High/Low: Pharmacy Cabinets

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Well, the home remodel continues and so does my battle to not procrastinate by day dreaming about decorating (it should be obvious from this post that I’m currently losing that battle.) Some battles just weren’t meant to be fought, so I indulged myself with a trip to Ikea over the weekend. Truth be told, I was there to buy the curtain rods and curtains that I had meant to purchase and install five years ago (an article that claims that your sleep quality is reduced by up to 40% when light filters into your room finally roused me to action….so please excuse my past fives years of whatever due to poor sleep :)).

Ikea’s curtains and shades are a steal and the quality is good, so be sure to make a trip there before shelling out a ridiculous sum somewhere else. We were also really impressed with the new items from their fall catalog and my jaw dropped when I saw this Fabrikor pharmacy cabinet for $179. This is surely the same cabinet I was drooling over on the Restoration Hardware site for $895 (it’s currently on sale for $535 for a limited time – they must subscribe to the Ikea catalog as well.)

The color sections are a bit different (White and Black for Restoration Hardware and green, dark gray and off white for Ikea), but you could always paint it anyway. My only complaint about the Ikea version is having the key in place of a handle closure. I would probably add a handle as well. I prefer the straight legs of the Ikea model though. Watch out RH; Ikea has your number!

 

Ali’s Collection on Fab.com

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Ali’s Collection is having a sale on some of our best-selling items this week only on Fab.com. Check out designs from our Galaxy, Out of Africa and Classics collections and save up to 30%. Due to the sale price, items are going fast so shop early for the best selection. Check out the sale here.

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Behind the Scenes with Diane Peacock of Blue Lollipop Road

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Diane Peacock is a seize the day type of girl. Her positive energy and enthusiasm is contagious and her follow- your-dreams-and-make-it-happen mantra has led her to all 50 states and countless countries, connecting her to thousands of people. It’s impossible to label Diane with just one title. She’s a blogger, a road trip maven, a community activist and a small business champion. With a book collaboration and 50 state speaking engagement tour in the works, we are sure that list is about to get much, much longer. Read on to get to know Diane, hear about how she pays (and PLAYS) it forward and see what else 2013 has in store for her.

What inspired you to start bluelollipoproad.com?
After years of traveling, I started itching for a way to share my stories and adventures with more than just friends and family. I also wanted to  inspire other people to just get up and go, to explore beyond everyday surroundings. I thought a blog would be perfect- so I just started writing. Thus, Blue Lollipop Road was born!

Tell us about your upcoming, second-annual BLR Play It Forward event. How can we get involved?
During my Honda sponsored road trip in the fall of 2011, I saw an old soccer teammate I hadn’t seen in years and she sprung on me: “We should have an alumni game Di! You have to plan it. It’d be great!” I was at the point where I’d traveled so much I was ready to “give back” and had thought about establishing a travel scholarship fund. That conversation led to a full-scale weekend long alumni event that Blue Lollipop Road hosts where my fellow soccer alumni and community members gather to reconnect, play soccer, honor lost friends, and have fun! The weekend kicks off with a Welcome Back Party on Friday night. Saturday includes the Strong Mojo Summit (where current female athletes meet alumni to discuss life experiences), a gifting of the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial scholarship, and an Alumni Soccer Game. On Saturday evening “Celebration Cocktails” wrap up the event. The event is a blast. The focus is on giving back to the community and encouraging everyone to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We give a local teen the opportunity to travel by awarding a scholarship in honor of my two friends that BLR is dedicated to. It’s pretty much my dream come true. Alumni  can register to play in the game, or anyone can donate to BLR Play It Forward and the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Fund by visiting: http://bluelollipoproad.com

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What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 6:30am and check my phone responding to any quick important emails, then read the news. I’m out the door at 7am for a run (3-5 miles on weekdays, more on weekends.) I french press coffee as soon as I’m back from running. After that it’s straight to my laptop for emails, writing, editing, uploading photos, and social media. This time of year I spend a lot of time on BLR Play It Forward: recruiting alumni, meeting with press/media, and planning logistics from jerseys and posters to sponsors and food. If I’m not already at a coffee shop working, I usually come up for air in the afternoons when I get an itch- and go camp out at one.

What is your favorite travel destination thus far?
Ooh! This questions always gets me- so many places! In the US, all around favorite:
City: Chicago
Beach: Outer Banks, NC
Secret spot of pure heaven: Finger Lakes, Upstate NY
Summer utopia: Anywhere in New England
Food, wine, and serenity: The Napa Valley
Country: Argentina. The people, landscape, food, wine, ahhh….

