Hunting for a New Lighting Fixture

The dining room is one of the spaces I’ve neglected in our home and is in need of a little attention.  It’s a small little space that is open to the living room.  Since moving in, all we’ve done is bring in the clear chairs we had from our previous home, a white tulip table, and white curtains. The owners of the home (we’re renters) left their chandelier and we’ve left it up because, well, it’s functional. It’s not really our style though and I’ve been itching to change it out.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for light fixtures that I like (and aren’t ridiculously expensive). Below is a round-up of what I’ve found so far.  Some of them aren’t right for the space but thought they were worth sharing here, for any of you out there who may also be on the hunt for the right light fixture.

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1- Five Arm Chandelier, 2- Marmont Pendant, 3- Brass Pendant, 4- Modern Pendant Light, 5- Brass and Glass Globe Pendant

#1 is beautiful but it’s probably a bit too fancy for our home. #2 has a fun vibe to it, though I’m not sure if it would emit sufficient light. #3 is a strong contender – I love it’s simple elegance. #4 is clean, simple and my husband’s favorite. There’s also this one, which is similar and I like.  #5 is really cool and I love that it’s handmade by a fellow small business owner.  It’s also the most budget friendly. Given the current chairs we have though, bringing this in would probably be too many clear elements in the space. Perhaps if I got new chairs… (haha I wish! …not in the budget right now)

If you happen to come across a light fixture you think I’d like and is reasonably priced, feel free to send it my way. I’m open to options.

Posted in decor, dining rooms, my home, our apartment | 3 Comments

It’s Starting to Feel Like Summer

Hope you all had a great weekend! Saturday I went hiking with the fam, and yesterday, Memorial Day, though I did a bit of work during the day, I took a break from the never ending to-do list, and generally took it easy.

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My husband had the day off from work so we both headed up to my parent’s house. My mom had set up the gazebo and outdoor furniture, my dad had the day off of work (which is a rare occasion since he usually works 7 days a week), and the weather was near perfect. We grilled, ate way too much and enjoyed a nice laid-back evening outside.  

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I know summer technically doesn’t start until June 21st, but days like this make it feel like summer.  Looking forward to more days of dining alfresco, and very soon days spent at the beach and at the pool.

Posted in outdoor living | Leave a comment

How I Organize My Handbag

I oftentimes carry a lot of things in my handbag – keys, cell phone, driver’s license, credit cards, debit cards, rewards cards, cash, coupons, lists, hair ties, lip balm, lotion, tissues, pens, sunglasses, the list goes on….can you relate?

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Because most of these items are relatively small, they can easily get lost in a large bag and it’s so annoying to have to rummage through to try to find what you’re looking for.  What I like to do is group and separate everything into smaller bags, cases and pouches.

For the essentials like money, driver’s license, keys, tinted lip balm, and my cell phone, I use a wristlet that easily fits in my bag and I can pull out when I’m making a quick trip and don’t really need much else (the one I have is an old style but you can find a similar one here). I use a magic wallet, which is compact enough to fit inside the wristlet, to keep my credit cards, debit cards, and my license, organized. I keep cash and coins in the little interior pockets of the wristlet. I try not to put anything else in there so that there’s enough room to also fit my keys if needed.

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For all the non-essential cards that I use less frequently but still like to have on hand, like loyalty cards, rewards cards, gift cards, etc., I use a card cubby and sort them all into the little alphabetized dividers.

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My business cards go into a nice business card case so they don’t get dirty or bent.

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Coupons go into a small expanding file case. There was a time not too long ago when my husband and I were really penny pinching and to make the most of the money we had, I got into the habit of putting coupons for items we frequently bought or stores we normally shopped at, into an coupon file that I took with me whenever I went shopping. This worked really well and I’ve continued with this habit.  I no longer find myself at the store saying, “aww I had a coupon for that!” and feeling regretful that I could have saved some money.  I labeled this expanding file with general categories like beauty, craft, grocery, office, etc., which makes it easy to find the relevant coupons when I’m at the checkout counter. I use the space in the front for my shopping list and a pen.

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In an accessory pouch that has interior pockets, I keep beauty and personal care items that are nice to have handy like hand cream, hand sanitizer, hair ties & clips, lip color, a mirror, oil blotting sheets, floss, a mini lint roller, tissues, bandages and a multi-use ointment.

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My miscellaneous items, like a measuring tape, notebook for jotting down notes and ideas on the go, an extra pen, and a backup battery for my phone, all go into a zippered pouch:

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Organizing everything this way makes the contents of my bag much less chaotic and allows me to easily find what I’m looking for when I need it. It also makes it much easier to switch handbags. 

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So there you have it, that’s how I organize my bag.   The general idea is to group like items together and put them into smaller bags, pouches or cases that will keep the contents organized.  I know everyone has different needs and carries around different things, but I hope this inspired some ideas on how to organize your own bag, if it’s not organized already.

*The folks at Office Depot sponsored this post.  All ideas/opinions/thoughts are my own.

