ever.

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Then my eye was drawn to the dramatic combination of a kelly green velvet sofa and the black and white smaller print chairs. The color can be any strong, deep color like red or teal. That’s the beauty of combining black and white with color.

Side note: I’m not so thrilled with the floral ottoman.

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I had to control myself since the aisle was covered with a sample sale. I had to move quickly to keep from buying a bargain! My accountant would kill me if I brought anything back. I can’t sneak anything by her…

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Stay fabulous,

 

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Fear of Spring Cleaning

Does anyone have the fear of “spring cleaning” out their closet and being filled with regret when you let go of too many clothes? I thought about using the cleaning tip of turning my hangers around and at the end of the year getting rid on all the clothes that I didn’t turn around and use, but I know that would mean half my closet! Right now with so much going on at work with all the interior design jobs and model homes my uniform is my BRD Live Love Design shirts and black pants with sneakers.

I’ve forgotten what pretty clothes I have! Jamie, our company President, comes to work looking ready for a fashion runway… then by noon has to flip into her own BRD shirts and jeans because she’s moving stuff around in the warehouse or installing window treatments. We have some crazy times ahead because we are SO busy so I don’t think I should follow the “spring cleaning” tip until… nevermind… I just need a bigger closet.

This one would do just fine!

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If you’re interested in the spring cleaning tip I’m fearing here it is:

http://www.organized-simplicity.com/wednesday-tip-turn-your-hangers-around-to-keep-track-of-what-you-wear/

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My Chic Gold Home Office Makeover

Space is what you make of it… and I’m making a home office. An office where I can be comfortable and just write. Write about what goes on behind the scenes of decorating, write about our lives and kids, what we learn on a daily basis, what new and yummy thing we made for dinner. There’s so many things I can write about… if I have a pretty office. I’ve started piecing together a glorious space in my mind and on my Pinterest board. I’ve been pinning like crazy very chic looking offices with white lacquer desks. They looked so fresh and clean as opposed to my office at work that’s an espresso color. I sourced one desk that looked perfect! It’s from World Market called the Josephine desk. Here’s a picture of the desk in use by blogger JustDandy.org that I saw on Pinterest. josephine desk 1

I already have black IKEA Lack book shelves so I’ve got black and white colors to work with. I went to Hobby Lobby to get accent pieces when I discovered that they have white, black and gold wall art. I’ve got a thing about gold foil right now and it felt a little like the “heavens opened” on the gold foil area. Right there was gold foil picture frames, a gold elephant (he was adorable and I’ve named him Peter), a gold and white box, a black, white & gold tray.

Now that I’ve got a solid color direction I can add pieces that inspire me to be creative, be encouraging, be productive. At Hobby Lobby I found a pack of specialty cardstock from Mambi for a baby girl that has some awesome gold foil patterns and positive sayings in gold glitter that I framed in IKEA Ribba frames. Some of them are “You Sparkle & Shine”, “Follow Your Heart” and “Do Small Things With Great Heart.” I’d say those are pretty encouraging with easy and affordable thrown in!

Hobby Lobby Links

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/gold-polyresin-feather-with-black-base-948281/

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/decorative-deer-head-tray-874487/

I found a couple different gold foil and white pattern paper to wrap some old books to act as lifts for props such as Peter (the elephant), glass box and picture frames. In my world travels I’ve picked up a couple mementos. One such memento is the Eiffel Tower statue I got when I was at the Louvre in Paris, France. I spray painted it gold so that I can have on my desk to always remember that I love to travel and traveling is what keeps me creative.

By getting all the pretty stuff out of the way, it’s time to get actual office supplies. With gold starting to be my prominent accent color I started researching gold plated staplers, tape dispensers and scissors. I went to Staples, Office Depot, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby…nothing! I thought I was going to have to order online from Etsy or something similar. I was grocery shopping at Target the other day. I was cutting through the office supplies when I saw the Nate Berkus accessories. Low and behold… there was a gold stapler, tape dispenser, scissors and magazine holder! I love Target. Target has definitely come through for me a couple times.