What sites and resources do you use to plan your trips?
None! I am a less planning, more doing kind of girl. I make sure my AAA card is current, oil is changed and my tank is full and I take off. That’s how the best experiences happen. I say, Always be prepared but don’t “plan.”

What entrepreneur resources have you found to be the most useful?
I’m not sure these would be considered “resources”, but I always like to check out what’s going on with the following organizations to stay inspired to follow my own road- like they do:
http://www.oneweekjob.com
http://roadtripnation.com
http://www.americangap.org

What is the best advice you have ever received?
1.) You’re not picky- you just know what you want.
2.) You promote what you tolerate

What do you do in your free time (or would you do if you had any :))?
I run, play soccer, and take classes like hip hop and yoga. I like to play outside as much as possible, and stay super active because I love scoping out delicious local eats and drinks wherever I am, so I’ve got to keep moving to stay healthy! I also just get in the car and drive a lot.  On rainy days you can find me at a bookstore researching things such as small businesses, company culture, food and wine.

What else does 2013 have in store for you?
A home base set up in Charlotte in July! I’m very excited as this is the first time I will establish a home base in about 6 years.  Also, working on a 50 state tour that will launch in spring 2014. Exciting times ahead!

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Grand Opening: von Z

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Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood will be welcoming a new gem at the end of this month – the delightfully chic von Z boutique. Brought to you by the talented designer behind Cotton Candy Couture, Jenna Zielbauer, and her husband Patrick Zielbauer, von Z will be supplying Chicagoans with highly sought after apparel, accessory, shoe and home labels. Need a sweet treat or a stylist consultation? Don’t worry they’ve got you covered.

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The grand opening is slated for June 27th and will feature a full day of celebratory surprises. RSVP to join the fun! Ali’s Collection will be doing a special trunk show at von Z for the opening. We look forward to seeing you there. To learn more about von Z, including the story behind the name, check out the website.

Want to learn more about Jenna? Check out our Behind the Scenes interview with her here.

Photos compliments of von Z.

DIY Custom Ikea Borje Chairs: Phase One

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I have always been a huge fan of Ikea. The Swedes know good design and you can’t beat the prices. Our Ikea Borje Chairs ($49 each) have held up really well over the last 6 years, too well for me to justify the purchase of six news chairs……sigh. But they are boring me to death…..double sigh…… So I decided to do what every good blogger would do: Turn them into a DIY project!

This is phase one of a two-phase DIY project. The first part involves painting the wood frame. I decided to only do the center bars of the chair in a gold color. Armed with my gold paint vision, I headed to Home Depot to secure the supplies. I settled on Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paint in Vintage gold ($5.48 for 10 oz which is enough to accent 10 to 12 chairs). I also bought a cheap paint brush ($.91, a better brush would have made the job easier and I suggest spending a little more here) and ScotchBlue Multi-surface Painter’s Tape ($2.97 for a 30 yard roll). Total cost for phase one: less than $10! Now on to the painting!

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Step 1: Place Painter’s Tape around the areas that are being painted and press down firmly so paint cannot creep under the tape. Cover the chair cushion with an old t-shirt and place newspaper on the floor under the chair. Keep a plastic cup filled with water handy to wash the brush between coats and a rag or paper towels to dry off the brush.

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Step 2: Sanding or priming might be recommended, but I decided to jump right into painting. Put the first coat on using horizontal brush strokes because they will result in better coverage.

Step 3: After the first coat has dried (I recommend waiting at least 30 minutes between coats), add a second coat using vertical brush strokes. Make sure the paint is smooth. If you aren’t careful and you use too much paint, a bumpy ridge of paint will form on the adjacent side of the surface you are painting. If this happens, just smooth it out with a light brush stroke before it has a chance to dry.

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Step 4:  After the second coat has dried, repeat step 3 and add the third and final coat.

Step 5: Once the paint has dried thoroughly remove the tape. If any paint has seeped under the tape or been pulled off by the tape, use a small instrument, like a toothpick, to gently scratch it off or dot on a little paint.

And here is the finished product. I love how the chairs now pop at night!

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Next up – reupholstering! What color and type of material do you think I should choose? Green velvet? A geometric pattern? Decisions, decisions….stay tuned for phase two!

Check out more of our DIY projects here.