Posted in handbag organization, on the go, organization | 26 Comments

Get the Look: Bright Modern Office

My latest ‘Get the Look’ post for La Dolce Vita is up!  Click on over for more on this beautiful bright office and how to create a similar look. erin-hiemstra-office2

Posted in get the look, office spaces | 2 Comments

Shoe Ladders

Came across these images of ladders used to organize and display high-heeled shoes and thought it was such a clever idea.  I love seeing how people reimagine things and use them for something other than their intended purpose.

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Makes a fun alternative to traditional shelving. If you use a salvaged or vintage ladder, it’s eco-friendly too!

Another creative shoe organization idea here.

image sources: 1-unknown, 2-the nest, 3-design sponge
Posted in shoe organization | 4 Comments

Pillows Gift Certificate Deal!

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Deal alert! Tonight through end of Friday May 10th, use code MOTHERSDAY for 10% off e-gift certificates from my shop!

*Offer valid only on gift certificates.  Ends 11:59 pm PST May 10, 2013.
Posted in arianna belle pillows, my shop | Leave a comment

My Home Office Pin Board

Though I have a lovely gallery wall in my office, what I face when I’m sitting at my desk are two doors – one which leads to the hallway and I almost always keep open, and the other which leads to our laundry room and I always keep closed since there’s another door we use to access that space.

For awhile I kept both doors blank, which made for an uninspiring view from my desk.   I finally realized the door I always keep closed would be a great spot for a cork board. While I love Pinterest and use it almost daily, it’s nice to be able to pin on an traditional physical board.  It’s a great spot not just for inspiring images, but also for notes, reminders, keepsakes, artwork, and fabric swatches.  Plus a cork board gives me a certain tactile experience I don’t get when I’m pinning virtually, and by having it in front of my desk it can serve as something beautiful to glance at throughout the workday to give my eyes a rest from the computer screen.

Before heading to the store, I measured my door so I could easily decide what size cork board would make best use of the space. The 24×36 size was just the right width and height.  Not too big, not too small.

To make it fit seamlessly with the decor of my office, I covered the board in a simple white cotton fabric and gave it the look of nailhead trim by adding super inexpensive thumb tacks along the line of the board’s frame. Since my place is a rental, I didn’t want to make any holes on the door, so I used command strips to mount the board.

Overall the process was easy and I’m thrilled with the results. Here’s how it looks:

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I pinned: a few inspiring images (from my virtual boards) that I had printed on card stock, a magazine pull-out, a lovely art piece my sister made for me with the word ‘Love’ painted in gold, a few fabrics I’m considering for pillows for the shop, as well as a little printed reminder to myself to drink more water, take my vitamins, and make green juice.

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For those of you interested in making a similar board for yourself, here’s a list of what I used and a few tips:

Tips:

-Iron your fabric before stapling it to the board

-After you staple the fabric on one side of the board, pull the fabric really tight before stapling the other side.

-When placing the thumb tacks, use your thumb as a spacing guide

-Place the command strips on the frame of the board to help them best adhere to the wall

-The strips come in two different colors - black and white.  Since you may possibly be able to see a little bit of the strips from a side view, get the ones that are closest in color to either your wall color or the color of your fabric.

-Most importantly, have fun pinning to your board!

*The folks at Office Depot sponsored this post.  All ideas/opinions/thoughts are my own.

Posted in home office organization, organization | 9 Comments

How Monika Organizes Her Jewels & Perfumes

Today I’m delighted to bring to you a new How I Organize post! Shop owner and lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs (who just became a mom to a sweet baby boy!), gives us a look at how she beautifully organizes her jewelry and collection of perfumes:

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I like to have most of my everyday jewelry in place, ready for me to quickly pick up and go! Having all those jewels organized on my side table along side my perfume is perfect!  The silver tray is from The Cross Design, one of my favorite home décor stores in Yale Town, Vancouver. The Stag Head jewelry holder, which holds my bracelets is from Front & Company in Vancouver. 

For pieces that I only take out for special occasions I like to have them all wrapped up in the boxes they came in. I laugh, because my husband thinks I’m a horder- whereas I like the organization of each piece in it’s place! Takes up a little bit more room, but those boxes are just too nice to throw away!

headshot photo by Melissa Skoda, all others by Ellen Ho of Hong Photography 
Posted in how i organize series, jewelry organization, organization, vanity organization | 6 Comments

Get the Look: A Modern Breakfast Nook

Today I have for you a modern black and white breakfast nook played up with colorful accessories that bring it to life:purple-breakfastnook

Create a similar look with these pieces:
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1-white pendant light, 2-white frame, 3-abstract artwork, 4-pitcher, 5-solid pillow with ribbon border, 6-patterned pillow, 7-red glass goblets, 8-geometric vase, 9-modern white chair with black seat

photograph at top via BHG
Posted in breakfast nook, get the look | 1 Comment

Raiana’s Sophisticated Glam Living Room

One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing my pillows in their new homes. I know I have some seriously talented customers.  Canadian interior designer Raiana Schwenker is no exception. She just shared photos of her living room (which she decorated on a budget!) and it’s absolutely fabulous.  Take a look:

Raiana's Living Room with Arianna Belle leopard pillowsClick on over to Sadie and Stella to see more photos and read about all the details!

Posted in arianna belle pillows, customer homes, glamorous spaces, home decor, interior decor, living room, my shop, pillows | 4 Comments