A desk always deserves beautiful flowers! Don’t forget to get fresh flowers whenever you are going to be working from home.

Here’s a quick shot of my desk today. I’m pretty ecstatic with how everything came out.

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I Swore I Would Do Better

The new year rung in… Resolutions were written down… I will blog! It was number 4 on my list.

Looked down at the calender… WHAT!?! It’s the 13th! I swore I would do better with this year’s resolutions.

Where did the first 13 days go? When does a resolution fail? By the 15th of January? If so then I’m safe. I’m blogging now… I’ve got a glass of wine (side note: just realized I don’t have any wine glasses. Weird, right?! I’m drinking out of my crystal glass from a decanter set I brought back from Ireland), watching The Bachelor on Hulu and waiting for my lasagna to be ready. I’m ready to blog about something… (crickets…)

What should I blog about? Everyday I have moments that this would be something cool to blog about or this something, but when I sit down to type something out for a blog my mind goes blank. It’s very frustrating! Should I just talk about my day? There… That’s something…

My day…

Started of smacking the alarm clock so I could snooze. I am NOT a morning person. I actually enjoy the battle with the snooze button. I shall fall asleep before the next alarm and have a successful extra 20 minutes of sleep! The battle was not won this morning because after the smack down to Mr. Snooze I realized I had a few deadlines before noon. Yikes!

It’s always enjoyable getting to the office and accomplishing something before noon. Makes me think I can leave by 4pm because something has been done. Does this actually happen? Absolutely not! By 3pm I get a rush of all these projects I remember I need to get started or finish.

Accomplishments today:

1) Ordered our new coffee mugs. Found an awesome lady that does promotional items and she gave me a beautiful deal. Need something? Donna Bender is her name. Here’s a link to her website: http://www.donnaco.com/

2) Ordered our tri-fold brochures from Overnight Prints. You would think that you can get your stuff so much faster because there’s OVERNIGHT in the name… Nope. You want anything close to a week you are going to SUPER pay for it. Kind of a let down. Now I know if I’m getting half way through my stock of brochures I need to reorder so I can wait like 6 weeks…It’s a little bit of a let down.

3) Print ads were due for Town Mailer, Life magazine and Simply Westlake. I changed up the ads with an image of our 1st place winning formal living for specialty windows from WF Vision magazine. Here’s the winning image.

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4) I was sent the magazine proofs for the next two awards Brandi won. I had to write out all the sources (company name, fabric pattern and colors) used in the projects. I had to bust out last years receipts. That gave me a small thrill. Want to know why? Because I have put a VERY organized method in place for our bookkeeping. I have every receipt imaginable organized by month, organized in order of the bank statement. I have a little confession… I’m a wee bit obsessed with plastic paper protectors. Did I mention each month is in a zip-lock bag and filed in a fire-proof filing cabinet? Everything is p-r-o-t-e-c-t-e-d. Protected from? I’m guessing a fire, hurricane or flood.

And that was my day… What tomorrow will hold, I do not know. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Good night!

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Black Friday Madness Ends with Crafting Future

I decided to take it easy on Black Friday this year… Just one store after the main hour releases. I choose Wal-Mart because that’s the most bang for my buck and, of course, the most ENTERTAINING! I arrived at 9:30pm and the packing lot was not full at all. That’s a good sign… I start walking into one entrance and a cop starts yelling “this is an exit only, people.” I looked around to see who else he was referring to… crickets… It was just me. I’m thinking the “people” tacked on was a little unnecessary, as well as the yelling… He must have had a tough night so I smile and thank him for the instructions.

