Category: Around the House

Here’s to you, four-hour conference call survivors.

It’s not like I was thinking of you when I laughed my head off at this I survived another meeting that could have been an email coffee mug.  I mean, even if we do conduct business together, and we do have conference calls that seem to go on for hours, and we have sat through briefings that take longer to discuss than the brief took to write in the first place…no, I actually enjoy those things. And those calls where you wait for 14 different people even though a dozen of them never even say a word? Those are my very favorite. Of course I’m talking about other meetings with someone...

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Move over adult coloring books: Make way for 1000 Dot-to-Dot books

While we still have a lot of love for all the cool adult coloring books we featured this year — and saw everywhere this holiday season — I realized there was another relaxing drawing option for us big kids, when my teen daughter unwrapped a copy of 1000 Dot-to-Dot Cities from her aunt. This is not your preschooler’s dot-to-dot book. 1000 Dot-to-Dot Cities is one in a series of “extreme” dot-to-dot books by Australian graphic designer Thomas Pavitte, whose books also include 1000 Dot-to-Dot Icons, 1000 Dot-to-Dot Masterpieces, and 1000 Dot-to-Dot Animals. And when I say extreme, I mean, whoa. Each sturdy page in...

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16 of the prettiest modern 2016 planners, to help start the new year with a little positivity.

Is it really almost 2016? And time to look for a brand new 2016 planner? Whoa. Every year it’s like the change in the calendar year blindsides us, as if it doesn’t happen every single year at this time. When will we learn? This year if you’re committed to getting more organized (cliche, we know, but still a good resolution) it can be easier when you start with the right tools, right off the bat. So we spent a whole lot of time tracking down some of the most stylish planners in every price range,  to keep you organized in all different...

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Printables for teachers that make thoughtful last-minute cards or gifts.

As we parents start counting down the days to the December break, some of us are also realizing that whoa! It’s time to figure out teacher gifts, stat. I still really love our post about the best teacher gift ideas according to actual teachers and if you haven’t checked it out, you really should. There was definitely some debate on Facebook about the results (some of you feel really passionate about cash gifts!) but whatever you give, the message that came through loud and clear to me from all the educators we spoke with, is that it really, truly is the thought that counts. So...

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The perfect little affordable best friend gifts. Or really, anyone gifts.

I’m on the lookout for some cute small gifts to give out to some of the people I love, or even for my girls to give to their own BFFs. And then I came across the collection of awesome eco-friendly, recycled brown kraft paper journals from Journaling Jane on Etsy and I was like, yup. That’s what I need. I love the artist’s mission to get people back to handwriting — as you can tell from journals with sayings like Write Your Thoughts Here and Not on Facebook — and she has hundreds of ways to do that. You can...

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Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox: Natural cleaning products that, well, actually clean

I like to buy natural cleaning products and supplies as much as I can. In fact, I follow my mom’s mantra and use vinegar and water only on my hardwood floors. It’s partly because I get headaches when I walk in the door and my house smells like a hospital ward, and partly because I know that breathing in a lot of harsh chemicals just isn’t good for us, so I’m always glad to discover a new company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products that actually work. Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox is one of those, and it’s a great find. Related: 2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work I admit I...

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A brilliant little invention to get kids to remember to help out more.

Between my kids’ basketball schedules and after school activities — not to mention their homework and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner — I’ve found that it’s getting harder for me to keep track of it all. There have been times when I’ve asked, Has anyone fed the fish . . . this week? I know I’m not alone here, which is why I’m really happy to have discovered the Membo reminder tool, a handy little gadget from Dreamfarm that I think a lot of parents could use.   Related: Free labor! A helpful guide to chores for kids by...

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20 incredible, modern custom illustrated family portraits that make the most special gift ever.

Last year, our post on amazing illustrators making modern custom family portraits was such a hit, we took another look this year. And wow, so many options! From sweet to stylized, these are the kinds of personalized holiday gifts that make a huge impact, and often for far less money than you’d expect. The one caveat: you want to get a jump on ordering now if you’re interested, which is why we’ve done our best to specify order deadlines for Christmas — but be sure to contact the artists directly just to be extra extra extra sure that they can make your...

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Peace, Joy, Color: Cool Christmas coloring pages for adults in a book of tear-out postcards

As we get closer to the launch of our big holiday gift guide (next week, you guys!) we’ve been keeping our eyes out in particular for lots of affordable gifts. You know, the stuff for people on your list who deserve more than a stocking stuffer, but aren’t gong to get a $150 cashmere scarf. I just found such a perfect $10 gift in the new Peace. Joy. Color. book of tear-out Christmas coloring page postcards. It’s like the best of the adult coloring book trend meets holiday cards, and I love all the festive notecards in the book, which are very...

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The perfect modern keepsake baby gift for photo-happy new parents. Hi, that’s all of us, right?

In this photo-obsessed world we’re living in, we’ve seen all kinds of ways to document and share a baby’s first year in pictures — some of which are sweet, some of which are wow, you really had time to do all that? Striking the perfect balance in the middle: The new My First Year baby photo frame from our friend, mom, and talented artist Kerri Lee-Sensiba, of Tree by Kerri Lee. Related: One-stop shopping for the cutest baby gifts from small designers. I think the lovely, fresh handpainted wooden designs (choose from a cute elephant or a more hipster camera...

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