I walk into a crime scene! There’s yellow DO NOT CROSS tape everywhere. I giggle a little because, well, it is Wal-Mart. I meander around looking for something to strike my fancy and an area that is heavily populated with people that look like they are going to provide me with a little entertainment. I struck gold at the layaway area because that line wrapped around half of the store and it was some pretty rough looking people in pajamas and tights with not long enough tops… Eck… As I was waiting for a good line jumper I see a balloon attached to a pallet which signals to me that it’s a Black Friday deal. When I started to read the box to find out what it is I hear a lady say “Look Mom there’s only two left!” in a high pitch voice. I just reacted… I GRABBED THE BOX! The lady grabs the other box with some force. I totally couldn’t look her in the eye so I started reading the box with my full attention… The box didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of detail so I did what anyone with a smart phone would do… I googled it! I was blown away with all the awesome things I could do with this machine. What was in the box, you might ask? It’s a Cricut Explore. Cricut.com says that a “Cricut Explore is a design-and-cut system for making amazing, affordable DIY and craft projects.” Now let me be clear on something… I’m not a “crafty” person. I roll my eyes at scrapbooking… Sorry! But lately I’ve been looking at Pinterest & Etsy (they’re the DEVIL) and seeing these cool pictures using gold foil lettering saying something funny and I want them! I’m decorating my apartment right now and I’m all about the gold foil. Once I saw on google that I could do my own gold foil prints…DONE… Decision made to keep the box in my cart. My search online lead me to Pinterest and my mind is BLOWN! There are SO many awesome ideas. Again, remember I’m not crafty… I need to get home to play with my new toy!

Once home… it’s 11PM… I jump online to Pinterest again and create a new board all about Cricut. (Check that board out here.)  Pins lead to blogs about Cricut projects and I surface at 1AM with crick in my neck. I stop the madness and go to bed.

So today I raced to Hobby Lobby for some accessories like vinyl and contact paper. Only one thing was discounted, but WHATEVER! Just give me the stuff… I’ll pay full price!

Then to my office because I feel like I needed SPACE to set up my new toy. I unbox and spread everything out. Then things got real… I went to YouTube for instructional videos. WOW. That’s a lot of videos… Anything over 5 minutes immediately lost my interest because there’s only so many times the person doing the video can say “Um” and “Hold On so I can do this”.

Here’s a couple links to some videos that actually helped me: Cricut Explore: Cutting & Applying Vinyl ; How to write using the Cricket Explore

Then I got the gist and started using the tester page and vinyl. It was pretty easy-ish because I know Adobe Photoshop. So the concept was similar.

The first thing I wanted to do was something cursive and something I’ve been wanting for a while now… I did a vinyl cut out of “Everyday I’m Hustlin” because, well, it’s funny!

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For my first project I probably shouldn’t have done cursive, but GO BIG OR GO HOME, right!?! Here’s the fourth try on the sticky matte board. Now I had to think about where my little saying was going to go…

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I put it on the back door! Hahaha! The door is silver and the vinyl is metallic silver so it blends in well and it’s something to giggle about when I’m coming and going.

So I’m still wanting to play… What else to do with the silver vinyl? What about butterflies!?!

Cricut pic 1The little picker thingy comes in really handy to get the excess vinyl away from the cut out.

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I would say my first project was a success! Will I use this machine to it’s fullest? Probably not… I will tell you I’m going to master the art of gold foil… And adding words to coffee cups… And our logo to tumblers… Looks like I’ve got some learning to do! I’m going back to play with my new toy. Have a great weekend!

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Discovering Minutes Matter

Today I was going to clean and organize my apartment. I got a cup of coffee and decided to just check my email…Big mistake! I’ve been sucked into trying to figure out Minutes Matter (computer program to create renderings for window treatments, bedding & furniture). Brandi has asked that we all learn Minutes Matter because it would such a help with our interior design clients. Since I know Adobe Photoshop it’s a little easier to grasp the concept faster. I had an email from Minutes Matter about a Studio class and I just thought about clicking around in the program… POOF… 6 hours later… I’m awestruck! I made a bed set that I’m going to try to get Brandi to add to her collection because it’s so PRETTY. Bedding Design - Coral and Grey Medallion

 

Then I got started on a window treatment. I decided to keep the same fabric selections because I added the bed to the room. I wish the “warping” tool was easy to handle, but I’m pretty spoiled by Photoshop… Of course, I had to drop in some wall art and furniture to fill out the room. Side Note: I’m going through a sketch phase. I love sketches in logos & wall art.

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Then I discovered the Marketing section in Minutes Matter. How nice is that!?! There are storyboard templates built in for pretty presentations. It’s just fill the boxes with your swatch fabrics and drop in your pictures and BOOM. Instant presentation! Love it!!!

Storyboard - Bedroom - Coral and Grey

I feel very productive and satisfied right now… Also VERY hungry! It’s after 3PM and I’ve only had coffee. It’s so time to eat and be happy!

Have a great day Y’all! It’s almost shopping time. Black Friday is HERE!

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Memo: Manic Monday is now Tuesday

“It’s just another manic Monday (updated to Tuesday), I wish it were Sunday” is the song of the day by The Bangles. It’s a race against time to get our interior designing jobs complete and installed before the holidays because what better time to show off new window treatments and your custom bedding than when family and friends are in town. We worked through the weekend  and Monday with so many window treatment installs. It’s a great feeling when customers are happy and loving what we created for them!

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Jamie and Kristen unloading window treatments from the van.

 

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Adam installing this swagged cornice.

Today was about getting our Canton First Monday Trade Days store set up for this coming weekend because one store for us is apparently not enough! I love shopping at Canton so why not try to sell our awesome products there… Of course we just had to set up THIS week of all weeks.

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We didn’t get finished today so there goes my leaving work early tomorrow… Boo…

If you’re in Canton this weekend shopping stop by and say “Hi!” We are in the houses by the Arbors. It’s #22 by the snow cone stand. I made sure there wasn’t a funnel cake stand close by… That would be deadly good…

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6 Secrets for Holiday Table Settings

6 Secrets for Show Stopping Holiday Place Settings

Sharing a special meal with family and friends is a holiday season highlight. Whether you’re hosting a casual family dinner or planning an upscale party, an elegant and striking tablescape will enhance the occasion.

Party planning can be stressful, but decorating your table does not have to be! A few small additions, like beaded tassels or a colorful table runner, can instantly update your existing china and linens for a vibrant setting befitting your festive gathering.

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Make every meal special this holiday season – get inspired by our favorite holiday table setting secrets:

#1: Get colorful. Set a stylish table by picking a colorful table runner in a deep burgundy or chocolate. These rich shades are the perfect backdrop for gold candlesticks, hurricane glasses filled with silver mercury ornaments, or evergreen clippings and holly berries. Break away from traditional green and red color schemes by trying jewel tones, metallic turquoise and silver, champagne and gold, or other vibrant combinations.

#2: Do double duty. Invest in bold centerpieces that will last through the holiday season. For example, an evergreen centerpiece can go from a relaxed family gathering to an upscale dinner party by swapping out table linens, dishes and glassware. Add beaded tassels and gold accessories to complete the look. Nothing says elegance and glamour like gold!

#3: Be inspired by your dishware. Leave the basic white plates on the kitchen shelf and instead express your style with colorful patterned china. Choose a contrasting color for the napkins, centerpieces and the table runner to create a cohesive design. A few simple variations on the same color are an easy way to pull together an entire table.

#4: Add a little bling. Even a rustic centerpiece, like pinecones and evergreens, can benefit from a little bling! Beaded tassels are an easy way to add sparkle to your holiday table settings and reflect the season’s magic. Dust pinecones or branches with a gold powder for a subtle holiday glow. LED tea lights add romance without the fire hazard – and your tablescape will sparkle in the soft candlelight.

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#5: Be bold. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and textures. For an eye-catching place setting, rest a brightly colored napkin between stacked dinner and salad plates. The vibrant colors will draw out the patterns in your china. In this photo, the napkin and beaded tassels bring out the purple and gold shades in the beautiful paisley print. Paired with a bold tablecloth, it makes a stunning design statement.

#6: Add a personal touch. Small details welcome friends into your home and bring a personal touch to your table. Surprise guests with small treats that act as both placeholders and favors. Tuck a sprig of holly inside the napkin ring. Or use holiday stamps to mark gold cardstock for an instant (and sparkling) place card solution.

Tell us – what’s your go-to secret for easy holiday table decorating?

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